Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Scrum Books

After trying out scrum for a couple of sprints, we decided to make some changes and go get some guidance. The biggest change for us is 2 week sprints. 1 week simply wasn't long enough to complete a lot of our stories if anything was impeded or unexpected, and generally resulted on each developer working primarily on a single story for the duration of the sprint.

There's a couple of books that stood out as being helpful here, both from Mike Cohn, an active member of the Scrum community.

Mike Cohn's Agile Estimating and Planning
is a primer on putting together a project plan using estimating techniques such as user stories to assemble it.
Mike Cohn's User Stories Applied is my other recommendation. It talks in depth on what a quality story will look like, what questions need to be answered at what level of detail, and how to arrive at a good estimate. One of the more interesting subjects for me was the "Epic Story", which is a very large story with a very rough level of detail, that is a placeholder for a feature set that will not be implemented in the immediate future.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Starting Scrum

We've gotten approval from work to implement Scrum at work. We'll see how things go, but I'm excited that the team is willing to give it a shot and try not to come in with too many preconceived notions on whether the recommendations of Scrum are appropriate for our environment.

We've gotten an initial backlog done in Excel, and are trying out 1 week sprints to start.