Succeeding with Agile - Mike Cohn's Blog

If it needs to happen: Schedule it!

The following is a guest post from Lisa Crispin. Lisa is the co-author with Janet Gregory of "Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams" and the newly published "More Agile Testing: Learning Journeys for the Whole Team". I highly recommend both of these books--in fact, I recommend reading everything Lisa and Janet write. In the following post, Lisa argues the benefits of scheduling anything that's important. I am a fanatic for doing this. Over the holiday I put fancy new batteries in my smoke detectors that are supposed to last 10 years. So I put a note in my calendar to replace them in 9 years. But, don't schedule time to read Lisa's guest post--just do it now. --Mike

During the holidays, some old friends came...

5 Reasons Product Owners Should Let Teams Work Out of Order

The following was originally published in Mike Cohn's monthly newsletter. If you like what you're reading, sign up to have this content delivered to your inbox weeks before it's posted on the blog, here.

A product owner hands 10 story cards to the team. The team reads them and hands the fifth and sixth cards back to the product owner. By the end of the sprint, the team delivers the functionality described on cards 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7. But the team has not...

Are Vanity Metrics Really All That Bad?

The following was originally published in Mike Cohn's monthly newsletter. If you like what you're reading, sign up to have this content delivered to your inbox weeks before it's posted on the blog, here.

I have a bit of a problem with all the hatred shown to so-called vanity metrics.

Eric Ries first defined vanity metrics in his landmark book, The Lean Startup. Ries says...

Agile Needs to Be Both Iterative and Incremental

The following was originally published in Mike Cohn's monthly newsletter. If you like what you're reading, sign up to have this content delivered to your inbox weeks before it's posted on the blog, here.

Scrum, like all of the agile processes, is both iterative and incremental. Since these words are used so frequently without definition, let’s define them.

An iterative process is one that makes progress through successive refinement. A development team takes a first cut at a system, knowing it is incomplete or weak in some (perhaps many) areas. The team then iteratively refines those areas until the product is satisfactory. With each iteration,...

Commitment-Driven Sprint Planning

There are two primary ways for planning a sprint: velocity-driven sprint planning and commitment-driven sprint planning. In last week’s post, I described velocity-driven planning; so in this week’s, we turn our attention to commitment-driven sprint planning.

A commitment-driven sprint planning meeting involves the product owner, ScrumMaster...