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Scrum Master Tip #7 – Small improvements for greater Scrum teams

Hi :)

Christmas is gone but I have a gift to you, a rather small one, but as it happens with almost anything in life, great things come in small packages (cof cof cof) . I’ll write about some small improvements I’ve done before that actually helped my teams a lot in finding their path and maintaining a sustainable pace.

Sometimes it is not easy to make big changes in a team, but you can do small things that will tailor the way they work and slowly will guide them in their Agile journey.

So, let us start small and make our great teams a little better. :)

1- Scripting the Scrum Events

A good thing I learned from a fellow coach was to keep a Script describing the events. You can add these in your team wiki or (my preferred way) print it and put it on the walls. Examples (and they are just examples – you should write down whatever makes more sense for your team):

Planning Part 1  (PP1) Script

  • Starts at 10 am every second Monday ( next : 23 Dec )
  • Scrum Room
  • Product Owner Explains next User stories (next priorities) for the next Sprint
  • Teams clears out any remain doubts
  • Team ensures Definition of Ready is fulfilled (check here)
  • Team and  PO review DoD
  • PO is available for any questions during Planning Part 2

Planning Part 2  (PP2) Script

  • Starts right after Planning Part 1
  •  Team Space (in front of our team board)
  • Team creates all tasks to make sure US is ready for delivery at the end of Sprint
  • Team agrees on what can be committed for the sprint
  •  Team agrees with PO what will be delivered at the end of Sprint
  • At the end of PP2, Team board should have the committed stories and task visible and ready to start

DEMO Script

  • Demo starts 14pm sharp on last Friday of sprint (next: 3 Jan)
  •  Everyone is invited to come
  • Team should prepare Room and needed material before hand   (don’t forget HDMI cable!)
  •  PO will approve or disapprove stories
  • Participants are invited to provide feedback on Demoed Stories
  •  PO will consider feedback as he may find suitable

(For the demo Script is especially important if you give hints regarding the preparation of the room or devices if it is required to have a special setup)

You can script whatever events you have (including the Daily stand-up – you can write down the time it starts and where) and make it visible. Scripts are not only useful for the team but also for our stakeholders, making this information clear in team’s room avoids lots of questions or even ignorance – if info is available and transparent to all, they will most probably read it as they pass by and so become aware of how team works and when and how things happen.

2-  Working Agreements and Team values

Since we are talking about hanging stuff on the wall, them let me tell you that it’s also very important to make visible both the Team Values and The Team working Agreements.

You can read more on How to set the Team Values here and also get some examples of both values and agreements here.

If they are there on the wall, people will constantly be reminded of the things they, as a team, value and expect from each other. It’s very healthy ;).

 3-  Definition of Ready

During these last years I’ve found lots of people never heard about Definition of Ready (including Scrum Master). As such, my advice is for you to define this with your team  (which includes the PO) and make it clear and visible to everyone (yes, print it and add it to the wall). Definition of Ready will, among other things, avoid many misunderstandings and fights when User Stories are not ready to be started.

4- Buglog for Bugs

When you have lots of legacy bugs and no chance to stop production and refactor all, then I found the Buglog very useful.

 5- Parking Lot

I’ve seen teams use this, and I’ve use it myself to park topics we cannot discuss right away. For example, imagine there is a topic you want to discuss with the team but only on Daily Stand-up and you don’t want to forget it, then you put it in the parking lot.

We also used it to put impeded things (when impeded by externals and we have to wait, we removed it from the backlog – informing immediately the PO, and added it to Parking Lot, as long as it’s waiting for the other teams to solve it). It’s also, and as I used it most, a good place to add items you want to discuss in Retrospective.

Here’s my template for parking lot

parking_lot_pptx-3

If you want you can user my File:  parking lot

One of these days I’ll write more about scaling scrum and my experience with it, but for now I’ll leave you two simple tips for when you are scaling or have several teams who should synchronize – if not regarding the product, at least regarding their practices and experience.

6- Communities of Practice

I found this very useful. You create a community of Practice (Cop) out of anything you want as long as you have people who want to join you. Cop of Scrum Masters, Architects, Developers, Testers, etc – (role oriented) or CoPs which are function oriented like CoP of Design or CoP of architecture.

I’ve seen Scrum Masters Cops where Scrum Masters would advise and help each other with issues in their teams and also synchronizing ways of working. I’ve also seen for example CoP’s of Architecture defining Coding standards and Coding Guidelines as well as Design CoP’s defining GUI standards. So you see, as long as you get motivated people on board, the CoP will always create valuable things for everyone!

7 – Scrum Of scrums

I don’t like Scrum of Scrum’s and I personally don’t see a need to book another meeting for this. But again, this is my experience, yours is different and that is ok. Let me tell you what I do instead.

When I have more than 1 team working in same backlog or in same product and they need to synchronize regularly what I ask them is for them to send a representative to the other Daily Stand ups. So, Joe from “Team Awesome” goes as a representative of “Team Awesome” to the daily stand-up of “Team Incredible” and if he has anything important to tell them he waits until the end and them shares, also when he has is team daily stand-up he let’s his team members know about important things going on ” Team Incredible”.

With this there are no extra meetings, people get to know each other and create bounds and people hear directly from each other what is going on, without intermediaries who may shorten or not explain so well (or without context) the things happening.

Ah! And we rotate this team representative so that it’s not always the same one going.

And there you go, some small improvements you can do right away within your team. All, in the end, you’ll be surrounded of beautiful meaningful walls too!

Have a nice Agile 2014 ;)

Cátia

Turning Dysfunctions into Actions – Fighting the 5 Dysfunctions of a Team

Hi All :)

I just got this challenge today, from a colleague of mine, to convert my post   5 dysfunctions of a team  into something  positive we could show people without  scare them.  So rather than just posting on walls why we suck, the challenge is to post something that would make us think about it and maybe even make us do something to improve it.

So, @ghostrich: Challenge Accepted!

Let us turn the 5 Dysfunctions into Actions that will help people  grow their teams into the most awesome teams ever. This post  will, as you’ll figure out,  replace the post I promised about how to fight the dysfunctions :), so I’ll use that idea plus the challenge and combine all in one because it makes totally sense.

Disclaimer: all you may read here is not in the book, I mean, some ideas may actually be there, I read it long time ago so I don’t remember how much of my brain is influenced by it. Either way I honestly believe that whatever you see below is solely the product of my poor brain. As such feel free to disagree, within the boundaries of respect, and don’t criticize by saying the same with other words, i’m not an English native speaker ;). Before exploding ask me what I meant, that is after all the first step we’ll be talking about: Trust.

As always, a picture to enlighten us :) :

5growing steps

Let me now tell you how I see these steps and what we can do to help people go from one to the other.

1- Trust

Trust in you, trust in others. Don’t start your day with suspicion in your heart and mind, trust everyone is doing the best they can with the information, time and  skills they have.

Ask before answering. Above all ask before criticizing. I know it’s not easy, I preach about this now and probably I’ll say something unfair to someone in the next hour, but I’ll try not to.

Now, there’s a trick to start trusting others more and more. You have to start trusting yourself  first. If you trust yourself, your judgment, emotions, fairness, then you can afford to trust others and  you won’t feel vulnerable because you know you can take it whatever happens.  I’ll tell you something, and I can do it because I trust myself and my judgment to tell this in the open, some years ago I had this, let us call it epiphany. I realised that what I perceived as my “weaknesses” where  actually “weaknesses” because I rated them as that.  Two important observations or events changed my mind about weaknesses. First I observed that what I considered as a weakness, most people wouldn’t see it that way and some of them  hadn’t even noticed them before I talked about them. The second thing, and  most important for me, was that I realised that after talking openly about my weaknesses they suddenly became strengths at the eyes of others, and most importantly at my own eyes. Problems were no longer problems after being released in the open, they were mere facts or simple situations, not that important or that I could actually solve pretty easily.

So there you go. Don’t mistrust others just because you actually can’t trust yourself. Work it out, work out your self-confidence, think about how lucky you are of being here, reading this. How many billions have passed since the beginning of earth, imagine how any slight change in any even occurred until now would have easily changed your chances of being here, right now.  You don’t think about that often do you? You should.

As my great number 1 friend and  number 1  preferred reviewer would add:

In case you do trust yourself and are highly confident on your skills, don’t fall in the trap of being judgmental. Yes, some people judge others that have doubts calling them rookies and being inconsiderate by getting also into the presumption that everything they do is so very well done and obviously clearly documented. Don’t do that. Some people may be stuck on something that may be obvious for you, but because it is not obvious for them, that does not mean they are less intelligent or capable.  – @pintolaranja

:))

How to get there (some examples):

-  Practical advice for companies? Do Culture Hacking Workshops with your people. If you do so, choose one of the best, here: http://trustartist.com/ (@OlafLewitz),  http://www.mccarthyshow.com/ (@mccarthyjim1) and  http://www.stiatemenos.com/temenos/siraj/ (@siraju)

-  For individuals, you have several places where these people do free workshops (there’s one happening  this week  in Berlin for example – I’m going!) , meditation is also something people recognize as positive for you to embrace your strengths and not so strong points :) – I’ve never done it, sorry I don’t have enough patience to be quiet for an hour :/

- Ask for help when you need. Just do it. Give it a try. Or if someone else bolder than you is asking for it then offer your sincere help.

2- Nurture discussions

Discussing inside a team is the most important mean of communication. You  discuss priorities, decisions, opinions, emotions (maybe regarding your cat or your fear of not delivering on time), all very important for you, as a team, to take action and plan how to, together, fight adversities. That’s why we have team too right? So that we have more perspectives on stuff.

Yves wrote in his blog about the Power of the Junior and it’s really interesting when you think about it, how powerful is someone who has the nerve :)) to do the stupid questions. I normally embrace this role very well, and that’s one of the reasons I let go my technical skills and focus more on the soft skills nowadays. Being away from the IT entrails gives the clarity of mind to embrace the End user perspective and allows me to do stupid questions. The funny this is,  I’m never the only one who says ” Ahhhhhh” when my stupid question is answered.

Stupid questions are really powerful. They will focus on things everyone assumes that are there by default. And they will also demand a most simple way to understand the answer. Rather than that ugly jargon you geeks use. (;P)

How to get there (some examples):

- Ask questions, lots. Make sure all angles are covered and sum up all the answers, so that you guarantee that everyone is in the same page. You’ll be surprised how, after 1 hour discussing the topics, 2 or 3 people understood something different. Make sure everyone can speak up without regretting it 2 seconds later.

- Take in consideration how humans learn . With this in mind try to not only talk but actually do things, prototypes, drawings, flowcharts, whatever. Pick up your pens create stuff.

- Doesn’t matter which framework or process you are using, take your team out. Go for a beer and talk  frankly about things you could make better as a team, with no blaming just a friendly talk of small steps we could take in order to change some things. If you’ve never talked to your team, of if they are not used to do this, then just take them out for a beer and talk about sports. Leave the improvements talk for the next round, try  to create some team momentum first. And please, take care of the action items they give you, if you ignore them, then you are telling people to stop giving you ideas, feedback or point out impediments.

3-  Commit

 Commit, Commit, Commit! Take the Challenge! :) Really , do it. It is the best way to excel, to learn new things. If you don’t feel comfortable in taking all on your shoulders, then ask for help, ask someone else to share this with you. Take the lead and make it a team challenge. 

But don’t commit because you want to show off. If you think your light is brighter then of the others around you, then you are doomed. No one will help you. I wouldn’t. I won’t. Don’t take your personal agenda or ambition above the others, of course we all want to be good, but we don’t need to be better than the others. I’ll explain: we need to be better, but better than ourselves, not the others. Again goes to trust. If you trust yourself, you’ll set your own standards on what you can achieve, not what others can.

I personally am very reluctant to help people who think they can use me or others to shine. I wish them luck, but i am not a ladder. Nor a mule to carry others. Weakness? No. strength. My standards are different and so I’m better than I used  to be.

My wise friend added:

Remember that not everybody is comfortable in taking the first step to ask questions. It is nice to state that you should be brave and expose yourself in this vulnerable manner, but still there are those who will be more reluctant in taking the first step. Ultimately, we are also all responsible for identifying people that have difficulty to overcome this and take the leap of faith, be the ones to start trusting. Be an example. @pintolaranja

How to get there (some examples):

- First thing: Set clear goals for everyone. People need to understand what you want from them in order to get there.

- Try to set Team goals above all. Personal goals should not be bound to salary increases or whatsoever. Personal goals are an investment. Team goals are, goals, objectives, targets. That’s how i see it (at least now while writing this post to you).

- Talk about how the Team should commit to challenges, you may even define your own commitment procedure :). Do it together, it will most probably be very fun.

- Last thing is: Commitment is better when shared, it’s also  stronger and wider. When shared, commitment is no longer something we have to, is rather a bound, something we want to. Lights are brighter together. 

4- Be accountable

Commit whole heartily to things and then be accountable for them. Do your best. Take ownership of results. I was once taught about the origin of the words Responsibility and Accountability. The person explained me that Responsibility can be broken in 2 (as Accountability can). I still use this in some of my trainings when i see people can’t distinguish both.. let us see if you find it helpful to:

RESPONSIBLITY = RESPONSE + ABILITY

So responsibility is our own ability to provide a response to something.

ACCOUNTABILITY = ACCOUNT + ABILITY

Accountability is then our ability to take something into our account. To own it.  So you can be accountable without being responsible.. you may not know how to respond to something, but, BUT, you will ensure it will be responded. That is accountability.

Useful? :) I found it too :)

How to get there (some examples):

-  The team should define what will you all be accountable for (as a team).

- Don’t be afraid to be accountable for things, even when it’s not in your job description. Embrace the challenge, ask for help, make things happen. If anyone can do it, that is you. Set higher standards for you. As someone said:  Challenge your limits, don’t limit your challenges.

- Help others who step up. Help others to step up! Don’t criticize. If you could do it better then you could have taken the challenge before or help that person. Either way you should be quiet rather than criticizing. (unless it’s a show off, then you can throw stones)

- Managers: make sure people are not crucified when taking accountability or responsibility on something. Protect them from unfairness. People will do their best, with the time, information and kills they have available.

5- Focus on Results

There’s much that can be said about this, and you probably heard it a lot of times. So, this is already a long post I’ll try to provide a newer perspective.

@ChristopherAver author of “Teamwork is an individual skill“, starts by explain why teams are created in first place. And I think this is the thing we forget more often and we shouldn’t. Teams are not brought up because of the people in them. Teams are created because a product is waiting to be created.

Remember this, work can and should be fun, but we go work everyday because we need to create something. Can be a pair of shoes, a presentation, a new App, create awareness, or change a mindset.. Doesn’t matter: either way, whatever product or service it is, you are there to create something (or maintain). It is then most expected that results actually matter.

How to get there (some examples):

- Team objectives, goals. Get together and plan on how to achieve them. track them, take notice of their progress. Make them happen. Achieve together whatever exist to be won over! :)

- Aim for your Team to be a reference in your company. Share that status together. Set the bar.

And there you go, transforming 5 dysfunctions into 5 things we can aim for. And they are not that difficult to obtain right? If only you could make everyone else act this way..

What can you do right now?

.. and you can.

Start small.

Most important, create Intention in your team.  Tomorrow morning, casually tell them the one thing you would like to change in your team in order to make it better.

Then every time you see something going against that intention, point it out and make sure you all find a way of not letting t happen again.

Do it as my colleague, to whom I’m writing this post, does: Slowly sometimes, steadily always, but never give up.

See ya ,

Cátia

Ps: @ghostrich , I wrote this post because more than just doing it in our trenches I think you deserve to see online your awesome challenges and disruptive thinking online. This is in the end the most simple way I have of  honoring your work and effort and thank you for never giving up. See ya around!

To the rest of you that are still reading this, get up and go do some magic!

Ps2: I had another epiphany today: I found out I’m capable of changing the world. As long as this happens before 5 ;).

PS3: Thank you again @pintolaranja for your sincere feedback :) you are one of a kind.

Dysfunctions of a Team

Hi  :)

Today I want to share with you part of  what I’ve learned with this amazing book  from Patrick Lencioni -The Five dysfunctions of a Team – which I truly recommend you to read. Doesn’t matter if you are a Scrum Master, developer, tester,  manager or other, as long if you are a person capable of reading and if you work with other humans, then read this book as  it will help up understand why sometimes things happen in a certain way.

I’ve just captured, roughly, some precious information from the book and match it with my experience, and that’s what I’m sharing with you today. Hope it’s helpful :).

So, let us start with a picture ( for me the best way to convene information :) ) showing the 5 dysfunctions of a team according to Lencioni.

5dysfunctions_responsibility_ppt-2

Let me now explain you what this means.

1- Absence of trust  - Invulnerability

This is the first dysfunction of a team: The absence of trust among the team members.

You may find several causes to this but the main as written by Lencioni is our human need to feel invulnerable. It is part of our survival instinct to avoid being vulnerable to others, including the people with whom we work daily.  We try to survive inside a team by not showing vulnerability.

How do you detect this? (some symptoms)

- They do not talk about mistakes (bugs, bad code quality, wrong requirements, … you see people hiding trouble and trying to fix it before anyone notices

- They do not ask for help (for fixing stuff or figuring out something, nor to pair work for example) nor offer it (or if they do they do it in a way they are just showing off how good they are)

- They assume things as for example that other’s mistakes where on purpose or because of lack of skills.

- Normally these people try to ruin retrospectives, by being sarcastic or making fun of others when they try to speak up.

2- Fear of Conflict – Artificial Harmony

Because we want to be invulnerable we are afraid of conflict so we avoid it at all costs. This creates a false sense of harmony inside the team, which people will seek in order to avoid confrontation.  I don’t  know about you but I’ve  joined teams who looked awesome together,  looked like they were all happy, very friendly to each other and in the end I discovered all this was a bit fake. People were just pretending, playing  social games in order  to maintain an appearance of harmony . The problem with this is that not only it is fake, but it will also burn out people who have to maintain it (play this game to be accepted) and it will, dangerously, take the problems to another level. People will not openly discuss stuff, there’s a sarcasm battle instead. People will smile but say the most hideous things while smiling, and pretend all is good. So, in the end nothing is really discussed, problems will always be avoided or  ignored or under estimated . I even had  the experience of people saying I was actually imagining or even creating these problems. This is a very tricky situation for a Scrum Master but later I’ll tell you what you can try in order to deal with this (when you cannot fire or move those who are  pushing for this social gaming).

How do you detect this? (some other symptoms)

- Nothing is really discussed (in retrospectives or other meetings). You feel everyone is avoiding the hot topics and are just going around or not speaking at all.

- Office politics substitute open dialog. People start speaking about other’s failures or lack of skills not openly but behind their backs or in a way they look like they are kidding but they are actually hurting someone’s else pride.   (Guerrilla strategy)

3- Lack of Commitment – Ambiguity

If there’s no trust inside your team, if there’s a false harmony then as a team member you’ll not feel totally committed. You’ll most probably just play along. Actually if people avoid open discussions then there can’t be a real buy-in from them,  and organisation objectives versus  personal objectives will be very ambiguous.

How do you detect this? (some symptoms)

- No one takes the lead. If someone does (example a team leader because he has to or someone that still believes in change)  then that person is dragged down with problems, with a negative posture from the rest of the team.. “that won’t work because…” rather “..that may work and…”

- Long meetings discussing things to detail, with no final decision or sincere commitment from team members. You’ll see that nothing happens after the meeting- no action items will evolve or be delivered.

4- Avoid Accountability – Low standards

So, if there’s no trust, no discussion and no real belief in the objectives, you’ll avoid to be accountable for anything. Team members feel both their sphere of influence and concern is very very small. If no one feels accountable then no one will try to help  others become better, setting the whole company in lower standards.

How do you detect this? (some symptoms)

- Criticism towards people who actually take responsibility on matters or who perform better.

- Excuses to take responsibility on something, normally these excuses are something like:

” I don’t have the necessary empowerment from the company to do this”

” If I try to do this, other people who don’t want to take responsibility (not me of course) will not help but rather push me down and make me fail miserably ..you are asking me to do the impossible, this is a poisoned gift”

” I will never be able to do this with this kind of people around me. I don’t have anyone caring as much I do”

or simply : “That’s not part of my job description”

5- Inattention to results  - Status & Ego 

This inattention to results means people don’t care anymore about company results, people will most probably focus on their own individual objectives as they know they’ll be accountable for these. And so the most important is not to make the company succeed but rather maintaing your status. The so called personal agenda:). Unfortunately I’ve met some people like this during my life, but sometimes we need to understand it’s not actually all their fault, some companies create such a dysfunctional environment that these things are mostly normal to emerge.

How do you detect this? (some symptoms)

- They do  not care with team results, rather care on fulfilling their personal goals.  And when you ask how did they succeed so well in personal but failed on team level, they’ll tell you they did their best but the team is so bad that they couldn’t do anything else to improve it. (This sometimes is true, or part of it.. but if everyone in the team says the same, then it’s a team problem and everyone is responsible)

- Low performing team: not delivering what they promised.

- Focus more on the “I” than on the “We”. You notice this when they open their mouth.

So this is it. I don’t want to make a bigger post out of this, you should definitely read the book.

Later I’ll post about how you can fight these things if you are interested.

See ya

Cátia

Ways of communicating, how we learn

Hi :)

I’m back.

While going through one of my presentations I found this slide with such  important information that I want to go through it again and above all share it with you.

It’s not something new, but I’ll just write it down here, even for my own sake.. for those days when I want this info and I can’t find it anywhere among the zillions of pages in the web.

This is about how we communicate with each other. In other words the so called Cone of Learning (or Cone of Experience).

There are some nice pics in the web, but because I don’t want to go over any copyrights, I just draw this one for us (I like to put it on the  wall for all our teams to see it and

maybe reflect on it) . You can also use it as you please (within the limits of decency ;>)

cone of learning

And this my friends is why we use things like the 3′cs when writing user stories or specification by example when analysing and defining stories.
In my very own opinion that’s why Scrum Masters should always try to coach people rather than just focusing on doing the Scrum Master stuff. We should aim to teach people to do stuff than just do it ourselves.  Doing is the best way to lean and keep knowledge in our big and wise human brains.

So there you go. Lesson to all of us. We should spend our time DOING meaningful things ( as in things that matter to you, things you are passionate about) . It’s the only way we can actually make that little dent everyone talks about.

If you want to know more about it: here , here and lots of images here.

Have a nice day,

Cátia

Open Space – how to?

Hi

Last week I had the pleasure of helping to prepare an Open Space session together with Jorgen Hesselberg after his trip to Europe for his talk at xp2013.
I though of sharing some tips with you on how to set up an Open Space Session, and who knows?, I may be able to give new ideas :).

The Open space

Although it may not look like, an Open Space Session is very organised and needs to be prepared in advance. The risk of not doing so is that you’ll be helding a session with no objective and you may end up with a bunch of info but no real ideas, solutions or practical ideas to implement next. and that woukd be a waste of your (and everyone’s) time wouldn’t it? :)

1st Step – Basics

I would say, read this Open Space primer. So you’ll know the basic stuff and from there you can prepare a nice Open Space.

2n Step –  Mission

Define your mission. What are you trying to solve by gathering all those people?  What’s the purpose of it?

3rd Step – Invitations

You should do your list of people to invite and why.
It’s true that the more the merrier, because then you’ll have wider perspectives. On the other hand it’s also true that some people in your company  may not have anything to do with the thing you are trying to solve or improve (specially if it’s a big company) . So you might want to think whom it makes sense to invite.

4th Step – The space

Get a confortable  area, specially one where people feel ok to speak freely and to open their mind and heart.
It should be big enough for you to set up a big circle with chairs (to open the ..open space) and also big enough for people to move around the different topics while brainstorming.

5th Step –  Material

Prepare everything in advance. People should enter the room and have everything they will need ready. That may be:

- Pens and paper for people to right
- Flipcharts or other, spread around the room – preferably with the titles of what you expect people to do already written down.
- Chair disposed in circle  - circle is good cause everyone will be at same level, everyone will see the facilitator and circle provides a feeling of both closeness and safe space.

Also, put the Open Space Principles in plain sight (I’ll show you how below).

6th Step- The Principles, Rules and Roles

Open space has 4 principles:

1- Whoever comes is the right people

This means that the people that come to your open space are the ones who actually you want to have there, because they saw value in your calling and are open to share and help you out.

2- Whatever happens is the only thing that could have happened

Meaning that whatever comes out of the session is the only thing that could have happened. So this is about you turning off your expectations and just pay attention to what you are getting from the people around you, and know they are doing their best.

3- When it starts is the right time to start

As this is a brainstorm session, time is not that important. you should start when the people around you feel they are ready to do so. don’t make the Tic-Tac louder than their thoughts.

4 – When it’s over, it’s over

The session should only end  when people feel there is nothing else to talk about.

Open Space has 1 Rule (at least that I am aware off, if you know more please let me know!)

The law of 2 feet : whenever you are not learning or sharing anything, use your two feet and go away :)

Open Space Principles. I took the drawing idea from some other example in the web, worked out nicely :)

Open Space Principles. I took the drawing idea from some other example in the web, worked out nicely :)

Open Space Roles:

Butterfly - goes from one discussion to other, does not participate soa ctively, just observs and listens

Bumblebee : someone who jumps between topics but kind of cross-polinates stuff, so taking ideas of one discussion into other. (Bridging!)

Here's the drawing I did to explain the Roles. I'm not such an artist but people got the picture, specially the bear paws for my berlin community ;)

Here’s the drawing I did to explain the Roles. I’m not such an artist but people got the picture, specially the bear paws for my berlin community ;)

Details :

You should make the Rules, Roles and Principles big and visible in the room. You must also explain them to participants in the beginning of the open space. :)

Here’s how it looked on our big Wall:

wall-new

Have a nice Day! :)

Catia Oliveira

Creating your Scrum Cards – Free Template

Hi :)

So after writing about how I prepare my templates (Creating your own Scrum Cards) for the team to write down User Stories, Bugs, Tasks and Improvements, I got some requests to make my template available.

So here it is : US-Bugs-Task-ToPrint (excel format).
Normally I print them using the coloured paper I want (the colours I use are in the Sheet name) and then just cut them in batches using a paper cutter.

In case you you don’t have coloured paper you can just fill out the cells with the color you want and print it in a Color Printer.

Hope it makes your life easier :)

Let me know if I can help you or provide something useful for you.

Catia Oliveira

Creating your own Scrum Cards

Hi!

Quick Tip Today: Creating a User Story Card

You can use index cards and write on them, of if you are like me: a bit lazy but you like things pretty visible and kind of organized, you just have to do some tuned cards in a text editor (Word for 75% population), print them in different coloured paper and.. cut them :). They will them be the basis for your team to use in the
Sprint backlog.

Let me then share my experiments with my tuned Scrum cards.

Scrum Cards – Colour protocol

- Red (or pink when there is no red) for BUGS
- Green for improvements (of previous user stories)
- Blue for tasks – (User stories are broke down into tasks)
- White for User stories (US)

Scrum Cards – The templates

I create a template that I can print because I found most useful to have already in the card the following:

1- USER STORY card:
- User story number (if using a electronic Prod. backlog, you want to refer to the ticket number)
- US component- where this US fits in the big picture of our product
- Priority – we always start by working on most important US
- Estimation – the estimated Story points for this US (just for reference actually)
- UX – name of the Designer who created the concept, just in case we have a question (when having different UX people working with your team)

Looks like this:
USER STORY card
US Template

2- Task card:
- User story number (if using a electronic Prod. backlog, you want to refer to the ticket number)
- Estimation – the Estimated effort for this task
- DEV- the team member(s) coding it
- QA- the team member(s) testing it
- REV- Revision number – in which release we can test and find this task

Looks like this:
TASK card

Task template

3- Improvement card:
- Same as Task, but ..it’s a green card :)

Looks like this:
IMPROVEMENT card
improvement template

4- BUG card:
- BUG number (When using a tool to track bugs you want to refer to the ticket number in the tool)
- Component – to which component this bug belongs
- QA- the person that found the bug (important in case we have doubts how to reproduce and also to ask the person to re-test when fixed)
- DEV- the team member(s) fixing it
- REV- Revision number – in which release we can find the fix and test

Looks like this:
BUG card
Bug Template

Hope it Helps!

Older Posts that may interest you:
- Creating Sprint backlogs (Scrum boards)
- Dealing with Legacy Bugs- the BUGLOG

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