Velocity: An Elusive Metric in Scrum

When I interview candidates for a position in an Agile/Scrum development project, I often ask: “What is your team’s current velocity?” The candidate might think the response needs to be a high number, but it doesn’t matter what the number is. What matters to me is that the candidate knows the number.

Velocity is an important metric in Scrum for measuring how well a team is working together. This is what I want to assess when asking this question. Unfortunately, the term has been misconstrued to mean something else: a measure of a team’s speed or productivity, often with the assumption that the number—whatever it happens to be—should increase infinitely over time.

When velocity is misused this way, it can be detrimental. For one thing, it gets discredited by the team it is meant to benefit. For this reason, it’s important to understand what velocity is, when and how velocity is useful, and why misapplying it actually puts the performance of Agile teams at risk.

AIM Upgrades Holland America Line’s Check-In Experience with Modern, Scalable AngularJS Application

Case Study: Application Development | Project Delivery SITUATION & BUSINESS CHALLENGE Holland America Line (HAL) is a recognized leader in the cruise industry, with a fleet of 14 modern ships offering more than 500 cruises to more than 400 ports

Using Scrum to Adopt Agile

Since the publishing of the Agile Manifesto in the early 2000s, organizations have experienced tremendous benefits from adopting agile, including transparency, predictable delivery, and better quality. Agile has generated such a positive impression that it has increasingly been used for non-development-related projects, for everything from managing marketing projects to transforming an entire practice.

For organizations excited to make the transition to agile, the promise is sweet but the reality can be bitter. Organizations unfamiliar with agile processes can face significant challenges, and when projects stall or fail due to lack of understanding or poor implementation, agile gets the blame. To make the transition to agile more smoothly, some organizations have found success with a tactic I like to call “using Scrum to adopt agile.” This concept can be applied with a variety of methodologies (Lean, Kanban, etc.), but as Scrum is well-known and highly regarded, I will use it to illustrate how this is done.

Large E-Commerce Retailer Leverages AIM Consulting for Agile Transformation

Case Study: Delivery Leadership SITUATION & BUSINESS NEEDS A parent company of more than a dozen e-commerce retail brands had recently merged with a company that operated eleven retail brands, forming a powerful partnership in the e-commerce sector. Following the

Top QA Strategies for Mitigating the Impact of Delays in Web/Mobile Agile Development Projects

In an ideal agile web or mobile software development project, a sprint ends on time, QA’s work is recognized and appreciated as a normal part of the process, and life goes on. But in my experience, 60 to 75 percent of sprints incur some sort of delay. When delays occur, the burden to “catch up” often falls on those in the last stage, which in development means QA. In order to do our jobs well and be ready for the next sprint, we in QA will accommodate whatever twists and turns come with the project, but it can be stressful to be the last one to get the baton in a relay race, especially if you are already behind and have a specific time to beat in order for the whole team to win.

Finding Strong Scrum Resources in a Less than Standardized World

More and more companies are turning to Agile to improve their project success rates and scrum is the most popular methodology. The problem is that as you transition your company to a scrum environment it is a challenge to find candidates with a legitimate scrum background. Due to the flexibility of scrum and the eagerness of many to obtain scrum experience, a lot of the resources are not actually qualified to work within a scrum team, especially in transitioning environments.

That may sound a bit negative, but I’ve seen a lot of scrum team candidates in my time. After interviewing a scrum business analyst candidate claiming five years of experience who couldn’t tell me what a “story” was, I’ve become skeptical. So how do you find the right people who are going to move your company forward?

Finding Strong Scrum Resources in a Less than Standardized World on Scrum Alliance

More and more companies are turning to Agile to improve their project success rates, and Scrum is the most popular method. The problem is that as you transition your company to a Scrum environment, it is a challenge to find candidates with a legitimate Scrum background. Due to the flexibility of Scrum and the eagerness of many to obtain Scrum experience, many people are not actually qualified to work within a Scrum team, especially in transitioning environments.

Finding Strong Scrum Resources in a Less than Standardized World on Scrum Alliance

More and more companies are turning to Agile to improve their project success rates, and Scrum is the most popular method. The problem is that as you transition your company to a Scrum environment, it is a challenge to find candidates with a legitimate Scrum background. Due to the flexibility of Scrum and the eagerness of many to obtain Scrum experience, many people are not actually qualified to work within a Scrum team, especially in transitioning environments.

The Importance of Knowing Your Role on a Web / Mobile Development Project

It’s not uncommon for teams to take elements from different methodologies (Scrum, TDD, Waterfall, Lean, Kanban, etc.) to build software. Everyone brings his or her own personal experiences to how software should be built and how projects should be managed. Throw in company-specific processes, different organizational makeups, and a variety of industry methodologies, and software development can get pretty confusing

The right processes will vary depending on the structure of the organization. At the end of the day, what matters is that you build a product that is of high value to your users. At AIM Consulting, we understand all the methodologies and adapt an approach that meets the needs of the business. We make sure all the necessary roles are understood and covered, key responsibilities are not overlooked and team members are not spreading themselves too thin. The result is contributing teams, quality software, and project success.

12 Best Practices for Distributed Development Teams Using Agile and Scrum Methodologies

Distributed Development, a project delivery model in which work is done across multiple worksites, is rapidly becoming a common approach. Within a distributed development model, team members physically located in different places—buildings, cities, countries, or continents—work collaboratively to complete project deliverables. With the right approach, a distributed development team can avoid or overcome common challenges and become a high performing team that enjoys working together to deliver business value.

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