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Jan 28

I have now completed reading the “Succeeding With Agile – Software Development Using Scrum” book written by Mike Cohn. In this book Mike Cohn is walking you through the world of Scrum step by step. Each parts and chapters in the book are addressing important subjects when using Scrum in software development. Each chapter contains one or several “Things to try now” sections. This way you are encouraged to stop and actually try what you are reading about in your own organization or projects. I really liked these sections, although I didn’t try them all they made me stop and think for a moment before continue reading.

The book is well written with a lot of real life examples and the graphs and images makes reading the book even more enjoyable. The book consists of five parts, 22 chapters and 475 pages. One thing that struck me while reading the book was that I was amazed by all the numbers and facts Mike Cohn had gathered for this book, must have spent a large amount of time just researching and collecting facts for the book.

Part 1 – Getting Started

  • Why becoming agile is hard (but worth it)
  • ADAPTing to Scrum
  • Patterns for adopting Scrum
  • Iterating toward agility
  • Your first projects

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Jan 08

We have entered 2010 and I am now actually enjoying (a lot of people are complaining) the cold and nice winter weather in Oslo (20 degrees Celsius below freezing). I have had a hectic start on this year preparing the start up of a large national project. This is very exciting and I find this a promising start on 2010.

2009 was the year that I started this blog. It has been interesting writing the posts and communicating with my readers. I have also learned a lot in 2009 and I will for sure continue writing posts on topics I find interesting.

To summarize 2009 I will list my top ten posts in 2009. This list is created based on visitors stats and my own rating of the posts (there are always some posts that you are more proud of and have spent more time writing than others).

Creating gradient background with transparent labels in .NET Compact Framework

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Sep 08

scrum sprint cycleThis is a follow up on a post I wrote earlier about how I like to use Scrum and ScrumWorks for my projects. After writing that post I have had some good discussions on how to manage bug fixing in a Scrum sprint. A good friend and former colleague of mine wrote a good post on how they achieve this in mBricks using JIRA and GreenHopper.

The last months I have been handling bug fixes and rapidly incoming change orders in ScrumWorks and this have been (in my opinion) a great success.

The first thing I did was to create two new releases in my uncommitted backlog. One called Bugfix and the other called ChangeOrder.

For each bug report I added the bug as a new backlog item under the Bugfix release and estimated it by detailing the backlog item with all tasks that needed to be done to fix the bug. When I added a new bug I also prioritized this bug against the already existing backlog items under the bugfix release.

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May 20

I have earlier written a post about writing use cases for agile (Scrum) projects, this is a follow up about writing user stories. Do you find it strange that I first wrote about use cases and later are writing about user stories? Well… to be honest with you we started with writing use cases and then later found that this was insufficient and we needed to break the use cases down to short user stories (post-it format).

By doing so you are able to focus on exactly what the user need/want without going into details on how this should be done. We came up with the following template for user stories (I’m saying we because I did this together with a colleague of mine. You can read his blog at www.agilemobility.net).

user story template

Actor: The owner of the user story (often a user). It’s very easy to end up using the name user for the actor but I would recommend to be more specific. By using specific actors it’s easier to understand and set the user story in context with the system.

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Apr 20

CSM

I have believed in using Scrum as a software development methodology since I first were introduced to Scrum back in 2005/2006. After a while I took the ScrumMaster certification (CSM) and started using Scrum as the preferred development methodology. During this time Scrum was getting very popular i Norway. It had become a buzz word and projects were either using Scrum or talking about using Scrum.

The majority of projects that I have been involved in after 2006 have been using Scrum or at least been highly influenced by Scrum. During this period of time I have found my preferred way of using this methodology. In this post I will talk about how I like to use the tools provided by Scrum. This is not a guide on how to use Scrum but more me telling what works for me.

Scrum

Licenced under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 by Mountain Goat Software

The image above shows the Scrum life cycle:

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Mar 13

strekmann1Today I started writing use cases for a software development project that are using Scrum. I have written plenty use cases for projects earlier so I thought that this would be a nice task to do on a Friday. I grabbed a good cup of coffee, sat down, listened to Me first and the gimme gimmes on my headset and started writing.

Suddenly I started thinking; this can not be in the spirit of agile development. I had started writing very detailed use cases with a lot of text and description. I turned to my colleague sitting beside me, he’s found of agile development and we often discuss the subject, and asked him what he thought about the use case I had started writing. Then the discussion on how to write use cases for agile projects started…

I really enjoy discussing subjects like this (hopefully my colleague enjoys it too). Learning by discussing is in my opinion the best way to learn or maybe learning by failing is even better, but that’s more painful. OK, anyhow let’s get back to the use case.

He suggested writing really small use cases with as little description as possible: Continue reading »

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