Why Kafka needs to be one of your scrum team members

pmScum BlogpostThe agile world and Scrum are promoting the fact to make everything on project clear & visible. Hence that is why the taskboards, post-it, red impediment stickers were invented. And they do their job very well. However in our project a lot of other things emerged that required visibility to the project team and it’s stakeholders. That is how our project room wall evolved from a wall with a taskboard to … The Wall of Truth!


6 tips to start with Scrum and Agile on big multi-million $ projects (part 2 of 2)

 pmScum BlogpostLast week we posted part 1 of this testimonial.
Read that first to get a good introduction. We already covered:

1. Identify the product owner
2. Assemble the product backlog
3. Identify the team (or teams in our case)

6 tips to start with Scrum and Agile on big multi-million $ projects (part 1)

pmScum BlogpostWe have a new customer  - with about +/- 10.000 employees - that wants to validate Scrum as an alternative to the traditional approach.

Our advise: 'Start with a pilot project to discover how this can be done'. Our question: 'What are the organizational impediments potentially hindering the roll-out of Scrum?'

Enthralling Einstein (part 1)

pmScum BlogpostEinstein was a Scrum pioneer.
Look at his quotes and see how they all included messages from the Agile Manifesto or Scrum process & philosophy

“I never teach my pupils. I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.”

This quote relates to self-managed teams and empowered individuals. People tend to learn more when they discover things themselves instead of being dictated on how to do or interpret something.

And a self managed team is one of the cornerstones of the Scrum framework. In more traditional environments there is usually a clear chain of command in which:

  • Top management defines the Why & What (mission, objectives)
  • The middle management then decides Who of their team will do it and by When it will be ready. (projects, tasks)
  • Typically middle management also tells their team How to do it; or corporate rules prescribe How things should be done (guidelines, procedures)

The benefits of outsourced Scrum projects

pmScum BlogpostThis post is the third and final post in a series of three about Scrum in offshore projects.

In the first post, we explained some of our experiences in setting up a Scrum project with an off-shore team. 
second post detailed how to setup contractual agreements with suppliers in an off-shore Scrum project.

In this post we explain our view on why combining Scrum with off-shoring can be beneficial for your project.

What do you need to know to set up a contractual agreement for an outsourced Scrum project?

pmScum BlogpostThis post is the second post in a series of three about Scrum in off-shore projects.

In the previous postwe explained some of our experiences in setting up a Scrum project with an off-shore team. In this post, we explain the contractual implications. 

The next hurdle to take is to define the type of contract with off-shores. This is always a difficult exercise. You need a right balance of risk distribution between customer and supplier. Often you will have to go with fixed price agreements. There are two main options (both with pro’s and con’s):

The holy grail of agile acceptance testing

pmScum BlogpostI went to an Agile Acceptance Testing seminar last week.
The program of the seminar was announced as follows: 

“Agile Acceptance Testing is a technique for closing the communication gap between business, developers and testers. A way to write specifications as examples which become executable. The specification are created together in a workshop and not handed over like traditional requirements”

To me, this is an ambitious goal. And I am happy to say that the seminar demonstrated successfully that frameworks exist to help teams succeed in reaching this goal.

Full Management, follow-up & consolidation for scrum teams

pmScum BlogpostScrum is a lightweight software development methodology. Functionality is delivered in iterative cycles with short and immediate feedback. pmScrum is a collaboration solution. It gives teams and their customers immediate and transparent visibility. pmScrum’s hierarchical structure links sprints and stories. It tracks work, assignments and consolidation in one, comprehensive overview.

The link between Mexican cement mixers, ugly fruit and scrum

pmScum BlogpostIt was a drizzling morning.

The ancient heart of Ghent was hidden in a medieval building site full of mud and dirty water.
Normally, I don't care much, but now I just had to be there.
In the NH-hotel , a course for Certified ScrumMasters was organized. And I enrolled, together with two colleagues.
A rapid consultation yesterday on the Agilar-site learned us that the teacher would be a certain Tobias Mayer,  a lot of nose with a bonnet on his head.

The future of IT is wearing a Peruvian bonnet. Bugger.
He was assisted by Xavier Quesada and that's a guy we know. We've been in projects together and even as we speak, we are involved in one giant project at a Telecom-operator.
Tobias and Xavier.  It could have been worse. Let's give them a chance.