Week in Review 4 – The State of Agile Begins

This week has been exciting because there is a lot of buzz going around in the Agile software development world. The Scrum Alliance is changing, the rules and prescriptions of the Scrum methodology are being brought into the light and people are seeing that a ScrumBOK could just be the beginning of the end of Scrum, or so people say.

Regardless, Agile Scout is here to keep on keeping on.

Our first ever prize giveaway was announced and we’re coming up to the end of it soon. If you haven’t entered, you can enter here.

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SpiraPlan V3 Released – Updated Agile Tool

SpiraPlan by Inflectra has been updated to 3.0 this week. What does this mean for you?

  • Plan requirements (user stories) directly against iterations for enhanced Scrum/Agile support;
  • Project members can view team members’ assigned artifacts on a single screen;
  • Enhanced Email Notification Functionality including customizable events and email templates;
  • Discussion threads available for user stories, releases/iterations and tasks;
  • Ability to work on different projects at the same time in the same browser session;
  • PDF format reports available for the requirements module.

Check more about the news from Inflectra. Very cool updates to this product. We also added it to our Best Agile Tools list.


The State of Agile – Sara Broca


I am a project manager / quality junior in the rail industry for 3 years and now begin a carrier in aeronautic industry. Passionate about my job, I’m always looking for new methods, new ways of doing things to improve my daily life and the one of people I work with.

How has Agile changed?

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Tool Review – Tweet Scrum – Scrum Twitter Style

Ok, ok. For those that think this is a joke, hold on to your pants for a second. This may be just the thing for your international or dispersed team members.

Enter: Tweet Scrum – Taking Control of Your Daily Scrums

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The State of Agile – Ken Schwaber

I have been in software development for over thirty years. Prior to that, I was a deck officer in the merchant marine. Don’t ask. Many of my early years in our industry were spent developing operating systems, both embedded, device oriented, and part of the IBM mainframe operating system suite. I’ve worked at the University of Chicago, Illinois Institute of Technology, Wang Laboratories, and for the last 20 years, my company, Advanced Development Methods and Scrum.org. My daughters are grown and launched, and I live in Lexington, Massachusetts with my wife, Chris.

How has Agile changed?

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Scrum Alliance Amsterdam – Agile Scout Can’t Make It

We’re sad to report that Agile Scout cannot make the Scrum Alliance Amsterdam conference coming up. It’s right after our jam-packed World Congress and Project World for Business Analysis conference that we’re live-blogging from.

Too bad because we were chosen for a Lighting Talk! Maybe next time.

But, it does give us the opportunity to reach out to the Agile community!

If you are going to be attending and would love to help Agile Scout be there in spirit, let’s have a conversation! Email us at: help [at] agilescout [dot] com.

The State of Agile – Derek Huether

Mastery-based Learning and the Paradox of the Certification

I started in Project Management some 15 years ago.

My goal, at the beginning, was to comply with all defined policies, processes, and procedures, while ensuring the project stayed within schedule, budget, and scope.  After a few years, I left this position and I started my own consulting company.  This radically changed my perspective of what was important.  Though most of my consulting was in hardware, my focus shifted toward satisfying the customer.  Upon returning to application development, I began managing software development projects for corporate and government agencies.  At first, I resorted back to my old ways, trying to manage everything through process and controls.  I sought out and obtained my Project Management Professional (PMP) credential.

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World Congress and WCBA – Agile Scout Moderator!

We’re excited about the ProjectWorld & World Congress for Business Analysts conference coming up. We have a schedule of keynote speakers we’ll be attending as well as the track sessions we’ll be live-blogging from.

Not only that, but we’ve been selected to moderate the IT Leadership Panel: The Skills You Need to Advance Your Career with David King and John McGuthry.

This should be a very fun time to learn from what some of the C-Level Executives have to say in regards to project management. We wonder whether we should ask some Agile software development questions…

If you’re going, make sure to check us out!

The State of Agile- Tobias Mayer

A Beautiful Stepping Stone

I was asked by Agile Scout to write an article for the State of Agile series. This is my response.

At the end of September I attended the Scrum Beyond Software event in Phoenix, at the wonderful Gangplank facility. This was both the last event I organized while working for the Scrum Alliance, and (to my knowledge) the first full Open Space event set up to explore this topic.

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Agile Scout *BETA Release and First Ever PRIZE and GIVEAWAY!

We here at Agile Scout are excited to be hitting our *Beta stage of our site. We have purposefully taken an iterative approach to the designing and building of our product (We’re Agile aren’t we?) and it is our hopes that we can launch fully within our next release schedule.

Like our new website design and character? We do. We’re already looking forward to full release!

So on to the celebration with GUEST POSTS and PRIZES AND GIVEAWAYS!

To celebrate our *Beta release we’ve asked bloggers, authors, and Agile coaches and consultants around the globe to weigh in on three simple (not-so-simple) questions:

  1. Your (author) background?
  2. How Agile has changed (from authors perspective) in terms of methods, philosophies, ideologies, pragmatic applications, etc.?
  3. Where is Agile going (in the future)?

Who’s up first? Check us out tomorrow for our first guest contributor!

So What’s The Prize?

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The State of Agile – Contributor List

The State of Agile contributor list has been complete. Thanks to all who have contributed to this call for submissions! After reading through what some of the leaders in our community have to say, we’re excited about where Agile is going and what needs to continue to grow as more and more businesses see the value that Agile software development can bring.

Have something you’d like to share with the Agile community? Contribute!

A full list of the contributors below and calendar:

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Week in Review – Week 3 – Prepping for Beta

This past week has been very busy. From pushing great content to reviewing some great Agile Scrum tools, we’ve also been prepping for the next couple weeks.

So what’s coming up? Several big things will be launched.

  1. Agile Scout is almost ready for *Beta launch – This means our first pass at design changes to the site. We’ll be trying out different color schemes and working with our design team to figure out how we want to color the Agile Scout world. We’re Agile, we can change rapidly!
  2. The State of Agile Blog Series – This is dropping next week! Get excited!
  3. First Ever Agile Scout Prize Giveaway – Yep. Starts Monday. Get ready for awesomeness.

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Agile Scout + You = Give Back to Community

We here at AgileScout.com want to make sure that we give back to the community. In order to do so we’re starting a Sponsorship Campaign that allows business to advertise with us and help us give back to the Agile software development community.

Agile Scout is a news blog with very big dreams. You can help us be part of that.

Email us @ peter@myai.org

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Referent Power and Value in Relationships

Personal stories that show growth of a professional are close to our heart. Every professional has a personal story that they can share, but what makes a great story even better is the ability to show lessons learned through that story and why they matter to you (the reader).

This experience turned lesson are the types of blogs we at Agile Scout love to read and we came upon such a story with Courtney Behm (@cabehm) who describes her movement into project management and some very clear realizations from her experience.

Though the title of her article points to the fact that project management isn’t all about metrics and following a ton of data on spreadsheets, we think another appropriate way to title her work would be: Project Management, All About Relationships. This is because that’s what project management is really all about at the end of the day is it not?

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Tool Review – Agile Bench – Easy Agile Project Management

[Want to see the tool and not the review below? Go to www.agilebench.com]

So far The Agile Scout has reviewed several different types of Agile project management tools so far: Task Management, Priority Management, and Collaboration Management. All of these tools were fantastic in their own right and they have a particular tool-set focus and business model.

Why not combine all of those?

Yep, that’s what we were thinking.

Enter: Agile Bench, The Easiest Way to Manage Agile Projects (@agilebench)

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PMBOK for Agile? Is That Even Agile? [AgileBOK]

At a recent Agile gathering I met with an executive who had a very high interest in taking his small company (>15) to the next level. To him that meant going Agile!

Lucky for him he was in the right place. Unfortunately for him he came during a talk that was way beyond his current level of Agile understanding.

Agile meetups are great. They are a great place to learn, network, and photosynthesize Agile knowledge. But I’ve found that many of the speakers that come share very detailed and theoretical information that make the listener wonder: “How can I realistically apply these things today?”

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What’s Being Reported in Scrums – ScrumMaster Role! (Part 2/2)

Scrums, as we’ve talked about before are an integral part of Agile software development. Frankly, even if you’re not Agile, you can participate in Scrums. I suggested a little while back to a friend and CEO of a company that he start doing scrums for his development team even if they aren’t really doing anything Agile. Reason? To begin the process of disclosure and transparency to the company about what is going on so communication and collaboration can permeate the business. So far, he reports that it’s been a great step in their business!

So let’s review the purpose of the ScrumMaster:

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Scrum Alliance Amsterdam – Full Program Finally Published

The Scrum Alliance has finally posted their full program online here. It looks to be a very exciting event and we’re stoked about the keynotes, bare talks, and lighting talks, all looking very intriguing and useful for the event attendees.

There is (seemingly) still time to sign up and head on over there. It is Amsterdam after all. Flight tickets, though, may be on the pricey side.

We wish we could have joined too, but scheduling conflicts happen.

So who’s going?

Tool Review – OmmWriter Dana – Writers Rejoice!

Introducing OmmWriter Dāna from herraizsoto&co on Vimeo.

The Agile Scout has been a huge fan of the first version of OmmWriter that came out for the Mac a while ago. Now they’re back and better than ever with Dana.

Straight from them:

“OmmWriter Dana is a humble attempt to recapture what technology has snatched away from us today: our capacity to concentrate. If you are a scriptwriter, blogger, journalist, copywriter, poet or just someone who enjoys writing, welcome back to concentrating.”

See our screen captures after the jump.

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Tool Review – SikBox for Live Searching on [Your Blog]

We here at Agile Scout love tools that help people just like us: Bloggers.

Enter SikBox – Live Searching on Your Site. There isn’t much more to say about this tool other than it’s just so darn simple to use.

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What’s Being Reported in Scrums? – Give Me More Information! (Part 1/2)

Scrums can be a great opportunity for the team to disclose to others what is happening, recently, today, and what needs followup or help on. Scrums are a great way to communicate daily.

Besides scrums, many managers and even employees have a lot of reports to give, status reports and the like. The real question is, are we giving enough information in our update status reports or giving enough information to take action from during our scrums?

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Reasons to Love Agile

People love encouragement. Employees and workers need often. Developers need it more.

Inspiration for today? Lyssa Adkins video from the recent Agile2010 conference.

Words that came up included:

“Fun, efficient, productive, frequent delivery, liberating, inspiring, makes a difference, best friends in agile team, care more for product and service, innovative, enjoyable, continuous integration and deployment, way of thinking and living.”

So where are these guys getting this from? Do these words strike a chord with you or are you still stuck in a non Agile development workspace?

Maybe it’s time to make a switch. Be encouraged. You can get there!


World Congress & WCBA Conference – Track Session Speakers

We’ve logged it on our calendars and prepping our gear for the Project World & World Congress for Business Analysts coming up November 8-10th. Again, we’re excited to be the Guest Blogger for this event and have a ton of work to do to prep for it.

Make sure you check out our post on what you can expect from Agile Scout for this upcoming conference!

We’ve just about finished up our decisions on which Track Sessions we want to attend. Below is our list. Get ready!

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What is an Agile Scout? – Our Order of Agility and Law

When one thinks about a scout what comes to mind? A Boy Scout? The Scout from Team Fortress? An Army Scout? Or Russell from Pixar’s movie UP?

When one does a word association with a “scout,” what other words does one conjure up?

Personally, when I think of the word “scout,” I think of someone who is prepared, ready for action, agile and flexible, quick yet methodical, adaptive, knowledgable, pragmatic and resourceful, team player, mentor and coach, helpful, compassionate, communicative, and above all, a servant leader. Sounds a lot like our Order of Agility and Law doesn’t it? Well, let’s elaborate, shall we?

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Agile Scout – First Ever Blog Series on Agile!

We here at Agile Scout are very excited for our upcoming *Beta release. There is a lot of stuff going on and we just wish we could do it all!

With our *Beta release of the site comes some very cool stuff, including:

  1. Our new Logo
  2. Our new Character – The Agile Scout!
  3. Our first ever blog series on “The State of Agile.”

We’re really stoked about the logo and icon, but what we are even more excited about are the guest contributors for our first ever Blog Series.

Who would those guest contributors be, you may ask? Check them out with Twitter and Blog website (In no particular order):

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What is Agile Scout? – Our Manifesto

Agile Scout has been around for a short while, but evidently we’ve been making a big impact in the Agile community. From reviewing products and tools, meeting up with our tweets, having some very fun conversations with other Agile coaches, to even becoming the “most influential” project manager resource on twitter (golf clap).

But what is Agile Scout really all about?

We’ve been asked by quite a few about what we stand for and while we can simply point them to our about page sometimes it’s just easier to spell it out.

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Week in Review – Week 2 *SPIKES!

This is our 2nd week of our Week in Review series that we’ll continue to try to do every week (if time permits).

This week has been awesome.

We’ve seen massive growth and interest in what we have to say here on Agile Scout. From unique visitors to completing our two lists on Agile tools, (AGILE SCRUM TOOL LIST, KANBAN TOOL LIST) we’ve seen tremendous growth. AND! We’ve even announcing our new Agile Scout logo today!

Like it? Compliments of CrapLogo.me.

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Scrum Alliance vs Tobias Mayer

scrum alliance vs tobias mayer

“[There is a] failure of the Scrum Alliance itself to rise to the leadership challenge, and live up to its own mission to “Transform the World of Work.” – Tobias Mayer

Sometime in the mid afternoon of October 14th, Tobias Mayer let the world know about his renunciation of the Scrum Alliance, it’s business model and methods, as well as his highly-prized certifications.

Wow. What to say? After reading what Tobias Mayer recently posted on his Agile Anarchy blog we were stunned. We were sure that there would be someone out there that would post a rebuttal of some sort fairly quickly, but not yet. Maybe it’s in the 50+ comments that are at the bottom of his blog.

Since we are investigative reporters on what is going on in the Agile community it wouldn’t seem fair if we didn’t cover Tobias’ renunciation. Do we have an opinion in the matter? Well, sort of, but that isn’t for today.

What is apparent through Tobias’ post as well as other members of the Scrum community that responded on his blog was this: There is an obvious issue surrounding the way the Scrum Alliance works. Whether it is good or bad is up for discussion.

It’s an Agile anarchy world we live in is it not?

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