DFW Scrum – Second Quarter Summary

Here’s a recap of our meetings for the quarter:

April: Definition of Done, Chris Murman

Many companies practicing agile talk about the definition of done, but how many teams adhere to it on a sprint-by-sprint basis? Expectations that are either unmet, not communicated, or mismanaged are usually the source of our problems.

Chris presented some practical ideas on how to define “done” in your organization and didn’t stop there. He presented a bigger idea that surrounded the topic and gave everyone something to take back to their offices.

May: Using NPS Scoring at Sprint Reviews with Customers, Simon Cockayne

It’s extremely difficult to understand the link between a given user story and the money that could be saved/made by customers. But could customer happiness serve as a proxy to the actual or perceived value that the customer sees? Could we determine how happy each delivered user story made the customer?

So Simon introduced a Net Promoter Score (NPS) approach to determine how happy customers were with a delivered user story in a sprint review. NPS is based on a direct question: How likely are you to recommend our company/product/service to your friends and colleagues? The scoring for this answer is most often based on a 0 to 10 scale.

The results were wonderful:

  • customers were super keen to try something new.
  • the scores showed that they LOVED the stuff we were doing.
  • the scrum team was STOKED to see the high scores–that helped boost scrum team morale in the next sprint.
  • customers started interacting with each other as they discussed the value they perceived, lots of good spirits and good humor, to boot.

June: You Want to Use Scrum, You are Told to Use CMMI (How They can Work Together?), Neil Potter

The CMMI-DEV model is a collection of practices aimed at organizations that develop products, systems and IT solutions. The model is organized into five levels; each level defines more advanced practices to improve schedule, budget, risk and quality performance. The levels provide a road map for sustained incremental improvement.

CMMI practices can be implemented within any life cycle or methodology (such as Scrum, Waterfall, Spiral or Incremental). The benefits from using CMMI Level 2 and 3 practices are:

  • Clarify customer requirements early
  • Scope, plan, estimate and negotiate work to manage expectations and achieve commitments
  • Track progress to know project status at any time
  • Maintain defined quality standards throughout the organization and report strengths and problems to management
  • Manage versions of documents and code so that time is not wasted using incorrect versions or recreating lost versions
  • Manage and coordinate multiple teams that have cross dependencies
  • Employ engineering practices for design, implementation, verification and testing to reduce defects
  • Use defect data to understand and manage work quality throughout the project
  • Collect lessons learned and project data to systematically improve future organizational performance

For more information, view Neil’s presentation here.

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