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  • Blog Post: Agile Tip #9 – Motivation 2.0

    In last month’s column of Visual Studio Magazine we talked about Dan Pink’s book DRIVE: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us and how it relates to motivating Agile teams. If you haven’t read Drive, I’d recommend you pick up a copy. For a quick teaser, watch this quick video that animates the...
  • Blog Post: Agile Tip #8 – Planning and Learning

    My column in this month’s issue of Visual Studio Magazine talks about the value gained by Agile teams as they plan and learn.
  • Blog Post: An Agile Retrospective by Jeff Sutherland

    Jeff Sutherland, one of the founders of Scrum, recently wrote an artilce on MSDN titled " Ten Year Agile Retrospective: How We Can Improve In The Next Ten Years ". The article captures key takeways (ten years later) from the original signatories of the Agile Manifesto . I'd highly recommend giving it...
  • Blog Post: Agile Tip #7 – Learning From the Past

    Retrospective meetings have been commonplace in software development teams for many years. Teams hold a meeting at the end of a project or milestone to discuss successes and failures.  They use the data from that meeting to look for ways to create more success and less failure in future projects...
  • Blog Post: Agile Tip #6 – An Effective Daily Stand-up Meeting

    Yesterday, I published my first installment of a new monthly column I’ll be writing for Visual Studio Magazine .  The column will focus on Agile practices and how to use them effectively on your teams.  The first installment focuses on holding an effective daily stand-up meeting .
  • Blog Post: Marking Tasks and Bugs as “Done” During a Check-in

    In recent weeks, a few different people have asked me how to modify the Scrum template such that a Task or Bug is marked as Done during a check-in.   We left this out of the original state flow because we wanted the done state transition to be very intentional, but it’s a common practice and...
  • Blog Post: Autonomy, Mastery, Purpose

    While travelling in Berlin and Antwerp over the past couple of weeks I had a chance to talk about Daniel Pink’s book Drive with a variety of different people.  I read his book for the first time a at the beginning of this year, and am now going through it again.  I can’t say enough about this...
  • Blog Post: TechEd Europe 2010 – Watch & Download

    Below are links to the slides and recordings from my sessions at TechEd Europe.  If you’re interested, all the slides and videos from TechEd can be found here:  http://www.msteched.com/2010/Europe Lessons Learned through Dogfooding http://www.msteched.com/2010/Europe/DPR202 This talk has two...
  • Blog Post: Announcing Microsoft Visual Studio Scrum 1.0

    Today we’re releasing the first official version of our latest process template – Microsoft Visual Studio Scrum 1.0 (formerly known as Team Foundation Server Scrum v1.0 Beta ). If you were following the beta, you know that this template was built from the ground up specifically for Scrum...
  • Blog Post: Agile Tip #5 – Learn to Love Acceptance Criteria

    Tip #5 : Start to love and embrace acceptance criteria. Ask 10 mature agile teams “ How do you know when you’re ‘ done done ’?” and you’ll get the same answer from each one… get serious about writing acceptance criteria. Acceptance criteria is the handshake...
  • Blog Post: Agile Tip #4 – Plan Using Velocity

    Tip #4: Use velocity when planning iterations. Before you plan an iteration it’s critical that your team understands its velocity. A team’s velocity is the number of story points that it can complete in a single iteration. Put even more simply, your team’s velocity is how many story...
  • Blog Post: Agile Tip #3 – Story Point Scales

    Tip #3 : Choose a meaningful story points scale for estimating user stories. The MSF Agile 5.0 template uses story points as the estimation unit for items on the product backlog (User Stories). The field itself is a double and supports different number formats, however teams that use story points...
  • Blog Post: Agile Tip #2 – Simple User Story Titles

    Tip #2 : Write short/simple titles for each user story. In the MSF Agile 5.0 process, requirements are collected in the form of User Stories . This technique of expressing product requirements has become extremely popular in recent years as the Agile movement has gained momentum. Mike Cohn has a great...
  • Blog Post: Agile Tips

    With the launch of Visual Studio 2010 last week I thought it would helpful to start a series of blog posts on how you can make the most out of the TFS 2010 process templates. If you’ve been following any of the beta releases you know that MSF Agile 5.0 is a big release as far as process templates go...
  • Blog Post: Agile Tip #1 – Epics and Themes

    Tip #1 : Organize your product backlog into epics and themes using parent/child relationships. It’s common to say that user stories should be small – you want the team to be able to complete the implementation of a user story in a single iteration. However, it’s also common to organize...
  • Blog Post: Downloading Unbound Agile Workbooks

    I’ve had a few people ask where they can get unbound (not connected to a team project) copies of the Agile workbooks so I’ve written this quick post to show where you can download them.  The unbound workbooks are stored in the process template and then bound to your team project during project creation...
  • Blog Post: Agile Project Management with TFS 2010

    I posted an update on slideshare to my Scrum with TFS 2010 presentation.  The slide deck walks through in detail how to do Scrum with the new MSF for Agile 5.0 process template.  The deck goes into detail on managing your product backlog, planning a sprint, and running a sprint.  
  • Blog Post: MSF Agile/CMMI 5.0 Process Guidance

    The final versions of the MSF Agile 5.0 and MSF CMMI 5.0 process guidance for Visual Studio 2010 are now live on MSDN.
  • Blog Post: Process Guidance Now Online in Team Foundation Server 2010

    One of the big changes made to the Agile & CMMI process templates in 2010 was to move the guidance outside of the process template itself and into MSDN (the guidance was shipped in past versions as a set of HTML files provisioned on SharePoint at the project creation). There were many contributing...
  • Blog Post: How does MSF Agile 4.2 compare to MSF Agile 5.0?

    With the public release of Team Foundation Server 2010 Beta2 I thought I’d post some of key differences between the process templates shipped with 2008 product and the new process templates shipping with 2010. This post will focus on the new MSF for Agile Software Development v5.0 process template and...
  • Blog Post: Sprint Planning in TFS 2010

    I wanted to post a few screen shots of the updated Iteration Backlog workbook that will be shipping in Beta2 as a part of the the MSF for Agile Software Development v5.0 process template.  The workbook has been completely redesigned to incorporate usability feedback we received – I think you’ll...
  • Blog Post: Agile Planning Tools in TFS 2010

    Ajoy Krishnamoorthy wrote a great article earlier this year describing the new Agile Planning Excel workbooks that our team built for the 2010 release of Team Foundation Server. It’s definitely worth checking out… http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/dd347827.aspx These workbooks are designed...
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