New job

Last week, I finished my Scrum Master job at Sky Business Connect. I had been there for 36 weeks and 4 days. This morning I started a new Scrum Master job at Safeguard Global.

My Safeguard Global office looks suspiciously like my office at Sky. And my office at Cegedim Healthcare Solutions, too. Different laptop each time, though.

I spent much of today installing software, setting up accounts, saving bookmarks, and meeting people. Oh, and getting used to typing in my 45-character email address.

Using Zoom polls for planning poker in Agile teams

Planning poker cards
Planning Poker cards from Mountain Goat Software

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post about using planning poker in Agile teams, for estimating user story size. But that was when we were all sitting in the same room and not shielding from Covid-19.

Things have changed now. Here are a few options that I’ve tried.

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What rules do you have for meetings at work?

A meeting room at work that I haven’t sat in now for over a year

Hands up if you love meetings… nobody?

It’s one of the most common complaints I hear from development teams: “Urgh! We have far too many meetings.” It’s not often true but that is their perception because the meetings felt boring and wasteful.

Meetings don’t have to be like that. I’ve just started reading a book called Meeting Design: For Managers, Makers and Everyone by Kevin M Hoffman (Two Waves Books, 2018) which I’m hoping will help me plan more productive, more meaningful gatherings in the future.

In this post, I offer a few simple rules to help meeting feel more manageable.

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Marginal gains for development teams

Header photo by Rob Wingate on Unsplash

Happy new year!

Human beings have seemingly been making new year’s resolutions for around 4,000 years. There is something about the year incrementing by one that somehow encourages folks to examine their past failures and vouch to do better in the year ahead.

And yet, research (and plenty of personal experience) shows that around 80% of resolutions will be broken by the second week of February.

There is a better way.

Continue reading Marginal gains for development teams

Self-organising teams

“You don’t think your way into a new kind of living. You live your way in to a new kind of thinking.” — Henri Nouwen


On the subject of self-organising teams, the Scrum guide says simply,

“Scrum Teams are self-organizing and cross-functional. Self-organizing teams choose how best to accomplish their work, rather than being directed by others outside the team.”

But what does that actually mean in practice?

The background to this is that final clause, “rather than being directed by others outside the team.”

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