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.

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How to create new MoSCoW prioritisation statuses in Jira

St Basil's Cathedral, Moscow
Visiting St Basil’s cathedral was a must when I visited Moscow in 1988

A few months ago, my team at work considered using DSDM’s MoSCoW prioritsation technique for our project’s user stories in Jira.

After a little pondering, this morning I worked out how to do this in our cloud-hosted Jira. This short post shows you how.

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Retrospective idea: Sailboat

Blue and white sailboat on ocean during daytime
Photo by Evan Smogor on Unsplash

The sailboat retrospective is a model that I especially like to use at the end of significant chunks of work, like a release or the end of an epic or the end of a project. But it could be used at any time, especially if there is a need to better understand project objectives, risks, hindrances and helpers.

I like to use this model for post release retrospectives because it helps the team to focus on lessons learned around unexpected risks, the things that slowed the team down and celebrate the things had really helped us.

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