Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™

Technology Guide "Agile Scrum" Wins Medalist Honors in New Apple Independent Book Awards

1 - PR_com  PR - ASG - v171115E LOWERRES

Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions took first place in the Technology category of the New Apple Awards last year. I'm grateful for the honor, and I'm thrilled that the program continues to feature the book. Today, New Apple published a new press release about the book—"Technology Guide 'Agile Scrum' Wins Medalist Honors in New Apple Independent Book Awards." You can see the story here: https://www.pr.com/press-release/749081

Thank you to Chris Hare and Colin Giffen—the technical editors—for helping to make the book more clear, consistent, and valuable.

*****

You're invited to connect via social to receive the latest news, tips and more on the professional practice of Scrum—and information on the award-winning book, Agile Scrum. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.





Award-Winning Book -Agile Scrum

Produce Planning Cards™ Help Agile Teams Estimate Work

Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™ introduced Produce Planning Cards™ to help agile teams estimate work. An overview of the tool and the technique is provided in a video presented by Agile Scrum and Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™. It's available at https://vimeo.com/261680776, and it can be played below.

Produce Planning Cards™ Help Agile Teams Estimate Work from Scott Graffius on Vimeo.


For more information on the Produce Planning Cards™, visit
http://exceptional-pmo.com/Produce-Planning-Cards.

*****

You're invited to connect via social to receive the latest news, tips and more on the professional practice of Scrum—and information on the award-winning book, Agile Scrum. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.





Award-Winning Book -Agile Scrum

Agile Has a Long and Colorful Heritage: An Infographic Timeline

Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions - Agile Heritage - v180215 lowerres

There's a widely-held view that agile development is new. But agile was used decades before it became well-known. For example, software was developed in half-day iterations in 1958 for Project Mercury, the United States' first human spaceflight program. And Harlan Mills of IBM promoted in 1968 that "software development should be done incrementally, in stages with continuous user participation and replanning."

While agile is not new, many innovators and visionaries have advanced principles and practices over time.
Agile Has a Long and Colorful Heritage: A Timeline Infographic (located here) from Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™ illustrates—via specific examples—how agile has progressively evolved.

You're invited to connect via social to receive the latest news, tips and more on the professional practice of Scrum—and information on the award-winning book, Agile Scrum. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.





Award-Winning Book -Agile Scrum

Planning Cards Help Agile Teams Estimate Work

1 planning cards - ASG  v180111 LOWRES

Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™ has Planning Cards as a tool to help agile teams estimate work. Excerpts of the information and instructions—which are included with each deck of the cards—follow. This article is for those interested in getting an overview.

About These Planning Cards

  • These cards are used to help estimate work
  • Each deck contains four sets of cards—enough for four estimators
  • Each of the four sets has a unique color on the front side of cards—it’s in either blue, green, orange, or yellow
  • Cards are based on the Fibonacci sequence, where every number after the first two is the sum of the two preceding numbers
  • Each set includes cards with the following values: 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, and "?"
  • Each deck comes in a storage case

Purpose

These cards and instructions support the most popular approach to estimating work in Scrum projects—estimating the complexity of work via story points.

The Development Team—which may be comprised of business analysts, coders, testers, etc.—collaboratively estimates each item in the product backlog in story points. Story points are a relative measure of complexity.

Participants

  • Product Owner
  • Development Team
  • Scrum Master (facilitator/observer)

Frequency

  • Once or twice per sprint

Time-box

  • One hour for each week of the sprint
  • It’s a common practice to limit each meeting to one hour and have multiple meetings as appropriate

Prerequisites/Inputs

  • Product backlog containing user stories, bugs, and other requirements
  • One set of planning cards for each member of the Development Team

Suggested Steps

1. If each member of the Development Team does not already have their own set of planning cards, the Scrum Master provides materials as needed

2. The Product Owner describes an item (a user story, bug, or other requirement) from the product backlog and mentions its intent and business value

3. Each member of the Development Team silently picks a card best representing their assessment of the complexity of the work and places the card face-down

4. After all of the Development Team members have made their selections, the cards are turned face-up, and the values are read aloud

5. If all of the selections have the same value, the Product Owner records it as the estimate, and that completes the exercise for the item; otherwise, proceed to the next step

6. Team member(s) who gave an outlier value —such as someone who gave a high value and/or someone who gave a low value—explain their reasoning

7. After a brief discussion, the team may take the most common value (the mode average) as the estimate or they may play another round of this planning game (steps 3-7)

8. Steps 2-7 are repeated until each item in the product backlog has been estimated

9. The Product Owner updates the product backlog with the estimate values

Options

Some organizations use a subset of the cards and slice product backlog items when the estimate is "too large." Here's an example:

  • Development Team uses cards with the following values: 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, and 21
  • Predetermined that 21 is "too large"
  • If a product backlog item is estimated at 21, it is sliced into two or more parts in collaboration with the Product Owner, and the resulting smaller items are estimated by the Development Team

*****

This article provided a quick overview of an aspect of estimation in agile projects. Further details—including more information on the Fibonacci sequence, and additional options—are provided in the book, Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions. Agile Scrum is available in paperback and ebook formats at Amazon. For additional information, visit AgileScrumGuide.com.

If you have not done so already, you're invited to connect via social to receive the latest news, tips and more on the professional practice of Scrum—and information on the award-winning book, Agile Scrum. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.





Award-Winning Book -Agile Scrum