Top Five Books for Software Development Professionals

Code Complete Steve McConnell The foundation of your library could do worse than to start with Code Complete.  This book guides you from the basics of code convention and standards step by step through more advanced architectural comprehension.  Once you’ve read it cover to cover it will become an indispensable reference. Many coders have used Read more about Top Five Books for Software Development Professionals[…]

effective sprint planning

Most sprint planning meetings are Crap! How do I make mine great? (Part One)

Our teams break down sprint planning into two main meetings: the “What” meeting and the “How” meeting. The “What” meeting involves the product owners and stakeholders.  The “How” meeting is for the Scrum Development Team. To run a successful “What” meeting requires some preparation and sticking to some guidelines during the meeting.  Do that and Read more about Most sprint planning meetings are Crap! How do I make mine great? (Part One)[…]

What is Scrum

What is a Scrum Development Team?

Don’t limit your thinking when it comes to defining “what” a Scrum development team is.  It is not just those writing code.  It’s not just developers or programmers.  The team is everyone that moves the ball forward. Developers, testers, business analysts, scrum masters and product owners all play a role in the successful completion of Read more about What is a Scrum Development Team?[…]

How to groom user stories.

How to Groom User Stories

User stories start their lives as an unruly mess.  They often have just the briefest of descriptions, no direction and no vision for what they will be when they mature and reach the status of Done. The skilled product owner or agilist responsible for grooming these user stories takes this rough form and elaborates it Read more about How to Groom User Stories[…]

Stop Multitasking

The Terrible Cost of Multi-tasking

Very simply I want to illustrate the impact of multi-tasking.  It has an impact on value delivered as well as satisfaction from stakeholders and customers.  My very simple model consists of three features that each require three tasks that take one day per task to complete.  Once a feature is complete it will deliver $100 Read more about The Terrible Cost of Multi-tasking[…]

Capturing your backlog

Capturing a Backlog of User Stories

An effective Agile shop starts with a well groomed backlog of user stories.  This means collecting all of the user stories the organization is asking for into the backlog.  But where to start? Collecting anything is better than nothing but there are a few key data points that can really help when a user story Read more about Capturing a Backlog of User Stories[…]

Burn-down Chart Example

What is a Scrum burn-down chart?

I was first introduced to burn-down charts without knowing that’s what I was seeing.  I was attending a monthly chapter meeting of the Project Management Institute (PMI) and the guest speaker was presenting his methods for tracking and managing projects.  What he demonstrated fascinated me to the point that I contacted the Vice President of Read more about What is a Scrum burn-down chart?[…]

Article Recommendation: What are Story Points? By Mike Cohn

Mike Cohn has a great introduction to the concept of story points and how to think about them on his blog at It is a brief introduction that gives a definition of story points, what factors go into determining story points, and how they should be used in relative estimation of effort. The article provides Read more about Article Recommendation: What are Story Points? By Mike Cohn[…]

What is Scrum

Scrum Meaning – What is the definition of Scrum?

The Short Version Scrum is an agile methodology primarily focused on the delivery of software that increases the value of a product or organization. The Long Version Scrum breaks the mold of traditional waterfall development of software systems.  In waterfall every step was monolithic and one directional.  You worked and worked and worked on a Read more about Scrum Meaning – What is the definition of Scrum?[…]