How to play the Team Estimation Game

The Team Estimation Game is the best technique we have found to get a scrum team up-and-running with useful estimates. It plays like a game, but it accomplishes valuable work: assigning story point estimates to user stories. Teams using this technique are typically able to estimate 20 to 60 stories in an hour. The game […]
Also posted in games, scrum | 18 Comments

The best example of teamwork ever recorded?

Seriously, this video (via David Chilcott, via Mitchell Levy) makes me think: I want to do this with people some day. It may be in software, or it may be in publishing, it may be in basket weaving (it certainly won’t be in guitar playing or singing), but I want to be one of these […]
Also posted in ha ha funny | Leave a comment

Want a smart team? Make sure it gets the recommended daily allowance of estrogen

A team without a woman is like a bicycle with… some fish? So it would seem, according to Grace Nasri, who writes in the HuffPo about the gender gap in tech from an interesting perspective. She got my attention with a 2011 HBR story profiling research by Anita Wooley and Thomas Malone showing that the […]
Also posted in agile, hiring, startups | Leave a comment

Hello Chase, Goodbye David: A change at Agile Learning Labs

Our friend and colleague David Parker is leaving Agile Learning Labs’ staff. He has received a much better offer–and one we can’t possibly counter–that of stay at home dad to Chase Kamran Parker-Katiraee, who assumed his post of infant-in-chief earlier this week. We predict a fair bit of wrangling over just who is the customer […]
Also posted in hiring | 2 Comments

Meet the Agile Learning Labs sales team!

We’ve had a particularly busy month here at Agile Learning Labs–the phone is ringing off the hook, so to speak, and our sales and biz dev team has been very, um, agile. As in light on their feet. We thought they might need a good laugh, so this is a thank you to Steve and […]
Also posted in ha ha funny | Leave a comment

How Can Our Scrum Team Improve Product Quality?

XZ, a participant in a public Certified ScrumMaster workshop that I gave in Beijing last week, asked me how his scrum team could improve their software product’s quality. I thought that the answer would be of general interest, so here it is. Hi Chris, Thank you for giving us the certified scrum master training last […]
Also posted in agile, scrum, software, test driven development | 5 Comments

5 Reasons Scrum Helps Teams Become High-Performing Faster

Scrum Masters and Product Owners know how hard it is to get their team to become high-performing. They can rest assured that they’re on the right track. Scrum helps teams become high-performing faster than other work methods. The reason is simple. Becoming high-performing is baked into the Scrum recipe. In my experience coaching agile teams, […]
Also posted in agile, coaching, project management, scrum | 4 Comments

Agile in California with QA in China?

After visiting a start-up that is adopting scrum, I received the following email from “B” and I’d like to share the answer here. As you will see, they are trying to be more agile, and wondering how to deal with their remote quality assurance team. Hi, Chris, Great agile session today and I learned a […]
Also posted in agile, scrum | Leave a comment

What’s an Agile Paycheck Look Like? A glimpse into Agile Learning Labs’ new compensation model

What kind of agile training company would we be if we didn’t try to build our company from the ground up using agile methods for everything from team decision making to hiring to how we pay ourselves? Here’s how we arrived at a radical new way of paying ourselves. (Hint: if you’ve seen the heist […]
Also posted in agile, startups, work | 4 Comments

Performance Review Pain Review – The Agile Way

Take a piece of yellow paper, a slice of pizza, and a couple of guys with clipboards – and what do you have? Last week – it was the latest gathering of the North Bay Agile Meetup group. The topic was “Performance Review Pain Relief.” So what would you do with that piece of paper […]
Also posted in agile, coaching | 2 Comments