I know there are more than a few Agilists who are bloggers among us and even more than enjoy taking pictures of their families, friends, their work, and maybe even their food on occasion (admit it, you do it).
In Atlanta, GA news:
Action & influence, Inc. announced today that they are hosting more Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) and Certified Product Owner (CSPO) courses in Atlanta due to increasing demand. As the only company in Georgia to have a local Certified Scrum Trainer, Peter Saddington, they want to bring even more value to the Agile community and local Atlanta companies who want to leverage Agile or Scrum to bring quicker development value to their software and services. Having a local CST gives Georgia companies a great advantage, as their employees can attend local courses without incurring the costs associated with travel. Peter Saddington is one of the 140 Certified Scrum Trainers in the world and about half of them reside in the United States. Peter Saddington is the first CST to reside in the state of Georgia. Saddington says, “Our local clients who are looking towards Agile and Scrum have greatly enjoyed having a local trainer who can service their needs without flying in another trainer from out of state. Most of our clients in Atlanta have private courses for their entire development teams and organization.”
You can quickly find local Atlanta Certified ScrumMaster classes, http://atlantascrummaster2013.eventbrite.com/and sign up as an individual, team, or company.
According to one of Action & Influence’s students, Mike Rucker, who recently took a Certified ScrumMaster course in Atlanta said, “I was very pleased to find a local group that offered such a wide choice in class days and times. It was very easy to find a class that fit within an already busy schedule.”
Other testimonials of Action & Influence, Inc. classes:
“Peter’s mastery of the subject matter coupled with his excellent presentation and communication skills made for an outstanding learning experience.” – Jim Olwine from Atlanta
“Peter REALLY did change my life. He provided such great instruction on Scrum and the duties of a ScrumMaster. He gave lots of clarity on my career direction. Great job!” – Aletha Hill from Atlanta
“VERY INSPIRING. [Peter Saddington] is one of the best instructors I have ever seen in my life.” – Parveen Yadav from Atlanta
“I can honestly say that the ScrumMaster class has changed my view on software development, and breathed welcome fresh air into some tired sails. I am genuinely looking forward to the second half of my career now, with hopes to embody in my work all that Peter laid out in the class and the skill set of a true servant leader in the technical world.” – Mike Rucker from Atlanta
Interested to know about an easy to use, No Bridge/PIN requiring conference call tool? Check out Speek[.com]!
Note: Currently they only support callers within USA.
“..there HAS to be an easy way!..”
One of the biggest challanges of being a volunteer lead on distributed virtual teams is – Communication. With various teams I volunteer with, keeping up with the calendar, conference bridges and pins is a tough task. I’ve sometimes joined the meetings late due to fiddling with the “smart phone” or used incorrect numbers..In my quest to find a FREE simple option, Somehow, I found out about http://www.speek.com/
How it works?
Speek team has pretty good video, audio help to get us started. I would recommend starting here:
In addition here are few self explanatory screen shots for your reference:
Dashboard & Bridge Info:
I’ve had calls with our PMI Atlanta volunteer team, with few agile coaches, and we all found it:
- very easy to navigate,
- Call quality was clear and
- Call Summary email after the end of call!
What can make it BETTER:
- If Speek could add a Screen/Desktop share utility in addition to file share and
- I know they already must be working on this, but making it GLOBAL!
What do agilescout readers use to keep in touch with your (distributed) teams? Were you aware of Speek before reading here? Let us know.
Are you an Agile Designer? Or just a designer looking for great resources? This webbie came up on our radar and so far I like what I’ve seen.
Now, sharing sites are a dime a dozen these days, this is nothing new. What I do like is that designers register, drop web pages or things of interest for others and they get ‘accepted’ by the community as valuable. Crowdsourcing at it’s best.
Don’t get it twisted though, this isn’t a FREE DESIGN TEMPLATE webpage. It’s more on the workflow, the process… helping a designer become more agile… or rather, able to be productive.
Worth a look.
*** Disclaimer: I am an active volunteer with PMI’s Agile Community of Practice as one of the 5 official leads. Views expressed here (and related future posts) are my own and not an endorsement by Project Management Institute ® (PMI) or Agile Community of Practice (CoP) leadership team.***
If you know me, I have been pretty active (as a volunteer, lead and contributor) in PMI + Agile space. I volunteer as:
- PMBOK® Guide 5th edition – contributor (engagement just wrapped up)
- PMI Atlanta Agile Interest group – Program Manager for Agile Interest Group
- PMI Agile CoP – Knowledge Management lead
These opportunities have allowed me to connect with lots of people – amazingly talented, some famous agilists, practitioners and gurus. There’s a common thing we all share – desire to learn coupled with the passion to share!
I have learnt a lot, have actually got hands on experience (tools, technology, principles, practices etc.), mentored a lot of people and I am still enjoying the journey!
What do we share? Knowledge. Of course about Agile, primarily.
I have seen a lot of questions that follow an agile presentation or discussion, ranging from:
- What is Agile?
- Where do I start? (There are so many places to start with)
- What is different at Agile CoP? (from other valuable sites, groups and resources)
- What does a Project Manager do in Agile projects?
- What is PMI’s – Agile Certified Professional (PMI-ACP®) certification? Is it for me?
- Whom do we trust as good training companies?
- What are good books, blogs, sites to start/continue building my knowledge about agile?
and many such questions. Continue reading “Getting back online: Agile, PMI, Volunteering and Me”
[We review Agile Tools. Have you seen our Agile Tools list?]
We’ve been looking around for another tool to review and it landed on our desk for sure.
[Enter]: SonicAgile – An Easy to Use Scrum tool in Blue
The SonicAgile folks tell us that they built SonicAgile because they wanted a lightweight and easy to learn project management tool which the developers could coordinate the work that their team performs on software projects.
SonicAgile supports the basic features that many other tools cover as well: creating backlogs, scrumboards, and burndown charts. It includes support for acceptance criteria, story estimation, calculating team velocity, and email integration.
Interested already? It’s simple. You can sign up for 30 days free. Booyah.
You use the backlog to create a prioritized list of user stories such as features, bugs, and change requests. It’s a snap, prioritize a story by just drag and dropping the story from one location to another.
Likewise, it’s easy to add stories from the product backlog to the sprint backlog:
Tracking velocity is pretty intuitive and easy as well. Try it out… and then try to overload your team. A nice addition is that when you add too many stories to a a sprint… the system warns you automatically:
If you’re running a daily Scrum everyday, you can use the Scrumboard to view at a glance what everyone on the team is working on. Below is a view of what an individual is working on in the Product Details Page:
Every story can be broken into tasks and acceptance criteria:
One caveat though, you cannot close a story — and remove the story from the list of active stories on the scrumboard — until all tasks and acceptance criteria associated with the story are done.
SonicAgile Burndown Charts
Currently, SonicAgile supports several versions of burndown reports: Release Burndown, Sprint Burndown by Task Estimates, and Sprint Burndown by Story Points charts. Below is an example of a Sprint Burndown by Story Points:
The folks over at SonicAgile tell us that their system was designed to improve your team’s communication and collaboration. Most stories and tasks require discussion to nail down exactly what work needs to be done. If your rockin’ a dispersed team, or a team that isn’t local, you can collaborate through email, right? When you use SonicAgile, all email discussions concerning a story or a task (including all email attachments) are captured automatically. At any time in the future, you can view all of the email discussion concerning a story or a task by opening the Story Details dialog:
Summary (And some Technical Details)
SonicAgile is very close to being a pure Ajax application (which I like). Looking a bit deeper we’ve found that SonicAgile was built using ASP.NET MVC 3, jQuery, and Knockout. Almost all of the MVC controller actions return JSON results. The controller actions are invoked from jQuery Ajax calls from the browser.
SonicAgile was built on Windows Azure, and the team over at SonicAgile is taking advantage of SQL Azure, Table Storage, and Blob Storage.
Going through the system, I wasn’t too disappointed with the experience. It was intuitive and pretty easy to navigate. I specifically liked the ease of the drag and drop functionality, which is a standard these days. The color scheme took a little bit getting used to though.
Since they’ve opened it up for free sign ups and 30 days of trial, it wouldn’t be a bad ride to take if you’re looking for a new tool to use. Consider dropping a couple minutes on this one, you might just find that it will work for you and your team!
[We review Agile and Scrum Tools. Have you seen our Agile and Scrum Tools List?
iDoneThis is a tool that promises to bring lightweight status reporting to every company. Its secret sauce is that it makes the process incredibly simple. It’s the easiest way that I’ve found to run a stripped down daily standup… maybe even for dispersed teams.
If anyone you know has been too intimidated to try Agile because of what appears to be complicated rules and protocols, just turn them on to iDoneThis. It attempts to capture the essence of scrum — daily iterative progress and improvement — without much of the overhead.
With iDoneThis, you aren’t going to get a product that’s loaded with features and configurability options. If you’re looking for a very specific agile product and process, iDoneThis isn’t the tool for you. iDoneThis’s is mantra is to keep it simple, and you might be surprised how powerful that is.