Support the Professionals

Feb 02, 2015 by Barc Category: Agile, Blog, Scrum, Uncategorized 0 comments

I’ll never forget the day I reconnected with my friend Babak Ardalan a few years ago. He’s a seasoned program manager who I’d worked with on big projects for Nissan, Infiniti, Toyota, and others. When the conversation turned to work, he told me he’d dropped all of the standard project management artifacts and was running his current projects […]

People Do Change

I had a mentor who once said to me, “You can only change people this much.” And then he put his forefinger and thumb together to show it just wasn’t going to happen. Until recently, I believed him. People are pretty much made by their environments and don’t change much over time. But now, at my […]

Product Owner = A Leader with a Passion

Dec 21, 2014 by Barc Category: Agile, Agile Executive, Blog, Scrum, Uncategorized 0 comments

At the end of the day, if you don’t have a leader who has a passion for the product, it doesn’t matter how good your team or delivery process is. And no amount of well-facilitated workshops, brainstorms, roadmaps, standups, or demos will change that. If your leader is not a rabid fan of the end product […]

Fast User Story Workshop

Nov 16, 2014 by Barc Category: Agile, Blog, Scrum, Uncategorized 0 comments

Over the past few Sprints, we’ve found that many of the stories we’re trying to estimate or prioritize need more information. Of course, much of the details behind each story should come out during the Planning Session (which we hold the day after the Grooming Session). But, since we are trying to get through many stories at once, […]

Between Lean Startup and Steve

Nov 13, 2014 by Barc Category: Blog, Uncategorized 0 comments

I’ve been reading Lean Startup again. A wonderful book that has compelled thousands of companies (and many of my friends) to throw ideas, companies, and employees against the wall, then pivot if they didn’t stick. I like the simple, almost thoughtless, approach of Lean Startup: “Don’t hesitate. Let users tell you what works with your customers.” Of course, […]

Mapping The Creative Process To Scrum

Nov 05, 2014 by Barc Category: Blog, Uncategorized 2 comments

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to better map the creative process to scrum. I know there are a bunch of good books out there that cover this topic, but, after reading them, I still am not clear what to do next. In the effort to keep this super simple (and to give the creative folks […]

Standup: Focus on the Stories

I’m not a big fan of the typical round-robin agenda for standups: What I worked on yesterday, what I’m working on today, and blockers. I find that format often encourages folks to sing for their supper, to develop an on-the-spot narrative of what they’ve been up to and why they’re worth their salary. I don’t […]

Whiteboards Rule

Oct 29, 2014 by Barc Category: Agile, Blog, Scrum, Uncategorized 0 comments

I find it very disruptive and unproductive to try and type issues, risks, status, and other information into Jira, atTask, or whatever tool teams are using during standup. Frequently, it’s just an excuse for a Scrum Master to look like they are adding value by futzing with the technology on a big screen. I often […]

Bad Smells

Once I put a take-home container of Chinese food under the front seat of the van I was travelling in with my rock band in the 80s. After about a hot day-and-a-half, we couldn’t figure out where the bad smell was coming from. When our lead singer Trish finally found it under the seat (next […]

Estimates Aren’t Dead

Yesterday, at a high-level executive meeting, one of the participants said , “I can’t evaluate that if I don’t know the team’s velocity and the points for that story.” Wow. How times have changed. I didn’t even know the executive had ever heard of Agile or Scrum, let alone points or velocity. Maybe he was […]