Agile/Scrum blog

Product Owner on a holiday!

Stephan van Rooden Door: Stephan van Rooden,  30-03-2015
Onderwerp: Product Owner  

As a Product Owner you have one of the most challenging roles in the Scrum Framework. However, even Product Owners have a right to go on a holiday. I meet a lot of Product Owners, Development teams and managers in distress when they find out the Product Owner will not be available for the next sprint(s). Or even worst, the Product Owner is ill. The solution is surprisingly simple.

Ideally, as a Product Owner, you would like to have a couple of sprint of ‘ready’ work on the product backlog so in case you get ill or go on a holiday the development team can continue working and does not come to a complete stop. This practice covers the part where the team can still start a new sprint while you are absent. But how does it work when completing items on the sprint backlog. Who will accept these or is able to make choices on dropping items from the sprint backlog (if necessary)? Yes, ideally this is something the product owner is involved in. But when the product owner is not there the Scrum team needs to figure out another way how to handle this.

Watch left, watch right, and watch that bus!

Martijn Dehing Door: Martijn Dehing,  30-03-2015
Onderwerp: scrum  team  knowledge  sharing  single source  bus factor  

At the last Sprint Review meeting the Scrum team presented their latest product. Some features were not ready so the Development Team, together with the Product Owner, decided not to show these to the stakeholders. “What is the reason that new report we were so desperately longing for is not in?” Patricia from sales asked. “Well, the feature was not finished so we decided to leave it out” replied Neil, one of the developers. “Ok, it was the most important feature of the sprint! Was there any specific reason why it is not finished?” “Simon had some family-related issues so he was not in half of the sprint, and because he has the knowledge we were unable to finish it on time. But hey, we delivered something else instead!” Neil replied.

In traditional organizations people are pushed more to become specialists and to have focus, alone and heroically, on one tough topic. Everyone wants to feel special, and these local hero’s certainly get a lot of attention, questions and are asked for that meeting where those important decisions are made! Is this what it feels to be Superman? Is this what the organization needs?

Five Fundamental Questions to Assess your Agile Process

Barry Overeem Door: Barry Overeem,  25-03-2015
Onderwerp: Scrum  Agile  

Recently I read Mike Sutton's article in which he describes the misuse of the Scrum framework. He addresses a few relevant topics and practices that I've unfortunately also witnessed applied wrong quite often. Examples are Scrum being used as a methodology instead as a framework and all the elements of Scrum are practiced mechanically without really questioning its true purpose.

However, my intention with this post wasn't starting an in-depth discussing about the misuse of Scrum. It's the questions Mike presents to assess the quality of an organization's way of working that triggered me.

UI tests with Selenium - Docker and on-demand Grids

Harm Pauw Door: Harm Pauw,  24-03-2015
Onderwerp: Continuous delivery  CD  Testing  Tooling  

This blog post is the third blog post about UI test with Selenium. In the previous blog, we looked at Selenium Grid and how it can help you in executing browser tests using real browsers. Unfortunately, running a Selenium Grid also has some downsides, like the need for quite some infrastructure and maintenance. In this blog, we'll take a look at Docker and see how we can use it to overcome some of these downsides.