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Recently in Experience Reports Category

Building a Scrum Wall in 8 Story Cards

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A recent meetup for Agile Ottawa focused on short presentations in the form of lightning talks. We had a number of excellent talks including: five reasons to do agile projects, lining up your units to help you be successful, applying code refactoring to improve your life, the importance of craftsmanship, and how different testing looks in the hardware and software worlds. I am a big proponent of big visible walls, so my lightning talk was a demonstration of how to build your wallboard using a roll of painter's tape, a few stickies, and eight story cards.

Mea Culpa: Why I Moved On

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My time at Embotics has sadly come to an end. It was a decision that I wrestled with for a number of months before I could finally arrive at a decision that I was comfortable with. It was a classic example of a wicked problem: no experiments that can be run to help make the decision, no way to know afterwards that the decision is correct, no way to go back for a do-over.

Xpresspost Days

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Image by Rwk via TravelPod

At the end of the last release in December, we had our first FedEx Day with good results. One of the main pieces of feedback received was "Now what?".  Some of the things that people had worked on were very solid product ideas but needed more time to complete and integrate into the product.

Becoming Iterationless

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Image by Yogendra174 via Flickr

For our 4.0 release, we experimented with shortening our iteration length and got some mixed interim results.  At the retrospective to discuss our what we wanted to do with these observations for the next release, we talked about the positives, negatives, and related ideas about our ideal iteration length. The results were actually somewhat surprising.

The Importance of Slack

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Sometimes in a startup environment, the pressure to constantly deliver new features to support existing customers and potential leads can fill your entire working day and then some. However, when the team is fully utilized and committed to feature development, the lack of time can introduce some significant challenges that can only be addressed by slowing down and introducing some slack.

Shortening Our Iteration Length: Results

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The Scrum project management method. Part of t...

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For release 4.0 of V-Commander, the team voted to change our iteration length from 3 weeks to 2 weeks.  There were a number of reasons for running this experiment, including:
  • addressing the slight lull that we experience in week 2
  • reducing the length of planning sessions and having the ability to plan in shorter time frames
  • introducing a change to shake out any issues that are hidden by 3-week iterations

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