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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18
votes
9answers
25k views

Can (and should) Agile be used for Infrastructure projects?

Is it possible to use agile methods for large IT infrastructure projects? I am working on a large project where the development team uses agile methods, while the infrastructure (which is where I am ...
18
votes
6answers
15k views

How can developers and testers agree on story point estimates?

Previously we used duration for each story, but in our current sprint we are using story points (effort) keeping test team effort separate from the development team effort. Story points are based on ...
18
votes
4answers
3k views

Budgeting in an agile project

I'm really confused on how agile projects are budgeted for cost and effort before the project starts. Cause the user stories are never completely discussed and estimated as a practice in agile. So if ...
18
votes
6answers
5k views

When developing the same app for multiple platforms how do you keep the implementation aligned

We have an Android native app and now want to build an iOS native version. We work scrum / kanban process. How best can we ensure that the Features / User Stories implementation on both versions align?...
17
votes
8answers
5k views

Agile: in a sprint retro can I bring up a negative which isn't affecting me personally but I know another team member has a problem with it?

I've been working in a particular Agile/Scrum team for about 5 months now, and I am conscious of a specific concern (that's been mentioned to me in private) for a few weeks, from 2 different team ...
17
votes
7answers
2k views

How to convince upper management of the need for agile software?

Recently I've moved into a new company and I am leading a team without any agile etc. I came from an agile environment and pair with great tools such as Jira with their cool feature such as Kanban ...
17
votes
9answers
6k 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
3k views

Hot swapping people in a scrum team

In a company, the scrum teams are partly on-shore and partly off-shore. Usually this is 50-50 or 60-40. The teams in their current composition have been mostly going on in a scrum fashion just over a ...
17
votes
5answers
1k views

How to cope with the Hawthorne effect and sprint improvements?

Hawthorne effect: the phenomenon in which subjects in behavioral studies change their performance in response to being observed. Background: I'm using Kanban as a tool to analyse and improve the team'...
17
votes
4answers
4k views

What are the benefits of having fixed length sprints for agile?

Lately, I have been the solo developer on a software development project and I break down my project into functionality that I believe I should be able to implement in 1 or 2 weeks depending on the ...
17
votes
10answers
38k 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
9k 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?
17
votes
5answers
13k views

How to timebox Spikes using story points?

My original question was raised here: In Scrum, how to estimate research stories? and as suggested by @CodeGnome I created a separate question. In my opinion Spikes should be time-boxed as there is ...
17
votes
9answers
5k views

Different ways of running Retrospectives

I'm about to facilitate another Retrospective with my team. I'd love to hear what different types of Retrospectives you do, to prevent falling into a routine. How do you improve such meetings to keep ...
17
votes
4answers
5k views

Kanban and feature size

We are currently using Scrum within our organisation but are considering moving to Kanban (or Scrumban). As part of our Scrum process we normally take into consideration size and complexity of ...
17
votes
3answers
19k views

How does one build a burnup chart?

Can someone explain how to build a burn-up chart? Please give me a walkthrough of how to build one?
17
votes
2answers
5k views

What are some agile (scrum) metrics? [closed]

I'm interested in learning what types of metrics can be used in the following areas: Productivity Quality Responsiveness Customer Satisfaction Employee Satisfaction Predictability ...and what makes ...
16
votes
7answers
8k views

What can a Scrum Master do in a team that has mastered scrum?

There's no doubt about Scrum being difficult to master. But if a team has been practicing it for quite a while and if the scope for streamlining the process or improvement is little to none, what role ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there any pm methodology that works well on large projects?

My team historically has averaged about 40 people over several years, often more than that. We have a pretty complex product that cuts across several problem domains. We switched from waterfall to ...
16
votes
3answers
5k views

In Kanban, what should we do about an urgent task?

If at that time, development team is currently at max WIP, then there's an urgent task like critical bug that need to be fixed immediately, do we need to violate the max WIP and allow to do work more ...
16
votes
6answers
4k views

During a sprint, should we try to achieve 100% user story completion or 100% productivity

We know that during every sprint, the team's primary goal is to achieve 100% completion of user stories which are part of the sprint backlog. But what happens in practice is that, development should ...
16
votes
6answers
4k views

Will Project Managers Disappear in a Scrum World?

In a Scrum team there is no role of a project manager. Does that mean that project manager jobs will eventually disappear? What is a project manager supposed to do when organization starts to shift ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

How do you kick-off new Agile teams?

I'm curious what others are doing with regard to getting teams up and running with Agile in a sustainable way. What do you emphasize first (practices, principle, process framework)? Or is there no one ...
15
votes
6answers
3k views

Are self-organizing teams subject to self-blocking, when there's a disagreement?

There may be a situation when half of the self-organizing team isn't accepting a decision proposed the the other half of the self-organizing team. This situation effectively stops the project's ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

How to motivate offshore teams and trust them to deliver?

I joined a company where the development is outsourced in an offshore location. I have heard that the people offshore won’t deliver unless they are chased to do so. In other words, when they are left ...
15
votes
6answers
7k views

What should we do with a task that has been blocked

We're using Agile and Scrum methodology. For this iteration a coworker had to finish her Development task, which was carried over from last iteration. We thought it will be done in two days and we ...
15
votes
9answers
6k views

How to handle big stories / epics in Scrum?

It's about a Scrum Team. PO and the couple of developers. They do well every time, when task is clearly defined and only technical part is to be done. It gets complicated when there is a need to work ...
15
votes
5answers
12k views

Should I remove a User Story from a Sprint in progress if I know we can't complete it?

In the sprint can we remove (move to the upcoming sprint) the planned stories (mid sprint), if we are 100% sure we can’t complete them? Example given: Suppose we planned to 5 stories to be completed ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

Self-Managing Teams - Reality or Myth?

I recently read an article that had my stomach churn. A "Project Management Professional" said that he does not believe "self-managing" teams are possible. They "need to be managed at some level." - ...
15
votes
8answers
4k views

Satisfying an external auditor when using Agile

My company is an ISV and occasionally, prospective customers (especially in life sciences) insist on sending in auditors to check over our software development processes. We are starting to implement ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Using Spreadsheet for Backlog - Dependencies and Priority

I'm currently using a Google Spreadsheet to manage my product backlog. It has a list of stories, each with an identifier, feature it belongs to, story points, and the sprint that it's assigned to. It ...
15
votes
5answers
26k views

In Scrum, who is responsible for the project's budget?

I have read many books about Scrum, blogs and academic articles. Though, all of them dodge from explicitly acknowledging this question: Who is responsible for the project's money? Why is this person ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

What tools and techniques should be introduced first when starting with Agile/Scrum?

I am working as project manager on a large project with a five person development team. They have been without project management support for several months and there is no project management ...
15
votes
3answers
701 views

What common techniques do Kanban teams use to make commitments to other teams in their organization?

When a team is first adopting kanban, they do not typically have reliable numbers for cycle time, and will struggle to make commitments based on a Service Level Agreement. What commitment techniques ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

How to keep WIP down with swarming in Agile/Scrum teams?

We are practicing swarming in our Agile/Scrum teams. However, keeping WIP (Work in Progress) down continues to be a challenge. I am familiar with the theory, but I have some questions about the ...
15
votes
3answers
393 views

Gameification - How would you gameify work in an Agile team?

During a recent open session at RallyON 2011 we talked about paradoxes in Agile. One of the items that came up during the conversation is when a high-performing team becomes so well greased that all ...
14
votes
4answers
8k views

In Scrum, is a Scrum Master position higher than a Product Owner?

In Scrum, is a Scrum Master position higher than a Product Owner, in terms of organizational hierarchy? At work, traditional organizational charts are a must; how are Scrum Masters and Product Owners ...
14
votes
8answers
3k views

Should the Product Owner be from our organization or the company we are contracting with?

We're a governmental organization and we're contracting with software companies to implement our projects. We're adapting the Scrum framework. Question: Should the Product Owner be from our ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

Daily Scrum and flexible work time

Our company is in the process of introducing elements from Scrum in our working process. As we have flexible work time (not completely sure how to say it in English. People can come to work when they ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

Should a Scrum team formally track daily commitments?

Should a Scrum team be tracking the daily commitments each team member makes during the Daily Scrum? We write them down in a kind of a mini task manager, and then we mark them as done during the work ...
14
votes
12answers
2k views

Starting to learn Project Management, which book or path to follow ? [closed]

As I started to search to learn more about project management on Google, I was overwhelmed by all the certification links. All I want to learn is about the various software (especially web ...
14
votes
3answers
8k views

Why management is more concerned of JIRA hours than of following Scrum values?

As in many other projects, we are also using JIRA to manage tasks and user stories, and Scrum as the Agile methodology. At the end of each day, the ScrumMaster provides the burndown chart to the PMO ...
14
votes
3answers
4k views

How do I facilitate a first time Agile retrospective?

I have never facilitated a retrospective before and I have been asked to facilitate one on Tuesday. I have ordered a book which is arriving tomorrow and I have been checking out various websites. I ...
14
votes
6answers
1k views

Is Agile Lean? Or are Agile and Lean totally separate philosophies?

Can I say Agile is "not" Lean and both Agile and Lean are totally different concepts or philosophies? If I take lean principles: "Self Organization" "Kaizen or Cont. Improvement" "Quality Assurance"...
14
votes
7answers
1k views

Involve graphic designer in daily Scrum meetings

As I explained in a previous question, our company is willing to introduce some elements of the Scrum method in our working process. We have a in-house graphic designer, who is attached to the ...
14
votes
4answers
4k views

Can Scrum Sprint duration change from 4 weeks to 2 weeks during the project?

Does it makes sense to adjust Sprint duration during the project? Consider a 10 months project for a web portal, requirements are a little obscure right now, so I expect that at the beginning (first ...
14
votes
8answers
3k views

How to use peer code reviews to improve product quality? [closed]

We use Scrum with short sprints of 1 or 2 weeks and use peer reviews to improve product quality. How do we best use code reviews as quality assurance tools? pre-commit reviews - hold tasks until the ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

How to spot the lazy team member in a self-organized team?

Some context first: I am a project manager in a software development company with a Kanban environment. In the team I am managing there is no such thing as people reporting their work to me, or people ...
14
votes
3answers
6k views

In an agile consultancy, is the Client the Product Owner?

I'm interested in understanding how agile project management differs between a single product-focused team and a digital agency or software development consulting firm. For starters, in a situation ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Developers in Scrum Team: ineffective and not functional

I am part of a small company that has 6 developers and 2 support members. this team has been participating in "Agile" development practices for the past 3 years. The Agile/Scrum method has never been ...

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