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145

I think the problem is the task: "I have been tasked with teaching other teams a new codebase". You have been given the wrong job, or maybe misinterpreted the job you've been given. By presenting at the code level, you invite code level thinking. Start at the system level and present the design and the design choices that were made. Don't allow extended ...


64

"Park them". At the start of the lesson, explain what you are to discuss, and clearly explain what is considered Off Topic. If you are asked a question that is clearly OT, say so and move on. If they come back to it, write the question on a whiteboard (This is critical) for later discussion and move on. At the end of the lesson, when they are on their own ...


35

I had experience participating in a "SCRUM" team with several employers. It appears to me that the managers take out the "daily scrum meeting" as the main point of SCRUM, and set it as the goal, instead of having it for what it is: a mean to achieve more effective development cycle. Very quickly the 15 minutes meetings became 45 minutes meetings, the ...


33

I would find daily stand up boring and useless if I felt there was little to no value in it. There are a few things that can reduce the utility of a daily standup. The information being shared never pertains or affects me in any way. Absence of team ownership and everyone always working on their own projects. Absence of team communication outside the ...


33

Why are the backlog items not inserted and prioritized before sprint kickoff? Wasting developers time is not fun. Let your team leads work with the product owner and project manager a few days beforehand to prioritize stuff. This goes for planning who is on each sprint team too. Why is it taking a day to break things out into tasks? If you have a reasonably ...


32

As an alternative to daily scrum, we're thinking about asking developers to provide daily reports with the following conditions: What a terrible idea. Do you think that this can decrease their productivity? Yes. Why? A verbal presentation at a meeting combines writing and n people "reading" the report into one concurrent activity. Talking plus ...


31

We had daily standups at my first job. Well, with all the co-ops/interns/temps, it was actually on the long side - usually around 30 minutes. But the idea of a short, timeboxed, daily meeting helped a lot just to know what other people were stuck on - and if it was something I was working on, I could reprioritize my tasks to finish what they needed to ...


27

Make estimating easier Break your sprint planning down. Do you need to estimate the individual tasks? I've done sprint planning two ways: Stories are estimated in story points and then tasks are estimated in hours Stories are estimated in story points and tasks simply fall under that with no estimate Of the two, I prefer the second option. I find ...


26

I find these meetings very valuable. They offer the following benefits—in return of spending just 15 minutes! Keeps everyone on-topic. It's easy to dig into your own problems and forget about what others do, or to repeat work being done by someone else. Daily meetings prevent this from happening. Doesn't allow people to slack. At these meetings you make ...


26

If your meetings are held for the purpose of doing actual work like coding, then you should have laptops in your meetings. Otherwise it is my opinion that there should be no electronic devices of any kind in meetings, including blackberries and such.


20

In my experience, the best way to improve standups is to follow the rules exactly. A lot of agile practices can be bent, but if you're having trouble, a good first step is to return to the prescribed way of doing it: Stick to 15 minutes for the entire meeting. People get bored easily, especially at mandatory, team-wide, daily meetings. Have each person ...


20

Set expectations correctly and be honest, open and upfront. Make sure your goals are open and transparent. Start off discussions with the high level view as promoted by andy256 (+1) but also make sure that you include your objectives, e.g. "...as we look at this issue, lets make sure we don't focus on x, y and z. Let also make sure that we're not looking ...


19

Ideally, the scrum master is responsible for facilitating the project activities and to address any sort of impediments faced during that. He/she does not participate in the "yesterday, today, impediments" spiel during the daily stand-up per se, however, is answerable to the team members for any kind of status on the impediments they have reported during ...


18

a) I will find out what the answer to this is from the person responsible for that area of the project and get back to you within the next two days b) This is a good point, thank you for raising it. I have not thought about this aspect but will do and get back to you within the next two days c) What do you actually mean about this as it does not seem to ...


17

So how do you educate other programmers enough that they stop fixating on trivialities and can meaningfully contribute to the design? First, don't think of their concerns as "trivialities" or "bikeshedding". Those are judgmental words, and they're insulting. Their concerns are valid. They're just not important at the moment. The key to any good ...


16

The Scrum team is self organized so there can be somebody who is little bit more dominant and other ask him for his ideas about tasks they are working on but that dominance must be under control. What you can do: Motivate others to be independent but collaborative - this can be best achieved if you cooperate with their boss and HR who will set some ...


15

I can stand for hours on end. It doesn't make me any more to the point, or have any real significance/impact to a short daily catch-up meeting. But hey, if standing up lets you re-brand something as agile, it must be good! As for whether regular catch-up meeting in general are a good idea... well they help if you other processes are ineffective. If you ...


15

Some of the problems encountered with daily SCRUM meetings : those which last too long. You don't want any manager guy in those daily because they're the root cause of this kind of problems. See how they'll usually be the ones using a chair (yes, having to stand up for those is to entice people to be fast) having to hear about someone (or 2 or 3 devs) ...


14

Presumably, the reason for this question is because you feel that the team is somehow under-performing because of this dominant person. Perhaps because the rest of the team aren't contributing 100% because, well, what's the point? As a manager, if you are, it's your responsibility to make sure that all of your employees understand what their roles are. ...


12

Timing is the killer for many. Programmers like to code late, sleep late and come in after the morning rush. Having to be in office at a fixed time - way too early for them. And too late for others who may come in earlier and start working already. Flow is another issue. A programmer in flow with some feature will work until late at night, go home and come ...


12

This is a fairly common practice, although I wouldn't say supportability is the main benefit. The real benefit for this approach is keeping a rich audit trail. It's also common place to have an extra column containing the username of the user who made the last update. If you're dealing with any kind of financial or sensetive data, I'm sure you've heard of ...


12

Answering your questions in order: The mindset going into this in terms of preparation, is to ask the right questions so that the user knows exactly what they want. This is much more difficult than it seems. I need to emphasize asking the right questions. Be specific, if there is any ambiguity, ask another question. Usually during these meetings one answer ...


11

I've done these in the past, but in the morning as opposed to the end of day. It generally took less than five minutes to fill out, so no, I can't see how there would be any decrease in a developer's productivity. The nice thing about doing it in the morning was that it made you think about what you're going to do for the rest of the day. Having said ...


10

My observation is far too often these meetings are for the managers to look and feel like they're actually doing something rather than them being useful for the team and the project. For example, a team is assigned to do series of short bug fixes on different projects. They're really not working as a team but as individuals. However, because ...


9

By the time we do our team meetings, we already know what we've been doing all week and what we'll be doing next week. And we have a reasonable overview of the long-term plan. What we do in our team meetings is talk about what is bugging us. Anything that happened in the last week which slowed us down significantly, things that we'd like to change in the ...


9

Make sure that no-one monopolises the meeting. If 4 of the developers get their spiel out of the way in 5 minutes, and the next 10 minutes are spent listening to the team leader detailing all of the amazing, awesome new developments he's made, most of which are neither as amazing nor as awesome as he thinks they are, people will get very bored very quickly. ...


9

Planning is one area of scrum where teams have a lot of flexibility. Try something new every sprint until you hit on something that works for your team. Some successful ideas I've either tried personally, or heard about from other teams: Do user story creation and prioritization without the entire team. The product owner and/or scrum master can handle a ...


9

For Scrum, Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland explain: Daily Scrum The Daily Scrum is a 15-minute time-boxed event for the Development Team to synchronize activities and create a plan for the next 24 hours. This is done by inspecting the work since the last Daily Scrum and forecasting the work that could be done before the next one. The Daily ...


8

I think they are very valuable if they are performed correctly. The format that has worked well for me is this.. Each person gives a short answer to the following questions. a) What are you working on? b) What will you get done by the next meeting (tomorrow)? c) Did you accomplish what you said you would get done at the last meeting? d) What obstacles are ...


8

In my experience, stand-ups haven't been worth it, especially the daily kind. They're either one of two things: an empty ritual, or an undirected ad-hoc meeting. The empty ritual: everyone goes around the circle and states the task they're working on and their progress. No one really cares about what the others are working on, and nothing gets done (as a ...



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