Questions tagged [agile]

Use this tag for any questions that involve agile approaches from the perspective of a project manager, Scrum Master, agile coach, or similar role.

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161 votes
19 answers
95k views

Why use story points instead of hours for estimating?

After using hours to estimate our projects for a long time and rarely coming within 20% of actual "work-to-ship," I have been told by a handful of people that "points" work a lot better at gauging the ...
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97 votes
11 answers
95k views

Why would teams use the Fibonacci sequence for story points?

Why do some teams use numbers from the Fibonacci sequence as story points? Is it just a preference, or is there something more to it?
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  • 1,119
72 votes
5 answers
8k views

Is Scrum a status report meeting or a developer meeting?

I'm a developer and we started using Agile last year (October 2011). And, it has been rough to say the least. I was always taught Scrum was to discuss the following: What you did yesterday What you ...
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67 votes
8 answers
23k views

How to deal with unavoidable on-demand tasks in Scrum? Or should we even try?

I was put in charge of implementing Scrum in my Development Team. Unfortunately, the company I work with has a rather stale structure that does not go well with this framework. The team works on a ...
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53 votes
14 answers
88k views

Where to Find a Desktop Kanban board application? [closed]

I have been looking for a week now, all over the net for a simple desktop based kanban management system. I work in a distributed team, but my company won't accept to use an exterior webapp like ...
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44 votes
14 answers
27k views

Should bugs be treated as stories or as tasks?

If you're using scrum you should know that there is a clear difference between tasks and stories. A story is something that is valuable to user. A task is a step to produce that value to user. So, ...
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  • 693
36 votes
16 answers
62k views

How long should an Agile Sprint be?

I'm currently the PM on a project that is scheduled to run for about 14 months. The current sprint structure is 4 weeks of development; week 5 allows us to show the progress to the client, deploy it ...
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  • 1,403
36 votes
4 answers
4k views

How do you convince a client to use Agile Methods?

Here's the thing: In agile, client has very important role to fulfill - if they aren't involved, agile loses much of its value. How do you convince clients to change the way they run projects, ...
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34 votes
17 answers
3k views

How to allow developers to get enough quality development time while keeping to support & maintenance obligations

I work for a small company of 6 multi-skilled developers where we have developed our own product which requires constant improvement but also maintenance and support, both for the current release from ...
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  • 441
34 votes
7 answers
7k views

Advice for dealing with a cowboy programmer in an agile team

We have a cowboy coder in our team i.e. he likes to take advantage developing some new features or tools that are not always requested nor useful. We use scrum/kanban for development, and it is quite ...
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  • 1,219
34 votes
7 answers
32k views

How do you schedule delivery dates in Scrum?

I've run into a constant issue. When a project starts, the client typically has a list of functionalities to be built in to the application. As a team we would like to follow Scrum. But the next thing ...
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  • 648
31 votes
2 answers
45k views

What are the definitions and differences between: Theme, Epic, Feature, User Story and Task?

There are several terms which we use to describe requirements: Theme Epic Feature User Story Task What are the formal definitions of these terms and what are the differences between them (except ...
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28 votes
14 answers
19k views

Can a Product Owner be a developer in Scrum?

Can a Product Owner be a developer in Scrum? In theory, yes, but is it recommended by Scrum?
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28 votes
7 answers
4k views

Scrum, Agile, Kanban looking for 'for dummies' type of information [closed]

I'm sure I'm not alone in this. I have heard and read a lot of snippets of information about this topic and I've formed my own understanding - probably not the best way to assess the value or try to ...
28 votes
6 answers
12k views

Are Gantt diagrams compatible with Agile methods?

If they are, is it simple to use them with theses methods? Have you some use cases to present?
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28 votes
7 answers
7k views

Why use both story points and hours?

I'm a new scrum master for a team that is using story point estimation and hours. We do story points first during grooming and then hours during planning. I always thought of story points as being ...
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  • 383
27 votes
6 answers
2k views

Any tips on how to 'sell' the necessity of dealing with technical debt to nontechnical stakeholders?

A number of stakeholders do not quite understand the necessity of dealing with technical debt preferring new features on top of not very maintainable code. Development is sometimes seen as kids who ...
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  • 519
26 votes
4 answers
10k views

How do handle adhoc work during a sprint from pressing customers

I intend to introduce sprints to my company, fairly new to it myself. Not sure if it's appropriate for my current situation, we have several on going projects, all of them are ERP scale size and most ...
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  • 361
26 votes
3 answers
21k views

Scaled scrum/agile frameworks (SAFe vs. Nexus vs. LeSS) comparison

Would someone please shed some light on the differences between: LeSS: https://less.works/ Nexus: https://www.scrum.org/Resources/The-Nexus-Guide SAFe: https://www.scaledagileframework.com/ ...
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25 votes
4 answers
7k views

Why does Pivotal Tracker discourage estimating points for bugs and chores?

Pivotal Tracker "strongly discourages" estimating velocity points for bugs and chores – you have to change a setting and accept a warning to be able to do it. They explain why here, but I just don't ...
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  • 353
24 votes
6 answers
4k views

Which is better: large feature branches or merging frequently? Which is better small work items vs large work items?

My team has problems pushing work items through all the stages in the Kanban board to done. The work items hit code review and pile up and stay there for a long time. The following stage (the QA stage)...
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  • 341
24 votes
7 answers
20k views

Is Certified Scrum Master valuable?

What is the value in Certified Scrum Master certifications? I'll be quite honest in saying that I've never put a lot of thought into such certifications, but it seems like if you are interested in ...
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24 votes
5 answers
19k views

How to make Scrum of Scrums meetings more productive?

At my job, we're having a Scrum of Scrums meeting where all the Scrum Masters get together. This meeting is turning into a boring meeting where everyone gives their status update. I'm trying to make ...
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  • 379
24 votes
6 answers
17k views

Where should design be incorporated in an agile process?

We use a scrum-based agile development process. But where should design get incorporated? Separate user stories? Tasks on stories? We currently think of design as a separate task and break it out as ...
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  • 2,151
23 votes
4 answers
4k views

Task estimation for PMs who are not developers

While working Agile, how can a PM estimate a task when he/she is not a developer?
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23 votes
15 answers
12k views

What is better: a physical Scrum board or an online board?

I used to practice Scrum with a physical board. We often faced problems when working with distributed teams or just when going into a meeting room. So I decided to implement a SaaS service to provide ...
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23 votes
10 answers
3k views

Is estimating a project without basic requirements or user stories a good idea for a fixed cost proposal?

I am currently trying to create an estimate for a software proposal. In this context, we are requesting a fixed cost amount of funds. I personally lean toward Agile development practices. I, however,...
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23 votes
8 answers
11k views

How to apply Scrum in fixed date, fixed budget project?

Considering that we work on a project with fixed deadlines and fixed budget and we use Scrum: what are best practices we should use to make this setup successful? Since Scrum wasn't directly designed ...
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23 votes
2 answers
927 views

Kanban: A cure for what ails me, or snake oil du jour?

I manage a team of developers and testers that makes widgets. We manage several dozen widgets; in addition to creating new widgets, we have to update old ones with new functionality and fix urgent ...
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22 votes
9 answers
14k views

Senior developers 'reject' agile. What now?

I'm about to have my first day as Product Owner at a new job as one of three product owners, and during the interview one of the current challenges that was brought up was the renewal of the processes....
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  • 379
22 votes
5 answers
20k views

What is the difference between Scrum and XP?

Everything is in the title: What is the difference between Scrum and eXtreme Programming? Is it possible to have a simple but explicit explanation?
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22 votes
6 answers
3k views

What role is there for a PM on an Agile project?

Back before agile was everywhere, having a PM on all but the smaller projects was considered essential. Now, only the largest projects have people assigned to just in a PM capacity. I guess I have ...
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21 votes
8 answers
8k views

How can a Scrum team work with a Waterfall team

My Scrum team needs an API to retrieve data. It's not overly complicated, essentially its just one request that gets sent to the API and then the API returns some data. This is the end of the journey. ...
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  • 2,291
21 votes
10 answers
6k views

Help - Technical team does not want to work in agile way

I am a Product Owner on a Scrum Team whose developers do not want to embrace work in an agile, incremental fashion. Simple example: the customer currently has to contact us to create users each time ...
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  • 309
21 votes
7 answers
8k views

How to apply daily stand-up meetings with a large team on multiple projects

Background There are: 4 .Net Developers 4 PHP Developers 2 QA Specialists 2 Integration Specialists 2 Analysts 3 PMs 11 Projects in active development. None are trivial. Some are programs with sub-...
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21 votes
2 answers
16k views

Difference between grooming and refinement

What is the difference between the terms "grooming" and "refinement" of the product backlog in scrum methodology? I am not able to find an accurate answer to this question. Are they the same?
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21 votes
9 answers
28k views

What is the difference between acceptance criteria and the definition of done?

I don't get what is the difference between both. They seem to be similar to me. For instance, I have this typical login/register User Story. Can you provide some DOD examples? As a user I want to ...
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21 votes
7 answers
17k views

How can we manage multiple projects, as one small scrum team?

I know Agile came about as a group of 'adaptive software development' methods, where Scrum is one of them. Some background: We are an innovative web agency, which implies design and development. We ...
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  • 311
21 votes
3 answers
9k views

How can a team working on research based items work in an Agile project?

My R&D organization is following an Agile (Scrum) development methodology. One of the development teams is working mostly on items that are really problematic in terms of the certainty during the ...
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  • 2,357
21 votes
6 answers
2k views

Is Software Architecture still Relevant in Agile ?

Agile focuses on developing workable codes from small user stories. Pair programming encourage developers to pair up, actively engage with one another to come up with the best solution for the problem....
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20 votes
9 answers
9k views

How should a Scrum master handle disagreements about story-point estimates in Scrum?

For example : Some see its userstory (e.g. 2 points) and others see technical complications and judge that the story should be 20 points. The 2-point voters say, "I understand your opinion, but don't ...
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  • 217
20 votes
14 answers
50k views

How do you name Sprints in Scrum?

I was wondering if it's a good idea to name Sprints with user-friendly names instead of using numerals like Sprint 1, Sprint 2, etc. Are there best practices or standards for naming the Sprint after ...
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20 votes
8 answers
2k views

Designing for the future in an agile environment

I started my working life as a database designer, before moving at a later date into project management. Most of my working life has been spent in "waterfall" environments for a variety of ...
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  • 6,763
20 votes
5 answers
21k views

What is the role of a QA tester on a Scrum team?

I've recently added a QA tester to our new Scrum team. The tester comes with a lot of experience in automated testing and is capable of scripting, light coding, etc. He will be using automation tools, ...
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  • 727
20 votes
10 answers
19k views

Agile methodologies such as Scrum in non-software development projects

Even though Scrum was originally suggested for managing product development projects, its use has focused on the management of software development projects. None of the project management teams I ...
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  • 2,758
20 votes
6 answers
5k views

Running a sprint from Wednesday till Wednesday

Currently we have three teams who start their two week sprint on Monday and end it on Friday. We have some team-members who have every Friday off. Planning sprint reviews on Thursdays or earlier is ...
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20 votes
9 answers
15k views

Managing scope creep in Agile

I often get asked this question in the interview, and no matter what I answer the interviewers do not seem to get satisfied. So, they start with asking how to manage scope creep in Project Management?...
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  • 301
20 votes
2 answers
21k views

What does "Architectural Spike" mean?

What does Architectural Spike mean? I know, that this is investigation activity for unknown and unestimated tasks. But I want know more details. When we should do it: during Sprint or between them? ...
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19 votes
11 answers
7k views

Does project management mean managing people?

Does project management mean managing people? So far, from my understanding, managing people is somehow part of project management. But I don't have any formal training in this direction and I can't ...
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19 votes
10 answers
48k views

Sprint vs milestone vs release

I am new in agile and Scrum, and I got confused as to what the differences are between a Sprint, a Milestone and a Release. I heard some say that the Sprint is a Milestone. Also in some software the ...
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