Using narrative to explain technical work

As a ScrumMaster one of the tasks I’ve found hardest in the past is helping my team in making a case for technical tasks, and then after they’ve done the work helping them present the results & benefits of technical work to stakeholders. I’ve also sometimes felt like there must be a more engaging way to clearly explain to people outside the team how we’re: constantly trying new things, changing the way we work, and changing the way we deploy code.

Last week I found a really interesting slide deck from Martin Fowler & Thoughtworks on the The Architecture of Morrisons OrderPad amongst the 50 odd tabs I perpetually have open, I think it’s brilliant.

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Scrum, BDD and Cynefin

Over the last few months my team have been using BDD in our scrum. We have been trying to appreciate the full “conversation” sense as well as defining scenarios for automation. We’re getting a lot of value from 3 amigos sessions in the sprint and have found that this has increased communication and collaboration,  as well as assuaging the fear of under refining stories up front.

Liz Keogh posted today about BDD and Cynefin. I thought the practical advice and application was interesting.

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Agile delivery when replacing legacy systems

Martin Fowler reposted a good blog post on Strangler Applications a couple of days ago: Strangler Application.

This is a practice of replacing legacy platforms peice by peice rather than all at once in a rewrite. His discussion centers around using this method to in order to mitigate risk, which is of course a massive advantage.

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Facilitating a Backlog Creation Workshop

As part of our Sprint 0 tasks my team decided to hold a product backlog creation workshop. This is something often mentioned in agile and Scrum guides, but not really defined anywhere. I’ve used most of the the tools I pulled together separately before, but I’d never used all these tools set up in a workshop this way.

I started by setting the goals of the workshop and running through the agenda which I had on cards up on the wall with timings on (where I knew them). Continue reading “Facilitating a Backlog Creation Workshop”