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Sprint 0 – Successful Project Initiation

The leading Agile approaches such as Scrum and Kanban attempt to be as applicable as possible to a wide range of circumstances and situations within their domain. They do this, not by providing detailed, complex guidance that attempts to deal with every...

Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) vs Professional ScrumMaster (PSM)

Every now and then, we receive an enquiry from an individual or organisation who is about to take the next step in their Scrum journey, but is unsure whether to go down the Scrum Alliance or Scrum.org route.Often the basis of the conversation revolves...

The 13th State of Agile Report – The Key Points

The latest annual survey from CollabNet VersionOne has been compiled, and the subsequent report recently released. As always, the report provides a comprehensive overview of the current state of agile, including plenty of valuable insights into the use and...

How to Facilitate Sprint Planning Meetings

Following a recent Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) course, one of my delegates posed the following question to me."Good morning David, so far the training is paying off, the handout is my agile Bible :-).  I'm facilitating a Sprint Planning meeting and so...

Scaling your Agile Practices with SAFe

As an individual practitioner on your own agile journey, you may well be looking to take your next steps towards becoming an advanced agile professional. This progression typically involves focusing on, and increasing your knowledge of, specific agile...

Should we identify and estimate tasks in hours?

The current version of the Scrum Guide (2019) says "The Sprint Backlog is a plan with enough detail that changes in progress can be understood in the Daily Scrum".It also states that the "work may be of varying size, or estimated effort. However, enough...

Working with external agencies who form part of the Scrum team

Life can be challenging as a Product Owner, particularly when key members of that team sit within an external supplier or agency. Although this at first can appear difficult to manage, there are effective ways to overcome this.I recently received the...

Changes to Renewal Process for Scrum Alliance Certifications

If you currently hold a Scrum Alliance certification, such as Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), then recent changes to the certification renewal requirements will affect you.After completing a certified Scrum Alliance course your certification will be active...

The Hippo and the Squeaky Wheel

In most circumstances, we work in environments subject to commercial pressures. To survive, the organisations that we work in need to generate value of some kind. How we generate that value is called the Business Model. For example, we might generate value...

David Hicks – Reflecting on 2018 and looking ahead to 2019

With 2019 already well underway, it’s a great opportunity to reflect on the achievements and successes of 2018 – I hope it proved to be a successful and productive year for you, your teams and organisations.   Another exciting year for agil8 It’s...

The Evolution of Agile

Although the term Agile software development was originally coined in 2001 (with the creation of the Agile Manifesto), Agile techniques first came into practice in the 1990s with methods such as Extreme Programming (XP), Scrum and DSDM. Over the course of...

SAFe Product Owner / Product Manager: All you need to know

The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is an increasingly popular approach that is utilised by organisations to scale their Agile practices beyond the single team, up to enterprise level (ie teams-of-teams).In this blog, Andrea Darabos, SAFe Programme...

How to become a Scrum Alliance Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO)

The Product Owner acts as a liaison between the development team and the wider customer community. It is therefore vital that they are able to clearly purvey the product vision, and stakeholder feedback, to the team - to ensure the successful delivery of...

What’s the opposite of Agile?

This is a question I get asked quite a lot and most people think that the answer is "waterfall," "planned" or even "predictable." On occasion I've had people suggest the opposite of Agile is "inflexible" or maybe "rigid." Although all of these suggestions...

How to become a Scrum Alliance Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)

The ScrumMaster role is one of the most important positions within the Scrum Team – operating as a servant leader, removing impediments and empowering the Scrum Team to successfully achieve their objectives. However, without undertaking formal Scrum...

Q&A with Helen Heyns – agil8’s New Business Development Manager

We're delighted to introduce Helen Heyns, an experienced Business Development Manager with 5 years’ experience in software sales, combined with 8 years' experience in software training delivery. She has previously worked within an Agile environment, and is...

How to become a Certified Scrum Professional (CSP)

The Certified Scrum Professional (CSP) programme provides formal validation for advanced Scrum practitioners – it not only sets individuals apart in a competitive job market, but also identifies them as those who will continuously challenge their teams to...

Component Teams vs Feature Teams

There’s nearly always too much work. Certainly there is often too much work for one team. Considering the optimum team size (in Scrum) is between 5 and 9 people, it doesn’t take much of a backlog to require us to have multiple teams.When this is the case,...

Utilising SAFe to overcome challenges

Agil8's primary SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) trainer and SAFe Programme Consultant (SPC) Shaun Smith discusses a number of common challenges that companies face when undertaking Agile transformations at enterprise level. Exploiting the value of...

The 9 steps of successful software development

These 9 simple steps describe, in outline, the steps I think are important to be successful at software development, regardless of whether you are working in a product or project environment. Some are standard Scrum whereas others are additional activities...