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This Week in #Agile 13/10/2017

Posted by Sarah Nevett on 13/10/17 13:16

Hello again from LoansWithNoCreditCheck and our Project Management Team. Welcome to this, our fifty-fifth edition of “This Week in #Agile”. Please feel free to peruse some of the articles that we’ve enjoyed reading over the past week.

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The Product Owner has the most important and the hardest role in Scrum. Stories cannot be to vague but must also not have too much detail. The PO is responsible for the product but should not be too dominant. Stefan has collected a good list of patterns to avoid.

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I have worked with local teams, distributed teams and remote teams. The Agile creed is that teams must be co-located. Current reality often does not allow co-location. At LoansWithNoCreditCheck we achieved amazing results with remote and distributed teams. At a recent conference one Agile coach felt co-location was even a cause of distraction. I disagree. We have learned to manage without co-location. Individuals may benefit from quiet time and some isolation but teams can soar higher when co-located and left alone. Debbie Madden is discusses how several big companies are swinging back to making people come together for better collaboration.

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A User Story Map is a representation of a set of User Stories along 2 dimensions; sequence and priority. In this article Tirrell gives an example of creating a User Story Map, along with steps to take to achieve this.

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An interesting look at how Spotify check in on their squads.

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The hardest part about attaining an Agile mindset is undoing the beliefs and experiences of the past, especially if they were set over years and years of performing under a Waterfall project methodology. Many would agree they had would have rather just started off with Agile right from the start, instead of now realizing that experience must be undone. But like the expression says “better late than never.”

Those who now have their eyes open to the benefits of adopting an Agile mindset know there is no turning back. Or maybe that’s not as easy as it seems. Undeniably, we are always influenced by our past experience and reprogramming our mindset to challenge our Waterfall vs Agile beliefs can come into play at any time.

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Reed’s post argues that management of organisational change in an Agile organisation requires a more fluid, Agile approach, and he offers 3 key areas that Change Managers should focus on, in order that changes are implemented more easily. Going further, he states that Agile Change Leaders also need to be proactive about thinking through potential resources, opportunities and/or obstacles.

Implementing effective change in any organisation can be tricky, not least within fast moving, Agile Software Delivery environments such as LoansWithNoCreditCheck’s; Reed’s post may provide some clarity, or at the very least provide a decent starting point.

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It’s no surprise that user stories are critical to the Agile process. When a team works together to create consistent, high-quality, correctly sized and detailed stories, you can:

• Encourage meaningful conversations, increase collaboration, and reduce friction

• Demonstrate real value to Stakeholders with each and every iteration

• Deliver the right products to market, on time, and delight your customers

• Estimate with much greater accuracy

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If there’s one thing I’ve learned about intelligence it’s that very few people are born “extremely smart.” The “extremely smart” people are better named as “people who work really, really hard.”

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It may surprise some Project Managers and Executives to learn that trying to coerce, cajole, and bludgeon their Engineers into just writing more code is not a solid strategy for attracting and retaining great talent.

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An interesting article regarding the shortcomings of using story points. Joshua even goes on to describe how he experimented with teams using favourite types of fruit to stop teams from misusing story points!

Here at LoansWithNoCreditCheck we love catching up with people's opinions and articles, so please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have something to share. You can contact us via email on [email protected] or on twitter

Many thanks to for this week’s image.



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