Scrum in ten slides

When I needed to do presentations of Scrum to executives and students, I started to look for existing ones. Most presentations I found were very good for detailed presentations or training. But what I was looking for was a presentation I could give in less than 15 minutes (or more if I wanted). Most of them also contained out dated content. For example, the latest changes in the Scrum framework were not present and what has been removed was still there.

I decided to start over and created a new presentation with the following objectives:

  • Based on the official Scrum Guide: the structure is very similar and I attempted to extract only the essentials.
  • Not more than 10 slides (without the front and back cover).
  • The least text possible to extend the possibility for the presenter to say what is important to his organization without missing the core principles of Scrum.
  • Having good visuals to make it attractive.
  • A final invitation to read the official Scrum Guide for those who wanted more detailed information.

The result is a ten slide presentation that you can download then use as a powerpoint by clicking on the button below. Images are also available so you can use another presentation tool. It is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License (commercial usage & sharing allowed & encouraged). Feedback & suggestions welcome in the comments of this post.

UPDATE 14th of January 2018: I updated the slides to integrate latest Scrum Guide modifications.


 

Download

Here are the slides preview:

Scrum Development Team

Scrum Development Team

Scrum Product Owner

Scrum Product Owner

Scrum Process Overview

Scrum Process Overview

Scrum In Ten Slides Intro

Scrum In Ten Slides Intro

Scrum In Ten Slides Credits

Scrum In Ten Slides Credits

Scrum Sprint Retrospectives

Scrum Sprint Retrospectives

Scrum Sprint Review

Scrum Sprint Review

Daily Scrum

Daily Scrum

Scrum Sprint Planning

Scrum Sprint Planning

Scrum Definition Of Done

Scrum Definition Of Done

Scrum Product Backlog

Scrum Product Backlog

Scrum Master

Scrum Master

 

 

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7 telecommuting tips for developers

Working from home or a private office is probably the future of knowledge age companies. It allows you to do away with commuting completely and to work in a quiet  and non (over) interrupted environment (if you decide to).  It’s the opposite of the open space office. The gain in productivity can be huge.  Both you and your (smart) boss are potential winners in the deal, not to mention the potential real estate saving for the latter.

Unfortunately, telecommuting is not for everyone though and this may be why it is not generalized yet despite the positive conclusions of the studies on the subject.  Procrastinators may find it very difficult stay as productive as they are at the office. You will also need lot of independence and self confidence.  Some employees may also suffer from isolation.

Procrastination and isolation are the two problems I will address in this post. Other problems related to telecommuting won’t be debated here such as:

  • security concerns,
  • the fact that telecommuters are less likely to be promoted (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2009),
  • potential loss of thrust by managers
  • communication problems with your team

Here are the 7 things I strongly suggest you to try.  I have experimented with this myself during the past 10 years. They provide some tips to help avoid both procrastination and isolation. Disclaimer: you may adapt them to your particular case and not take those empirical & personal observations as a generalization of what to do. I really encourage you to share your own experiences on the subject in the comments.

Procrastination

1. Use a schedule – as if you were in a formal office.

If you don’t do so, you will be tempted to work too much or too little, depending on your personality. Both are problematic long term. Having a fixed schedule will not only create some sort of rule to manage your time, but also help you beat procrastination.

One of the keys to beat procrastination is to have “starters” and avoid “retarders”.  If you like to do non work related stuff such as reading news or browse internet, reserve 30 minutes before and after your fixed work time for it.  When you feel the need to do it while you are into your work time, remember you will be able to do it after.  It usually calms down the need for it and after some some time, the addiction will disapear.  When you arrive at your work time schedule, close everything and start working. This can be hard the  first few (ten) times, then after a while the habit will kick in.

In order to avoid the frustration of having to leave off work in a middle of something, I try not to start debugging or another task that has unpredictable time duration at the end of the afternoon.

2. Replace commuting by physical excercises and meditation/relaxation.

Telecommuting will free up a lot of time, and you should take it as an opportunity to take care of yourself, and certainly not work more for the same salary. Consider taking up physical excercies and relaxation or meditation. It will improve your overall productivity and will contribute to reducing procrastination (Davis & Jones, 2007).

3. Take regular breaks

Since you don’t have your environment anymore to remind you it’s time to take a pause, use the pomodoro technique. I personnaly taking a break of 10 minutes every 45 minutes, but you may setup your own schedule. I use a special software for that called Workrave that I warmly recommend to you.

The pause can be either doing nothing (it’s what I do every other break) and free your mind or do stuff off your computer such as class papers or call a colleague.  In any case, this should occur in another room, and certainly not in front of a computer.  I personally do three minutes of mindfulness or simple observation of what is happening outside (simply being in the present moment).  Feel free to adapt this to what works best for you.

At noon, take a full break and don’t eat in front of your computer.  Some of you may enjoy some cooking time while others may be very relaxed by some time listening to music.

4. Put clear limits between work and your normal life.

This means you have a dedicated office/room you don’t use for your pleasure but only work.  This is very important especially if you have kids.  Your office should not be used to anything else than working. This also means:

  • don’t work on your laptop when you are watching a movie with your family
  • avoid any professional activities during the weekend
  • remove all work thinking and be 100% mentally available for your well beloved
Isolation

5. Go to lunch outside.

< Isolation is the other major inconvenience to combat if you are affected by it. To avoid isolation a great solution is to integrate a social lunch with others. Try to do this at least once a week.  Even if not with someone else, try to go outside at noon somewhere there are other people.  Why not with other telecommuters?

6. Do co-working.

Co-working is the new trend that involves a shared working environment for people even if they have independent activity. It feels like your office, but it’s not. To make this work, the co-work area must be close to your home.

7. Don’t telecommute every work day.

If you telecommute every work day, you will progressively become more and more disconnected from your company’s culture and people.  It’s inevitable and it will happen.  Be sure to dedicate one or two days on site.  When on site, go to lunch with your colleagues.

 

The Agile Essentials Checklist

Here a “light” Agile Software Development checklist that I have used for many years to introduce Agile in organization. I usually introduce few items per week.

Product Management
  • A product Backlog, estimated and prioritized by a “Product Owner” is used
  • A “Release Plan” exists and is known by the team
  • A “Company Strategy” exists and is known by the team
  • Features are divided into “User Stories”
  • The “User Stories” are estimated by the whole team using “Planning Poker”
Workflow
  • The development work is divided into iterations or timeboxed “Sprints” or “Iterations”
  • A “kanban” or “Information Radiator” is used
  • The tasks are not assigned, the team organizes itself
  • The “Velocity” of the team is known
  • No outsider can interfere directly with the team during an iteration
  • “Daily Meetings” take place and do not last more than 10 minutes
  • A “Sprint Review” is organized and the output recorded
  • A demonstration is held at the end of each iteration
  • The problems are tracked and by the “Scrum Master” and/or management
  • A proper Retrospective is held
  • A “Burndown” graph is updated daily
  • The “Code Reviews” are systematically organized
Development Tools & Rules
  • A source controller is in place
  • A continuous integration build server is used and testing (unit & guidelines) takes place at each commit
  • The packaging of the product is fully automated
  • A (simple) bug management tool is used
  • Each bug is reproduced in a single test and then corrected
  • 80% of the code is covered by automated testing
  • A “Solution Log” in WIKI form is used
  • The “Coding Guidelines” are defined and understood by all
  • A maximum of 40 work hours per week!

Please note that any numbers above can be adjusted to your reality.