Agile and Lean. Methods and Methodology

(Daniel Hollands) #22

Cool, I’ve just joined.

(Andy Wootton) #23

I think there is an Agile group in Cov too and I’ve been to a couple of (also Lean) meetings at Stafford campus of Staffs University.

@Steve_Pitchford I particularly dislike “Master” when we are trying to encourage more women to work in ‘Information Systems’ and “Sprint” for work at a sustainable pace. I know they were trying to put clear water between Scrum and traditional project management but “Iteration” seems much clearer to me.

I’ve worked as a consultant, had some great advice from one or two but been the unwilling victim of several. My problem with consultants is often with the middle-manager who doesn’t have sufficient knowledge to evaluate the skills of in-house staff, so employs someone who knows less than them to advise them; wasting money, their time and lowering moral - usually for one of several nefarious political reasons.

@LimeBlast I’d be happy to get involved in a session for people who just want an over-view, in a few weeks time. Trying to explain something to someone else is always a good way of finding out how much you really understand.

(Daniel Hollands) #24

Sounds like an excellent notion, thank you. Anyone else fancy coming in on this?

(Daniel Hollands) #25

I don’t remember exactly how I managed this, but O’Reilly have given me a free copy of Learning Agile.

Has anyone read this, and is it worth the 400-pages of stuff that I’m probably not going to understand?

(Annoyingly, the 120-odd MB file size of the .mobi means I can’t email it to my Kindle, meaning I’ll have to manually copy it across like a caveman - seriously, even the PDF copy of the book has a smaller file size than this).

"AGILE must be destroyed, once and for all"
(Steve Pitchford) #26

I would love to - I gave a introductory level talk to product ownership at Birmignham Perl Mongers before christmas, and would happily dust off the notes ( )


My wife is due at the end of january, so my current availability is questionable.

(Steve Pitchford) #27

@Woo - the subtle genderisation of “Master” had escaped me - so thanks for bringing it to my attention. I’ll have to go see if there is a forum associated with the scrum alliance where I can raise it.

With regard to sprint vs iteration - I’m not so sure. One of the issues I’ve seen for some developers when trying to shift from feature based targets to timescale based targets is their failure to treat the end of sprint as a virtual release point - they just see the start of the next “iteration” as a carry on point from the previous “iteration” - “sprint” - to me at least captures the sense of some sort of “finish line” at the end of every two week, or four week cycle of development.

(Nore Gabbidon) #28

I’ll join you on this too. Sounds interesting and it would benefit me a

(Andy Wootton) #29

It’s a Scrum term so you’d probably be best directing comments right to the guys. They’ve refined the Guide before

They might argue that it is analogous to “Master builder”: someone with mastery of a craft process and I can see their problem with finding a better term. “Scrum Mistress” doesn’t work.

Interesting. I think of ‘Gandtt Chart PM’ as time-target driven (blind with no meaningful feedback) and Scrum as story-led with constant progress-tracking against time estimate. I had some very good developers who were working with a web framework they knew well so there weren’t too many surprises. I think very small units of work push you towards safety too. If you have to admit that you don’t know how long it will take to evaluate tech then you put that work off to slack days between Sprints. You’d push on in a PMed project and blame the tech for the delay. WIth a bit of cunning you could probably catch up on some other stuff you’d already claimed was finished, under pressure to meet a deadline.

(Daniel Hollands) #30

Oh I don’t know, I’ve often wanted a Scrum Mistress :wink:

/me should stop lowering the tone

(Andy Wootton) #31

Yes. [Very stern look] I shouldn’t have said it either.

When my daughter was at school I got interested in the ‘Women In Science and Engineering’ scheme and why so many women were leaving “IT”. It was about 45% in Computer Science when I was at university. I wondered if it was my fault. Looking at the ‘Weekly’ badge, I can only see man faces. I’m told that that can be intimidating and discouraging for a lone woman so I’m trying very hard not to be a Bro (easy for me, most blokes think I’m a girl, despite the beard.)

(Steve Pitchford) #32

Thanks for the suggestion - though I’m sure someone would have suggested similar before, so I was going to do some research in other, relevant “fora” ( or whatever the plural of forum is ) prior to submitting a proposal, and possibly seek to build a little momentum rather than just run up against a knee jerk response.

The issue I see with “Scrum Master” is that it lends it’s self to the question “What does HE do” rather than “what do they do” - in addition to it’s historic basis, “Master Builder” has the words reversed and is so much clearer, so I don’t believe the terms are comparable.

(Andy Wootton) #33

Someone on LinkedIn recommended this video of Agile/Lean at scale in Spotify. I found it very interesting.

There’s also a Part 2 that I haven’t watched yet

Code reviewing for web app
(Andy Wootton) #34

They moved to “Scrum Coach”.

(Daniel Hollands) #35

(Andy Wootton) #36

That is like many of the discussions I see on LinkedIn, “We aren’t doing Scrum properly and it just isn’t working!”

(Andy Wootton) #37

I just came across a great old quotation, ironically, it was on a Project Management blog post:

“How does a project get to be a year late? One day at a time.” - Fred Brooks

How does work get done? Also one day at a time. It’s much easier to deliver on small promises.

I found this diagram of some of the practices that may or may not exist in the thing we call Agile (and at least one from Lean.)

As an analyst, I’d like UML to be in ‘Analysis’ as well as ‘Design’ but it seems a good set of lists.

(Andy Wootton) #38

I wrote a blog post today but it wasn’t much more than links to posts at

One is the best description I’ve read of the relationship between Agile & Lean.

At Agile Staffs, @paulspencerwilliams talked about Lean but said he wasn’t sure why they abandoned Scrum. I think she explains that really well too.

(Andy Wootton) #39

In the last couple of days there was a reference to ‘Hypothesis Driven Development’ on LinkedIn - a name which fits very well with my current view of agility, and someone posted this on Design Thinking which fits too.

I think Agility is about using the scientific method and experiments to discover the ‘Real’ requirements, while simultaneously incrementally designing a solution, within a single feedback loop.

I note that IBM are using the infinity symbol to represent this ‘nice little earner’. I remember my first meeting with an IBM salesman. He asked me what our budget was. I told him we were looking for best value. I haven’t changed much, really.

Wow, they actually say it: “Stay essential by treating everything as a prototype.” Neither have they, apparently :smiley:

(Andy Wootton) #40

Another thing from LinkedIn. A suggestion that Scrum came out of the MIT AI/Robotics lab and uses ideas from