Our team decided against estimating stories or tasks in real time (eg hours) during sprint planning. We assign relative points during backlog grooming and may change that number later or during the sprint planning as more information becomes available. I was wondering: How good are our estimates? How do we measure that? How do we improve? Do we care?

The following 20 minute (!) retro gave us some insight into our estimates over the last three sprints. I provided the team with a list of the stories we played in the three sprints and asked them to point them based…


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I am the agile PM for a small team that augments an application team. Our team assist towards reliability, scalability of the micro services the application team is building. The team lead and I, have known each other for almost a year. At the time of writing this post, we have been on the same team for about four weeks and work very well together. Suddenly, last week we ran into a couple issues and misunderstandings. This triggered the idea to have our own one-on-one retro.

To us this was a bigger epiphany than you might think. We are both…


In 2015 Cheryl Hammond introduced me to the GetKanban game. The game is an awesome way for the participants to experience the impact of queues and the decisions you need to make using the Kanban framework. The players simulate 2–3 weeks of development with daily standups where the team decides prioritization and who should work on what. Life is not fair and neither is the game. But we learn through our struggles and this is only a game.

A couple of years ago I used the game to introduce two teams to Kanban at SRS Health. The course was a…


Using story points for estimation can get stale after a while. When Kyle Winter mentioned relative mass estimation on our company agile slack channel I was wondering how to implement this with a distributed team. Below are the details and results of our experiment.

If you are not familiar with relative mass estimation please read 3 Powerful Estimation Techniques for Agile Teams or Affinity Estimating: A How-To

Experiment

We used a trello board for the estimation. It is free, simple and fast. We created a list with the stories we wanted to estimate and a series of list from XS through…


Many teams follow the three questions for their standups: “yesterday I did …; today I will do …; I am blocked by …”. Time and again I see the same anti-patterns: It is not a planning meeting but a status report to the PO or PM. The team is not listening to other team members.

A couple of weeks I watched the excellent lecture Patterns of Effective Teams by Dan North. He mentioned an alternate way of conducting the daily scrum. Rather then iterating over the team members the team goes down the sprint board by story. This simple inversion…

Jonathan Orgel

Everything Agile and Project management (CSM, CSPO, PMP, PMI-ACP, ETC)

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