Agile

What Makes A Scrum Master

trainerComing into the Agile world, we not only encounter new rules and practices, but also gain new roles to enforce them. Some of them are quite clear, like being a team member and completing tasks to add incremental value to the process. Others are a little less self-explanatory and require a deeper understanding and training in Agile. One of the most misunderstood roles is the one of a Scrum Master. While this is one of the most important ones for the Scrum team, it often gets neglected or reduced due to the lack of knowledge and experience. So what should a Scrum master be? Let’s see.

Scrum Master is defined as a person who is accountable for removing impediments to the ability of the team to deliver the product goals and deliverables. In other words, it is not about being a traditional team leader, but more about being a guide for the team to navigate difficulties and achieve success. It is in fact because the Scrum Masters role is hardly found within any other project management approaches rather than Agile, that it makes it difficult to understand and easy to misinterpret by those new to the approach.

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Agile – Have We Forgotten The User?

Product testing

We all know Agile as a rapid, adaptable and user centric approach. It helps companies build products that the customers actually like and do it in a smaller amount of time compared to the other methodologies. However, could it be that in the team-client circle we have somehow managed to actually forget the user and drive off path? Let’s find out!

Agile is built in a way that the project team gets reassured of their direction after each iteration. The project planning is done based on client preferences and each cycle ends with a review meeting for the clients to evaluate the work. Therefore the team has multiple triggers built in the system to keep them on track and delivering value.

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2016 In Review – Which PM Tools Did You Use

Header-statsWhile 2016 is over and we are well into the 2017 there is still one more thing to do before we completely move on. That is reflection upon how have you used Eylean Board in 2016, what trends did you follow and how will that likely change in the future. So before any further ado, let’s review!

5-marketsCountry Of Origin

2016 has only changed the top 5 of our customer markets a little bit. In the first place we have the United States with 24.70%, followed closely by European markets – Germany at 24.48% and United Kingdom at 24.17%. Since our international client base is increasing, our home court user base is getting relatively smaller with 16.43% and the fourth place, while the fifth place is taken by Denmark with 10.75%. It is clear that there has been some movement in the top 5 markets where Eylean Board is used, the trend of strong western markets remains for now.

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The Best Agile Articles Of 2016 (Part 2)

BEST-OF

This is the second part of the favorite Eylean articles of 2016. The top 5 brings us back to the beginning of Agile application, a lot of great advice on how to make sure you succeed as well and a nice example that it is not for software developers alone.

Keep on reading to find out more!

 

5th place – Choose The Right Agile Method

Agile methodologies might seem tricky, especially if you are choosing one for the first time. See what the key differences between the different options are and choose the right one based on the type of work you do.

Choose-Agile-method for posting

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The Best Agile Articles Of 2016 (Part 1)

BEST-OF

As the holiday season and the New Year approach, I wanted to take some time and review your favorite Agile articles of 2016. Maybe you’ve read them all already or maybe there is still something new and exciting to learn.

Without any further ado lets dive in.

 

10th place – Top 5 Most interesting Scrumban Boards

Learn all about the creative and clever ways to organize your Scrumban boards. These teams are certainly doing it right.

Source: Drew

Source: Drew

 

9th place – The Ultimate Agile Guide

The inside look into the way Agile functions, how to choose the right approach and not to fail during the first week. Enjoy the tips & tricks gathered from our experience.

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8th place – Agile Hierarchy – How Are The Methods Related?

Ever wondered how all of the Agile methods relate to each other? From which method, did another evolve? We have all of your answers in one nice Agile family tree.

Agile-Hierarchy for posting

 

7th place – Transitioning to Agile: Running Effective Meetings

When transitioning to Agile it may be difficult to grasp what counts as an effective meeting. Instead of wondering if you are doing a good job, take a look here and know for sure.

Startup Stock Photos

 

6th place – The SAFe Way To Scale Agile

Is your company ready to move Agile from small teams and into the company mindset? Learn all about scaling Agile with the SAFe method and see if it could be a solution for you.

SAF'e

To be continued with the top 5 articles next week – keep on reading the year is not over yet!

 

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Using MoSCoW in Agile to Prioritize Better

MoSCoW

One of the key ideas in Agile is prioritization – a team needs to understand which features must be done and which can be left behind in order to produce the best result. However, the concept can be quite difficult to grasp when moving from a different project management approach. A prioritization technique called MoSCoW brings great help and clarity in such cases.

First used with Dynamic Systems Development Method, MoSCoW is a technique developed by Dai Clegg. The sole purpose of this prioritization approach is to help understand the importance that the stakeholders put on each of the features and requirements they pose. Thus being able to focus on the exact most important ones first and tacking on the rest only if the team has time left.

The technique requires to divide all of the features into four categories – Must, Should, Could and Won’t. Thus forming the MSCW acronym from which the name MoSCoW appears. In order to know which of the features are crucial, the team has to categorize them into the four groups.

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Agile For Legal Teams – Are There Any Benefits?

legal

It is long past the days where Agile was only about software development and coding. We now have financial, marketing, sales and many other teams successfully adopting the practices in their day to day activities. However, there are some more specific industries that still doubt the benefits and use of Agile in their line of work. One of such cases is the legal industry and those in it often wonder – are there really no benefits of having an Agile process?

Before answering this question, let’s talk about the Agile process adoption in the legal field overall. While some of you might be questioning the application possibility, there is no doubt that Agile could be fitted into the process. Legal firms would be able to treat their clients as projects and gather their needs as user stories which would later be broken up into tasks and performed over a series of iterations.

As we have seen from applications in other fields, some changes to the methodology might need to be made, but in general there is no question that legal teams would be able to use the Agile process. However, just being able to do something doesn’t mean that you would actually benefit from it. So let’s see why would the legal companies actually consider switching to Agile project management.

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Becoming A True Agile Leader

leader

As the world keeps talking about the results of the US presidential election, I thought there could be no better time to talk about leadership. However, this blog is not about politics and is not about to become one. Instead, I am taking a look into what it means to be a leader in the Agile community and what does the term Agile leadership actually stands for.

Want to know more? Here is your chance.

Contrary to most terms, there is no one clear definition of what Agile leadership is. In fact, some even argue that this concept on its own is foul and should not even be discussed. While it is natural that Agile community rejects the idea of a traditional leader making orders at a Scrum team, it is important to understand that the concept of Agile leadership is quite different from this traditional one.

The concept of Agile leadership was not created to rule the team or the process, but instead to make the said process run more smoothly. While any small team is perfectly capable of getting customer requirements, prioritizing and dividing tasks and presenting the results to the client, as Agile grows the organization is becoming more and more difficult. Larger companies are stepping into the Agile game and the industry is moving away from one team companies and one project teams, therefore an undeniable need for clear goals and inter-team organization appears. This is where Agile leadership comes in.

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Getting Things Done with Kanban

Startup Stock PhotosWe all strive to be the most effective in both our professional and business lives and there are plenty of ways to get there. To do lists, sticky notes, a constant flow of e-mails as well as methods to reduce our stress levels and increase productivity. Getting Things Done is a method that does just that and aims to create a work pace that frees up the mind and lets you focus on what is actually important instead of just being stressed. And while the original GTD talks about a filing system and physical lists, it is hard to miss the similarities to Kanban approach and wonder if it could enhance this process.

Getting Things Done or GTD is a concept introduced by David Allen in the early 2000s. In his quest to minimize the stress levels created by the constant flow of work, projects and emails, Allen developed a system to get us concentrated on just one thing at a time instead of keeping a running tab of things to do. To achieve this, he suggests one simple thing – taking the tasks out of your head and writing them down.

Most of the stress in our lives comes from uncertainty of the outcome and having a running list of things to do in our heads is the epithamy of that. Therefore GTD says you should get rid of that and instead write all of your tasks down, understand the desired outcome and then write down the next step that is going to help you achieve the end goal. This way, you can focus on one thing at a time, while knowing nothing will be forgotten.

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Millennials In Your Team

millennials

When it comes down to a team, we want one that does a great job, works together well and is motivated to stay on. While it is relatively easy to ensure the first two, keeping everyone motivated has always been a tough one and is becoming even tougher these days. As millennials take over the workforce, it is evident that earning their loyalty is quite a different process than it was before. So will millennials become a productive part of your team or will they move on even before you can sense something’s wrong?

We all have some idea about the standard millennial – they are inconsistent, disloyal and ready to bolt as soon as something better comes along. So what should you as a manager do to make sure your team does not fall apart every few months? Well first we need some clear data about what makes a millennial tick and luckily, Deloitte has already done the job for us.

According to their Millennial Survey 2016, 66% of millennials surveyed are expecting to leave their organization by 2020. While this is expected, realizing that 2/3 of the workforce is planning on leaving is still unsettling. Most of us would certainly like to avoid that fate. So let’s see why exactly this generation is willing to do so.

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