Agile, Improvement, Leadership, Opinion, Sprint Planning

The Perils of Swarming

I've been hearing a lot lately about 'swarming', especially in regards to getting things over the line. This often seems to be in the context of a sprint end, or some other self-imposed deadline, with a request for developers to swarm on a small set of stories or tasks that have not been completed on… Continue reading The Perils of Swarming

Agile, Communication, Scrum, Sprint Planning, Visual Thinking

A Visual Guide to Sprint Planning

A simple, visual guide, to how I approach sprint planning and the following tracking sessions. Interestingly, I had a conversation with a couple of people about how tasks should or should not have an owner, especially in newer Scrum teams. I’m firmly on the side of tasks being owned regardless of the maturity of the… Continue reading A Visual Guide to Sprint Planning

Diversity, Women in Tech

Me(n) and Women In Tech

Today I joined Capital One’s Women in Tech work group. Well, I joined before Christmas, but today was the first session of the new year that I was part of. I’ve mentioned it to a couple of people, and I’ve pretty much gotten the same look, which pretty much says Ummm, you’re not a woman… Since… Continue reading Me(n) and Women In Tech

Agile, Scrum, User Stories, User Story Mapping

User Story Mapping

In a previous post I made clear my dislike for User Stories, and how there are fundamental problems with them that make them unfit for defining and tracking a projects development. I ended that post with the line… There have been some very good attempts to work around some of the issues with User Stories,… Continue reading User Story Mapping

Agile, Communication, Improvement, Meetings, Scrum

Use Daily Stand Ups to Frame and Track Your Intent Every Day

I’ve written before about why daily stand ups generally don’t work, but I wanted to offer just a small change that will see a big impact on the effectiveness of the stand up far beyond the 10 minutes you spend talking about your work. Usually, you answer three questions What did I do yesterday What… Continue reading Use Daily Stand Ups to Frame and Track Your Intent Every Day

Interviews, Recruitment

Don’t Bother Interviewing Anyone. Ever.

My last post was How I Interview People and now I’m telling you not to even bother interviewing people. Mixed messages? Bear with me. Over the last 12 months I’ve probably averaged a new hire every month. Sometimes we hired two or three people a month, sometimes less, but given that hire rate, it’s clear… Continue reading Don’t Bother Interviewing Anyone. Ever.

Interviews, Recruitment

How I Interview People

No one has the perfect interview technique. That one true method that finds the diamond in the rough, never fails and always pulls everything you need to know without resorting to ‘impress me’ questions simply does not exist. A lot of companies think they’ve nailed it, but they haven’t as it’s not something you can… Continue reading How I Interview People

Agile, Opinion, Scrum, User Stories

User Stories are Broken

There comes a time when something is so ubiquitous that is starts to lose it’s original purpose. This usually happens when a process or method reaches critical mass, is often ‘standardised’ and everyone you speak to utters something along the lines of “ah yeah, that…”. Scrum is a perfect large scale example of this, but… Continue reading User Stories are Broken

Agile, Conference

Agile Manchester 2016 – Session Notes

I went to Agile Manchester last week, an absolutly great event that I'd recommend to anyone. As usual, I made a shed load of notes that probably only make sense to me, but thought I would share them here so people get a flavour of what was presented. Note that I went to more talks… Continue reading Agile Manchester 2016 – Session Notes

Communication, Improvement, Meetings, TED

How To Save The World From Bad Meetings

https://www.ted.com/talks/david_grady_how_to_save_the_world_or_at_least_yourself_from_bad_meetings?language=en The advice is both simple and revolutionary.  Recieved a meeting invite that has no agenda, no goal or you have barely any knowledge about? No MAS. Click the tentative button! [...] Then, get in touch with the person who asked you to the meeting. Tell them you're very excited to support their work, ask… Continue reading How To Save The World From Bad Meetings