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Archive for the ‘Programme Management’ Category

The Epic Board – Get with the Programme!

Posted by Tara Hamilton-Whitaker on October 6, 2009

The Epic Board has become somewhat of a local attraction over the last couple of weeks!

Aside from being the high point of a visit by a number of McKinsey Management Consultants (who apparently stopped to take pictures – no joke), the Epic Board also got the nod of approval from Howard Averill, CFO of Time Inc.

It’s at times like these that I am reminded of how far we have come with Agile Programme Management over the past few years.

I introduced the Epic Board as a programme management tool – a tangible release plan that can help you to plan software development programmes comprising multiple separate projects combined with Business As Usual Activities.

This task-board-like creation creates a cohesive and collaborative centre piece around which you can hold your Scrums of Scrums or your Programme Planning sessions.

Our Epic board has grown (to cover most of my office) over the last five months. It now tracks top-level deliverables (Epics, Milestones and Objectives) across seven separate teams, four divisions and two separate disciplines i.e. Web Development and Infrastructure Engineering.

It’s quite amazing how the introduction of something so simple could have such a profound effect on the way we define, monitor and discuss project delivery and resourcing.

If you want to know more, check out the Epic Board section of Agile101.


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Scaling Scrum & Distributed Teams – Scrum Tuning: Lessons Learned at Google

Posted by Tara Hamilton-Whitaker on August 31, 2009

A fantastic Google Tech Talk by Jeff Sutherland, one of the founders of Scrum, where he introduces Scrum, Agile and offers a lot of insight and guidance on how to scale Scrum e.g. the Meta Scrum.

Google Tech Talks
December 7, 2006


Adwords introduced a Scrum implementation at Google in small steps with remarkable success. As presented at the Agile 2006 conference this exemplifies a great way to start up Scrum teams. The inventor and Co-Creator of Scrum will use this approach in building the Google Scrum implementation to describe some of the subtle aspects of Scrum along with suggested next steps that can help in distributing and scaling Scrum in a “Googly way”. Credits: Speaker:Jeff Sutherland

Jeff discusses the following points:
  • History of Scrum
  • Introduction to the Agile Principles
  • Overview of the ‘Toyota way’
  • Fujio Cho (Chairman of the Board of Toyota) interview
  • Overview of the ‘Google Way’
  • Distributed Teams and Google Adwords
  • Scaling Organisational Social Structure (Organic, Autocracy, Leadership, Bureaucracy)
  • Scrum is ‘linearly scalable’ – double the team size, double the output
  • Introduction to the Product Owner
  • Introduction to the ‘Meta Scrum’ – (Chief Product Owner, Stakeholders, CEO etc)
  • The ‘Meta Scrum’ at Patient Keeper
  • Scaling Scrum
  • The Scrum Framework
  • What does ‘Done’ mean at your company?
  • Introduction to Scrum Documentation, Meetings and Roles
  • Introduction to the Scrum Master
  • Introduction to the Release Burndown Chart
  • Introduction to the Scrum of Scrums
  • Work In Progress is bad!
  • Introduction to XP ‘Spikes’ (timeboxed R&D)
  • Fitting your Testing into your sprint!
  • Nokia Scrum Assessment
  • Changing the scope of ‘Done’
  • Introducing the Sprint Backlog
  • The Daily Scrum Taskboard
  • The Wisdom of Lao Tse
  • Hyperproductivity in Scaling Scrums
  • Isolated Scrums, Distributed Scrums and Totally Integrated Scrums
  • Case study on scaling scrum – distributed teams
  • Project Reporting (Scope Additions, Burn Down, Cumulative tasks in QA, Work Closed Burn Up)
  • Multi-threading and implementing a ‘Type C’ Scrum – when the same team is working on multiple projects

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Posted in Featured, Programme Management, Video | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

How to Plan Software Development Projects with Distributed Teams

Posted by Tara Hamilton-Whitaker on August 28, 2009

In this Google Tech Talk, Hubert Smits provides some very useful insight on how to plan projects with Distributed Agile Teams.

Hubert is the author of ‘Five Levels of Agile Planning’ and co-author of ‘A CIO’s Playbook for Adopting Scrum’. He is also an Agile Coach and Mentor for Rally Software Development.

The abstract is as follows:

Hubert Smits will give a hands-on overview of the activities that are involved in larger agile projects. Larger projects stretch out over more then a few months and have more then a single team involved. Things get more complex when the teams are not collocated.

Hubert has based the talk on his paper “Multi Level Planning for Agile Projects”and presents a practical implementation of the planning levels. The experience he uses in the presentation is taken from his work as an agile coach for Rally Software Development, which brings him to projects with teams scattered across the globe: the US, Europe, Middle East and Far East. Credits: Speaker:Hubert Smits

In this lecture, Hubert discusses the following:

– The Agile Rhythm
– Revisiting an Agile Process
– The ‘problems’ with this Agile Process – scaling (!)
– Realising your ‘Vision’
– Scheduling and Prioritisation
– Goal of the Planning Process
– Product Vision and the Product Backlog
– Product Roadmap
– Release Planning
– Daily Scrum (scaled)
– Retrospective


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Posted in Programme Management, Project Management | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »