Achievements: An Agile Whitepaper

An Agile Whitepaper: Achievements

By, Renee Troughton

CELEBRATE WITH YOUR TEAM ACHIEVEMENTS

Abstract: Agile Achievements can be used to track and celebrate both individual and team behaviors in adopting Agile values, principles and practices.

Gaddie Pitch: You know how most teams find it difficult to know what they have to do when developing in an Agile environment?

Well what Achievements does is help to give clear goals about the expected behaviors for teams and individuals.

In fact Achievements can be fun and re-direct the focus away from the Scrum Master or Agile Coach to enable the team to encourage better Agile behaviors.

What is an Achievement?

Continue reading “Achievements: An Agile Whitepaper”

Virtual Scrum – Scrum Wing 3D – Open Source Agile Tool

Scrum Wing 3D (SW3D) is an open-source Scrum project management tool, implemented using the Open Cobalt platform, a virtual space browser and toolkit. The idea of using Open Cobalt to develop SW3D comes from the author’s vision of combining the immersive training concept along with the Scrum framework.

The SW3D User Experience

Every day, the Scrum team members start Open Cobalt and join the Scrum Master‘s virtual space to hold the stand-up daily meeting, in order to review the sprint progress, what is done, what is the plan for the day and address open impediments.

Instead of being physically together, every team member sends her-his avatar to the shared virtual space to collectively manage user stories, plan a new sprint or update the sprint backlog. This is not a game: your avatar becomes your deputy into a highly-collaborative, 3D, sound-enabled, server-less workplace.

What SW3D is not?

SW3D is not a web application: SW3D installs software components on your machine and as such, administrator privileges should be granted to users if they are not computer’s owner where you want SW3D to run. There is no need for any server. Artifacts are stored on binary files, so no database is needed. Everything goes into a single folder, so it is very easy to setup and remove.

Which Scrum artifacts are delivered with Scrum Wing 3D alpha edition?

  • The capacity planner: including team member name, role, email and time availability.
  • The product backlog.
  • The sprint backlog: used for tasking estimates and daily sprint meetings.
  • The sprint summary and burn-down chart.
  • No taskboard is yet delivered. All artifacts are loaded with dummy data sets so you can browse a fictional project without spending time with manual input while evaluating this tool for the first time.

Sounds pretty tight to me. I covered some other ideas around using virtual reality for Scrum.

Viable?

[VIA: ScrumWing]

An Agile Virtual Office? Beam Me Up, Brody! – Sococo Virtual Collaboration

HOW TO WORK REMOTELY WITHOUT BEING ISOLATED

If you really work alone, without collaborators, then you can skip the rest of this post. It probably won’t matter much to you.

I value agile collaboration. I work with others, at various times and places. If you do, too, then please continue reading…

When you can’t be in the same room or building with your team and others, how can you work together?  Sococo Team Space!  That’s how. You can be remote…yet visibly present and connected…very much so!

Sococo, where were you when I needed you?

I spent most of my past three years working remotely…

I was a full-time member of an awesome organization (NASA), staffed with amazing people (engineers and, yes, rocket scientists!) who engaged in plenty of collaboration around the work (Independent Verification & Validation). I was hired to work from home, with travel as needed to various locations.

To be sure, we made good use–heavy use–of our phones, conference lines, screen sharing apps, content management systems, file sharing, secure virtual private network, messaging and email. That technology stack was good enough that some people would “dial in” to a meeting from the same building! If you are working from a wheelchair, you already know how valuable that technology can be, especially on a hilly, ice-and-snow-covered campus of several buildings! (West Virginia is known as “The Mountaineer State” for good reason!) Continue reading “An Agile Virtual Office? Beam Me Up, Brody! – Sococo Virtual Collaboration”

[Review] – Mike Cohn’s eLearning Agile Videos

Online Agile Videos

Mike Cohn recently announced that he’s providing a kick butt online eLearning tool to learn all about Agile. I reached out to him to see what it’s all about and we kicked a few emails back and forth. Regardless, I went ahead and got my hands on it. That’s what AgileScout is here for: Do the heavy lifting for you 🙂.

[Mountain Goat Software Online eLearning Agile Course] LINK

With so many Universities doing online learning these days, wouldn’t it be about time for Agile and Scrum Trainers to start offering online training tools? You’betcha. Who better to do it than Mike?

Here are my thoughts and experiences after a full 3.5 hours and taking all 9 of the tests:

Agile Topics Covered

  • Introduction
  • The Problem
  • Iteration Planning
  • Story Points & Ideal Days
  • Estimating the Product Backlog
  • Release Planning
  • Other Topics
  • Conclusion
I was captivated by the introduction video of a goat running around. Fantastic!

Review of Course Presentation Continue reading “[Review] – Mike Cohn’s eLearning Agile Videos”

[Tool] – Riviera – Record with Skype!

A miscellaneous tool for this Friday, but I think a really useful one.*WINDOWS ONLY* Sorry all you Mac users…

If you do a lot of calling, or teleconferencing, or interviewing using Skype, then this can totally help you when you need to record and take notes.

[Enter]: Riviera for Skype

Why You May Need a Skype Recorder:

  • Help your business
  • Protect your reputation
  • Record interviews, tech talks, conferences, audio casts, pod casts for learning later, etc.

Features:

  • Automatic and manual Skype call recording
  • Records Skype calls of any type: Skype-to-Skype calls, SkypeIn / SkypeOut, Conference calls, calls to cells, etc.
  • Records Skype calls of any length
  • Recordings are stored in separate MP3 file
  • No functional limitations in free trial version. Only 14-day trial period
  • Skype Video Recording (soon)
  • Built-in MP3 player for playing recordings
  • Very easy to use – starts working immediately after launching, no configuration required
  • Free support and advice
  • Free lifetime updates and upgrades
  • Ideal for recording interviews, conferences, podcasts
  • System requirements: Windows XP/2000/2003/Vista/Windows 7

Book: DRiVE – Daniel H. Pink Quotes

There are some books that just glue you to the seat. The best books, you keep just an arm’s length away so you can read, re-read, and continually think about and marinate on. DRiVE, by Dan Pink is one of those books.

I’ve read this book a total of 4 times now, and this past time I really wanted to make sure I not only highlighted parts I missed before, but to take notes on them. I thought I’d share some of my favorite quotes from the book (and hope it’s not some copy write issues…) Please! I meant no harm, this book just kicks booty!

How this book applies to my work as an Agile Coach is that it helps me better consider how teams, companies, organizations, and systems all work together. It is, after all, people who build software, not technology. The better we understand, empathize, and motivate people correctly, the better products and services will be.

I would highly suggest any organizational change agent, consultant, or coach to read this book. It will considerably change the way you work with people… or… at least, consider them.

My Favorite Quotes from “DRiVE” by Dan Pink

[Caveat to these quotes: Without some context, some of the quotes lack the BOOM they could have. You just have to go out and buy the book 🙂]

“The performance of the task, provides the intrinsic reward… The joy of the task is its own reward.” – On Motivation Theory from Harlow [Page 3]

“Human beings have an inherent tendency to seek out novelty and challenges, to extend an exercise their capacities, to explore, and to learn.” – On Motivation Theory from Deci [Page 8]

“The underlying assumption about human behavior was simple and true (50,000 years ago). We were trying to survive.” – On Motivation 1.0 [Page 16]

“That first drive (Motivation 1.0) didn’t fully account for who we are. We also had a second drive – to seek rewards and avoid punishment more broadly.” – On Motivation 2.0 [Page 16]

“Economics isn’t the study of money. It is the study of behavior. We are constantly figuring the cost and benefits of our actions and then deciding how to act.” – [Page 24]

“People are irrational – and predictably so.” – Dan Ariely [Page 25] Continue reading “Book: DRiVE – Daniel H. Pink Quotes”

[Tool Review] – Impediment Monkey – Get Those Blockers Off Your Back

Just released: A brand spanking new tool called Impediment Monkey.

Essentially, this tool is a simple way to track bugs, impediments, issues, blockers, or monkeys on your back… what ever you call them! If you’re using Scrum, Kanban, Lean or other methods that support continuous improvement, Impediment Monkey helps you make improvements faster.

Impediment Monkey takes in, notifies, helps in resolving and makes bashing impediments exciting and objective. Additionally, Impediment Monkey lets you assign, follow up, chart trends and even provides expert services to support your impediment bashing efforts.

A pretty simple popup comes up when you want to report an impediment.

If you need to add a note, simple. Add a note!

And… that’s pretty much it for now. They’re looking to continue to improve this over time, so feel free to drop them a note as to how to improve it. So far, it’s simple and light. It may just be what you need… for your own team or your personal life! Continue reading “[Tool Review] – Impediment Monkey – Get Those Blockers Off Your Back”