What is this thing called (Business) Value?

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Scrum Teams frequently deliver business value by working through a backlog of functionality (or work). At least, that's the theory. But what is 'value' and how does one decide if a team is working 'on the right thing on the right time'. In this post, I offer five types of business value that can generated by Scrum Teams that develop software. I also provide a simple cheatsheet that can help you when setting up and prioritizing the backlog. [More]

Scrum Day Europe 2014: Theme and call for papers

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On July 3rd 2014 it's time for this years Scrum Day Europe. I'm really excited about taking part in organizing this year's event, together with Scrum.org and Prowareness. This year's theme is Evidence Based Management. And for the first time, there are slots for community workshops. So if you've got something to say about Scrum and evidence based management, feel free to send in a workshop! [More]

Agile Book Essentials #2: Scrum: A Pocket Guide, by Gunther Verheyen

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I recently received a copy of Gunther Verheyen’s ‘Scrum: A Pocket Guide’. As Director of the Professional Series of Scrum.org, Gunther Verheyen is very knowledgeable and passionate about Scrum. In this book he presents a clear, articulate vision on Scrum and it’s future. With its high density in facts, insights and information, the book reads like a good espresso. In just two hours you’re up to speed on the Scrum framework, its history, core principles and its broader context (e.g. Lean, Agile). If you’ve been hearing about Scrum and want to know more, or if you’re already working with Scrum but want to read up on its foundation, then I highly recommend this book. [More]
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Hannibalism: symptoms and how to cure it

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Many people approach software development like Hannibal from the A-Team: identify the problem, come up with a plan, execute and sit back to enjoy the success. They attempt to control the process by predicting the future with elaborate action plans. But plans are bound to change once we enter the battlefield. So why spend up to 30/40% of your time writing detailed plans in the first place? I call this wasteful urge to plan ahead and predict the future Hannibalism. Thankfully there's an easy cure! [More]
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Confusing methods and tools: The problem with 'We want to Scrum, so use Tool X'

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When you start with Scrum, it's tempting to start looking for a good tool like JIRA, TargetProcess or Rally. The same goes for pretty much any other new method or process, like Kanban, Getting Things Done or resource planning. We often assume that using a new tool will help us implement a new method automatically. But in reality, we often confuse methods with tools. In reality, the method should always be more important than the tool. In this blog, I rant about methods and tools and give you my nuanced opinion on the matter. [More]

.NET MVC, Unit testing, databuilders and dependency injection (part 2)

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The purpose of this series is to show you some of the lessons I learned when I started using MVC, Entity Framework, dependency injection, unit testing and various design patterns. As with all new technologies, patterns and ideas, it takes a while to get comfortable with it and learn how to apply them in a good way. I believe that this is in part because tutorials often focus on the details of a technology or a pattern. Putting everything together is often left up to the reader. In this series of posts, I want to show you an application that I wrote for the purposes of this series that combines Entity Framework (6), MVC (4), unit testing, dependency injection with Ninject, Bootstrap, AppHarbor (continuous delivery) and repository patterns. [More]

Entity Framework, MVC, Repositories, Code First Migrations: Putting it together (part 1)

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I love Microsoft’s Entity Framework, repositories, code first, migrations and the MVC framework. Put together, they make my work as a C# developer a lot easier because they take care of a lot of the heavy lifting and make the code more readable. In this post, I would like to share what I’ve learned by showing you how I apply said technologies, patterns and ideas in a simple application. The source is available from BitBucket, so feel free to check it out yourself and play a bit with the code. [More]

Why do we use Scrum? About failing as early and quickly as possible

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Sometimes, people ask me when they should use Scrum or a more traditional planned approach (like waterfall) for their projects. The reasoning here is usually that a customer does not want to use Scrum, that a project is fixed price, that a project is too small or that people don’t see the benefits of Scrum. Although I certainly understand where these people are coming from, it does tell me that they haven’t truly grasped the core problem with any planned approach to software development: the ever increasing heap of assumptions and the inability to test these assumptions early and frequently. Scrum will help you prevent costly mistakes as a result of wrong assumptions, by detecting them very early and frequently. This is always better than approaches that do not provide this opportunity. [More]

Terugblik op Kerk2013

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Afgelopen zaterdag 9 november was Kerk2013; hét interkerkelijke congres over kerk, social media en internet. Als één van de mede-organisatoren en initiatiefnemers van Kerk2013 (en Kerk2012) heb ik de congresdag als één groot feest ervaren. Ik heb de hele dag met een vrolijk gezicht rondgelopen. Dat was niet moeilijk met zoveel vrolijke bezoekers, enthousiaste vrijwilligers en interessante sponsoren. In deze blog wil ik kort terugkijken op deze congresdag en hoe deze tot stand is gekomen. [More]
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