Make better predictions, stop estimating

Over half of all software projects are late or over budget. But isn’t late only a failed expectation, an expectation solely based on a team’s estimate? Is your team confronted with the questions of when will it be done or how much will it cost? We tend to respond to these uncomfortable inquiries by sticking our heads together and coming up with an educated guess.

Maybe there are easier, more transparent ways to make predictions about our software releases?

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The Hidden Downsides of KPIs

In our complex world KPIs can give us a false sense of control. They ignore the chaotic nature of our lives and reduce humans to numbers.

What could we achieve if we acknowledged all sides of our humanness?

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Crafting a lean roadmap

Traditional roadmaps make too many assumptions which causes miscommunication, wastes time and effort and renders you unresponsive to changing circumstances.

The idea behind Lean is to reduce waste. Let’s make our roadmaps less wasteful and create a lean roadmap!

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Good intentions make bad roadmaps

What makes a good roadmap? More is always better! More milestones, more details, more predictions. That was my naive approach to creating roadmaps for a while. I didn’t realise how counterproductive most of that was.

A tweet from Janna Bastow last year inspired me to question my simplistic concepts.

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Anxiety in product development

Over the last year I learned to recognise and work on my own anxiety. It also lead me to recognise anxiety in others.

Soon I realised this does not only affect other people but also organisations and processes. Let me introduce you to anxiety driven development.

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Common product owner anti-patterns

Product owners need a diverse skill set to be successful. Your past experience, your current organisation and the specific industry make the requirements to your job unique. Nevertheless there are some common pitfalls and anti-patterns which many product owners unwillingly fall into. This short list of product owner anti-patterns hopefully helps you to avoid these common errors.

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Kanban as an evolution of Scrum

In agile teams the use of both Scrum and Kanban is widespread. What is the difference between Scrum and Kanban? At what point does it make sense to use Kanban over Scrum?

This article helps you identify the limitations of Scrum and when it is time to break with the rules. It outlines how Kanban can be a natural evolution for Scrum teams.

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Benefits of collaborative product ownership – Part 2 of 3

The product owner role is overburdened with too many responsibilities. Therefore a product owner can become a bottle neck and knowledge silo. Both of these traits lead to a cascade of issues.

This second part focusses on the benefits of a more collaborative but unfortunately less common approach to product ownership. It will highlight the principles, advantages and risks of collaborative product ownership.

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Write better user stories with INVEST

Unclear stories make unpredictable, inefficient sprints. They demotivate the developers. It spawns an environment of “them versus us” thinking.

You want to ensure that you document your user stories, have meaningful discussions around them and confirm that everyone has the same understanding. Easier said than done. How can we achieve this?

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Becoming a conference speaker

Conference talks are a great way to expand your knowledge and get fresh ideas. The agile community has come up with some great events. They are a great way to meet like minded people and connect with the community.

But how do you get from a conference attendee to becoming an active speaker?

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5 steps to craft a vision for an established team

Usually we talk about a vision for a team, company or product at the beginning of its life. This makes perfect sense. The very first thing you want to set straight is what the ultimate goal is. Without it you might wander directionless into your journey.

So if your vision is so important what do you do when your journey has already started but you don’t have one?

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