How To Run A Scrum Project in JIRA?

This blog’s main idea is to guide project teams to make full use of JIRA to run a scrum project. Jira is a sophisticated tool which is highly designed to run Agile projects. With predefined templates, boards, reports and metrics, it is one of the most used tools to run Agile projects in the industry.

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A Ready Reckoner for PI Planning

A Ready Reckoner for PI Planning

This article is an attempt to pen down a few hygiene elements to bear in mind while planning your PIs. Sort of a checklist that is drawn from our coaching experience and exposure to various pertinent best practices. PI planning often sounds and feels humongous, almost intimidating! But with practice, rigor and iterations focusing on inspection, adaptation and improvement, the experience only gets smoother and easier.

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Agile coaching

In the Driving Seat : Agile Coaching Essentials

A good coach is the one who shares the goals with you & works hard till you achieve them. My journey as a coach began in 2013. Frankly, speaking I wanted to work in agile space and found a job with the title Agile Coach. I googled what it meant and somehow it wasn’t such a popular concept then and since I fulfilled all the expectations for the role and also cleared interviews, I accidentally got into coaching.

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Objective Key Results (OKR)

Objective Key Results (OKR) – An introduction

Goal setting for the teams around strategic objectives has always been prevalent. Why the new interest in OKR? The answer may lie in the huge traction and adoption of Agile across organizations. The intent of this blog is to simplify the context of OKR and to draw a parallel with agile ways of working. As a coach simplifying the context with the right intent and starting with the core, just enough basics is the key to working with OKR’s or with any other tool. Creating quick success stories and cross pollination within teams is one of the main factors to ensure the right adoption.

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How to improve interactions within Teams

How to Improve Interactions Within Teams

A “Team” is generally defined as a group of people. Who work together towards a shared goal. In my experience, effective interaction forms the bedrock of such a ‘team’ – a factor often taken for granted. All the more true in an agile environment, where one sees high levels of ambiguity, uncertainty and diversity. Some of the common issues brought up by managers / leads include dysfunctional teams, poor participation, a lack of openness, poor innovation levels, and less than optimal outcomes. A lack of effective collaboration across team members was a common issue observed across all the aforementioned scenarios. While there is no singular factor that derails collaboration, I’ll attempt to highlight a few key ones in the next few paragraphs. Cross functional team members, geographically dispersed teams, digital dependencies, poor communication practices, diversity of skill sets, cultural differences, structural tension, power struggle within the team, most ironically an over emphasis on collaboration for the sake of it – are some of the most common disruptive factors I’ve come across. I won’t delve into specifics of dealing with each of these issues. However, I’d like to share a few tried and tested pointers that will help establish a healthy climate for collaboration within agile teams.

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How to make a timeboxed event more effective.

How to Make a Timeboxed Event More Effective?

How do we better utilize our time attending an insane number of meetings? Coaches get this asked a lot. While little can be done about the number of meetings just like driving in bumper to bumper traffic, we can surely improve the in-car time utilization! To make the situation worse, we are in the middle of a pandemic, and one thing that we all have experienced is the spike in the sheer number of meetings. What makes this situation more annoying is the purposeless, lacklustre, voice dropping due to poor internet connections and an absolute lack of timeboxing sense in a virtual environment. Those who are applying scrum have to deal with the additional pain of  all the events being timeboxed. Below is an estimate of the time spent across various events based on the sprint size.

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Secret Sauce of all Retrospective techniques

Secret Sauce of all Retrospective Techniques

In Scrum framework, retrospective is the last event of each sprint and has also been one of the most rushed events in our experience. This has meant that the event has failed in helping the team, consequently failing in its purpose and has thus been considered mostly as an helpless event. There could be broadly three reasons why this happens : The team is using the same technique all the time and they are already bored enough. The team is using multiple new techniques where the ‘fun’ gets more important than retrospection. They may failed to improve on identified pointers and think retro is primarily a routine instead of a meaningful event. To counter this, below is one format that we suggest you try for your retrospective.

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Scrum Guide versions & its implications over the years

Scrum Guide Versions & its Implications Over the Years

Scrum Alliance has published seven versions of Scrum Guide in a decade since the first version was published in 2010. Each version has been a reflection of the changing landscape of software development processes. We have tried to summarize the salient pointers of every Scrum Guide and implications of the changes and updates in this blog. Please leave your comments, we will love to hear your perspective and take on the Scrum Guides. Wishing you all the best in your Agile transformation journey. Happy reading!!

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Essential Agile

Essential Agile Metrics for Leaders

Popular agile metrics like burndown chart, velocity graph, cumulative flow, control charts and many others are confined to one team and limits the management view. Senior leadership is keen to know metrics like consistency, predictability, productivity, reliability and other business KPIs as part of the Agile transformation journey of the organization. This blog will help you with metrics that can be compared, analyzed, scaled and more importantly are trustworthy indicators to understand the maturity of various teams within a program and the organization as a whole, expediting the journey towards business Agility.

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