Blog

HealthPartners Team Wins Design Award.

Posted by on April 8, 2014 in Agile / Scrum | Comments Off on HealthPartners Team Wins Design Award.

HealthPartners Team Wins Design Award.

The team at HealthPartners was able to move from a legacy waterfall process that was not working to an award winning experience in a year – what a transformation: http://uxmag.com/articles/announcing-winners-in-the-international-design-for-experience-awards This was one of the most positive and productive teams I have worked with – well done!

read more

Should we assign points to a Chore?

Posted by on June 24, 2013 in Agile / Scrum, Agile Mechanics, Project Management | Comments Off on Should we assign points to a Chore?

Should we assign points to a Chore?

Should we assign points to a chore?  My short answer is “yes”.  I’ll explain why below. First, what is a chore? Many teams make a distinction between stories and chores in their backlog.  A story – specifically a user story – is something that the users value in the software.  A chore is something that must be done, but the user doesn’t independently value.  A couple of tests to determine if some unit of work is a story or a chore are as follows:  1.) Ask about value:  “Would the customer pay for this?”  For...

read more

Dealing with Anxiety on an Agile Project

Posted by on April 12, 2013 in Agile / Scrum | Comments Off on Dealing with Anxiety on an Agile Project

Dealing with Anxiety on an Agile Project

Anxiety can be define as: “a future-oriented mood state in which one is ready or prepared to attempt to cope with upcoming negative events” or simply as “the life of a project manager”. One of the great benefits of an agile approach is the visibility we get into the real state of the project.  Using working software to measure progress makes the progress – or lack of progress – transparent.  The transparency provided shows us the hard truth of reality – this can either help us work through our anxiety or make it...

read more

Faster Sizing – Be mindful of the time spent discussing stories.

Posted by on April 8, 2013 in Agile / Scrum, Agile Mechanics, Project Management | Comments Off on Faster Sizing – Be mindful of the time spent discussing stories.

Faster Sizing – Be mindful of the time spent discussing stories.

Estimating / Sizing exercises are vital to our ability to understand the level of effort for our project and make better decisions on everything from staffing the project team to deciding if we should cancel a project early because we are not going to meet our ROI targets.  We estimate so we can get the information we need to make those decisions and get some level of predictability on our project. Even as we recognize the value in sizing and estimating our product / project backlog – we also realize that it can be a time consuming...

read more

The new planning decks are here.

Posted by on April 1, 2013 in Agile / Scrum, Project Management | Comments Off on The new planning decks are here.

The new planning decks are here.

The new Perigee Consulting planning poker card design is in. Some teams we work with prefer t-shirt sizes and some prefer using the Fibonacci series.  In either approach, we suggest restricting the cards to 1 through 40 and add a “black dot” card for those that individuals feel they just can’t size without more discussion or breaking down the story.   Our new planning deck provides cards for both approaches.   We limit the largest size to a 40 to force the team to breakdown stories that are any larger.  We find that...

read more

Evaluating if a project is a candidate for an agile approach.

Posted by on April 1, 2013 in Agile / Scrum, Project Management | Comments Off on Evaluating if a project is a candidate for an agile approach.

Evaluating if a project is a candidate for an agile approach.

A common question we are asked is: How do we know if a project is a good candidate for an agile project approach.  To answer this question, we need to look at both the project as well as the organization and environment in which we plan to complete the project. The self-assessment survey based approach presented below is, perhaps, an overly academic approach to determining if a particular project is a good fit for an agile methodology, but we think that it provides at least one systematic and rational way to evaluate your specific situation...

read more

Getting an agile project started on the right foot.

Posted by on March 29, 2013 in Agile / Scrum, Project Management | Comments Off on Getting an agile project started on the right foot.

Getting an agile project started on the right foot.

In much of my agile coaching work, I have noticed a pattern on the agile projects that I have been brought in to evaluate and coach:  They are struggling because they didn’t get started on the right foot. In each of these situations – and when starting any new project – I advise that we pause, take a step back, and make sure the entire product / project team comes to agreement on four things: Establish alignment between the stakeholders and the project team. Definition of the initial project scope (backlog). Setting...

read more

Integrating Agile Projects with Waterfall projects

Posted by on March 26, 2013 in Agile / Scrum, Project Management | Comments Off on Integrating Agile Projects with Waterfall projects

Integrating Agile Projects with Waterfall projects

Multiple project dependencies seem to be a fact of life in large corporate IT organizations.  Using an Agile project management process does not change this fact, but there are some important things to consider in situations where different project teams – often using different project management and development process (e.g. waterfall, CMMI, RUP) – have dependencies on the output of an agile project team. A common question is how does an agile team work within a waterfall organization. I often start with the following...

read more

BA’s and UX Designers on an Agile Project

Posted by on March 19, 2013 in Agile / Scrum | Comments Off on BA’s and UX Designers on an Agile Project

BA’s and UX Designers on an Agile Project

I have run into the same questions on nearly every coaching engagement where there was a team that included Business Analysts (BA) and User Experience (UX) designers: How do we work with BA and UX specialists on an agile team? How do we avoid being ‘waterfall’ when we feel we need to do a lot of upfront work to prepare stories for development? If we have BA and UX specialists working-ahead of the development team, how do we track the work of the UX/BA resources during an agile project? I like to explain this in the context of a larger...

read more

Sizing Stories with Planning Poker

Posted by on March 14, 2013 in Agile / Scrum, Project Management | Comments Off on Sizing Stories with Planning Poker

Sizing Stories with Planning Poker

Planning Poker Planning Poker is a flavor of the Wide-band delphi estimating technique designed to get the whole team involved in estimating the size of user stories.  The estimates are done using story points – a unit-less metric for estimating things using relative size. Select a Scale There several options for selecting a sizing scale, the most common are a modified Fibonacci series and “t-shirt” sizes {XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL].  Most planning poker “card” decks use a modified Fibonacci series {0,1/2, 1, 2, 3,...

read more