Leave them Laughing

Being serious is pretty easy.

I’ve worked on numerous projects with numerous clients who all thought their project was the most important.

I’ve been in meetings where clients argued about whose project more important (neither was).

I’ve had clients tell me that they were my most important client (they weren’t).

In these moments of overt seriousness, I find it to be the best time to insert a joke about anything or everything.

(Probably not about whose project is the most important or what client is the best).

But something out of left field that they won’t see coming.

I do this for one reason – to lighten the scene, cool the tensions and get us back on track to what is really important and we all really need to care about (but sometimes forget) – the end deliverable and the value it will provide.

Status Reports and grids are a horrible tool for achieving this goal but levity?  Humour?

They can accomplish it in 15 minutes without hurting anyone’s feelings.

The Key to a Successful Morning Stand-Up

The Leader of the Stand-Up knows what everyone is doing before the call begins.

Very simple, often ignored.

Stand-Ups are not about what is in the queue or what is showing red on the Kanban board, it’s about what is coming next and what the team needs to be moving towards.

A Stand-Up where everyone repeats what is currently in their task queue is a waste of a stand-up and an interruption to everyone’s deliverables.

The Leader of a Stand-Up must come in already knowing what people are working on and where they are going to next.  From there, creating value from a stand-up is easy…

  • Jeff, I see you’ve done all your work, Donnie needs help with these tasks to hit our goals.
  • Mary can you focus on bugs for the rest of the print.
  • Jane, we have this work coming in the next sprint, can you begin designing that.
  • Jack, we haven’t done much performance testing can you queue that up before handing off your code.

Now that’s a successful stand-up that adds value to anyone’s day.

I’m Ready for More

But we’re not ready for you.

And therein died their new process they had put so much hope into.

A member of the team had finished everything on their plate and was ready to take on more but the team and process let them down.


So what did this person do all day?

Browsed the internet?

Maybe optimized some code?

Read some articles?

Most likely waited for the next day’s SCRUM where they got to say – “I still have nothing to do.”

Whatever you implement, common sense needs to rule the day, if someone says they have cycles, the next question should be bug assignment, helping another team member or starting to plan the next sprint.

Sniffing Markers: Scrum Bums

I think this is one of my favourite episodes to date, primarily because of the format.

There was none.

I had a question and in typical fashion, Colin and I spent our time going back and forth.

If you’re confused about the usefulness of SCRUMS and where things with your SCRUM could be going wrong – this is the episode for you.

As always, please rank, review and connect with us on Facebook!

Download the latest episode here – http://sniffingmarkers.libsyn.com/ep19-scrumbums

Back to the Software We Go

It’s always there.

This urge, this pull, this string – always pulling me back to write more code and new code.

And it’s never on what I know, it’s always on what I don’t know, new platforms, new topologies, new codebases, new languages.

It’s never easy, it’s always a process in having to learn something new.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.