Does it matter in what order a Scrum Team executes their Sprint Backlog?

Over the last few years I’ve had folks from various roles on agile teams ask me if I thought it was important if the stories in a sprint backlog were executed on in their rank order of importance, because "after all, the team made the commitment and they should be delivering the entire backlog during the Sprint." Recently I heard the previous quote from a CSM so I thought I would set the record straight...

Lean or Kanban or Agile

This post originally published by Mike Cottmeyer for Agile Chronicles, May 2009. Here I am.. Sunday afternoon.. Mother's day. Just got back from taking the family out for a low key Mother's day celebration and now I've got a little quiet time before the week begins....

The Agile Scaling Checklist

When I first read The Checklist Manifesto by Dr. Atul Gawande it got me thinking about a checklist that could be effective and easy to use by my clients to help determine if a change they were considering making to a policy, a procedure, an organizational structure, facilities or...

For What It’s Worth

I've used this theme before but I need to once again give my nods to Buffalo Springfield.  It is absolutely time we "Stop Children, what's that sound, everyone look whats going down..." I get involved in a heck of a lot of discussions about agile development...

Extreme Programming Values – Communication

Communication is one of the most underestimated of the XP values.  The value of communication is not underestimated, so much as how hard it is.  There are many different ways to believe we are truly communicating, but they so often fall short.  When we are talking...

10 Years of Agile

Alistair Cockburn has been organizing a 10 Years of the Agile Manifesto event in Snowbird this coming weekend. A majority of the discussion is anticipated to revolve around three questions:What problems in software or product development have we solved (and...

Making Distributed Agile Teams Work

When working with distributed agile teams, first we have to ask ourselves, "What is our definition of making distributed teams work?"  I have managed and coached distributed agile teams that "make it work," however they understand that...

The Extreme Programming Values – Alive and Well!

Like so many of my compatriots, I got started in the agile development world doing Extreme Programming.  At first, I was enamored with the "engineering" practices such as Pair Programming and Refactoring.  These practices have become the foundation that...

The Agile Project Manager

Agile and Scrum methodologies are helping software organizations stay competitive by delivering products more frequently and with significantly higher quality. Making the switch to agile development also challenges traditional notions of project management, introducing...

I’m a Certified ScrumMaster. BFD.*

{ *Actually so is my brother, and he’s a freakin’ marketing guy… } While I believe that the ScrumMaster Certification program had a hand in driving the early adoption of agile methods over the past several years, I also believe that it now needs...

First Order Agile Scaling

When we talk about scaling agile project management... we are really talking about how to coordinate the activities of many small teams to do the business of the enterprise. The interesting thing is that we don't have to go from 6-8 people to thousands in one giant...

What Do You Value?

Sometimes I think we are missing the point. I am becoming more and more convinced that building organizations around teams is the real secret to building agile and Scrum organizations. How we set up our teams, what we have them work on, and how they work together...

Agile Isn’t Project Management…

...but it sure will change how you do project management. I've got this talk called the The Agile PMP: Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks. The first time I delivered the talk was in 2008 at the Agile Development Practices conference in Orlando. Since then I've done...

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What People Say

“I worked with Kelly whilst at Thoughtworks and found him to be a most inspiring individual, his common-sense approach coupled with a deep understanding of Agile and business makes him an invaluable asset to any organisation. I can't recommend Kelly enough.”


“Kelly was a brilliant CTO and a great support to me in the time we worked together. I owe Kelly a great deal in terms of direction and how to get things done under sometimes difficult circumstances. Thanks Kelly.”


“Kelly is an extremely talented and visionary leader. As such he manages to inspire all around him to achieve their best. He is passionate about agile and has a wealth of experience to bring to bear in this area. If you're 'lucky' he might even tell you all about his agile blog. Above all this, Kelly is great fun to work with. He is always relaxed and never gets stressed - and trust me, he had plenty of opportunity here! If you get the chance to work with Kelly, don't pass it up.”


“I worked with Kelly on many projects at IPC and I was always impressed with his approach to all of them, always ensuring the most commercially viable route was taken. He is great at managing relationships and it was always a pleasure working with him.”


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“Kelly was engaged as a Program Director on a complex business and technology transformation program for Suncorp Commercial Insurance. Kelly drew on his key capabilities and depth of experience to bring together disparate parties in a harmonised way, ensuring the initiate and concept phases of the program were understood and well formulated. Excellent outcome in a very short time frame. ”


“Kelly came to the department and has really made a huge impact on how the department communicates, collaborates and generally gets things done. We were already developing in an agile way, but Kelly has brought us even more into alignment with agile and scrum best practices, being eager to share information and willing to work with us to change our processes rather than dictate how things must be done. He is highly knowledgable about agile development (as his active blog proves) but his blog won't show what a friendly and knowledgeable guy he is. I highly recommend Kelly to anyone looking for a CTO or a seminar on agile/scrum practices - you won't be disappointed!”


“Kelly is an Agile heavy-weight. He came in to assess my multi-million $ Agile development program which wasn’t delivering the right throughput. He interviewed most of the team and made some key recommendations that, when implemented, showed immediate results. I couldn’t ask for more than that except he’s a really nice guy as well.”


“Kelly and I worked together on a very large project trying to secure a new Insurer client. Kelly had fantastic commercial awareness as well as his technical expertise. Without him I would never had secured this client so I owe a lot to him. He is also a really great guy!”


“Kelly revolutionised the way our digital department operated. A true advocate of agile principles, he quickly improved internal communication within our teams and our internal clients by aligning our business and creating a much enhanced sense of transparency in the decisions the business was making. Kelly also introduced a higher sense of empowerment to the development teams...”



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