Category Diary

When a team comes together

When a team comes together there can be a fundamental change. The friendship becomes more important than defending our existing beliefs and we allow multiple viewpoints to coexist and contribute to a more complete whole. I’ve never seen this happen consistently, except in the team I have worked with for over 10 years. The team […]


I always dreamt of being able to collaborate more at work. Perhaps it’s a lack of confidence in my own abilities or a desire to be close to others, either way I’m happy and more motivated working with others. Working in an office surrounded by other developers each of us trying to solve the same […]

Five minutes for Love

How do you start your day? With a command, a question, with frustration or fear? At the risk of going a bit hippy how about love? Everyday, before our standup we spend 5 min chatting. Over many years this time has become special, I’m reluctant to miss it. Its our time to rebond. We talk […]

These moments are precious

The moments when excitement builds throughout the whole team at the delight of discovery and creativity are precious. These moments feel like play rather than work and they breed openness and courage. So what conditions must exist for these moments to happen? Here’s some ideas A shared competence – The feeling that the team has […]

The best tools to calculate WIP limits are your eyes and ears

We have a team of 7 developers. We normally work in pairs and we generally have 3 stories on the go at any one time. The 7th dev, picks up any bugs or chores that come through, happily there aren’t always any. Yesterday as the 7th dev I tried picking up a 4th story myself. […]

Flow and Attachment

I open the standup with no expectations of where it will go. We walk the board starting on the right. I read out the name of stories in turn and those who’ve been working on them happily or reluctantly report them done and ready to pull. For stories left in progress we tell tales of […]

Avoiding technical debt from bugs – From Scrum to Kanban

One of the challenges of Scrum is being really done when you think you are done. At the end of the sprint our testers often haven’t had the chance to fully test all the stories. Once we are on the next sprint it is disruptive to go back to older stories and fix the bugs, […]


At Biomni between releases we have interim periods. We forget about the business and detox our code, replacing tired bits, removing redundant tables, upgrading to latest versions. It’s incredibly cathartic, we mix in a couple of study days to help us keep up to date. We run it like a sprint minus any expectations on […]

I’m Back

Well its 3 years since the heady days of my last post. Things have matured, dare I say settled, a few developers left but the true believers remain, joined by some great new recruits. As a Scrummaster I arrange the various meetings but to be honest there appears to be very little to do. Defects […]

Shrinking your wiki

We’ve just finished our Interim Sprint. Breaking all laws of scrum absolutely no functionality was produced but we all feel a whole lot better. Here’s what we achieved: Removed over 1000 stored Procedures, 300 asp pages, 21 VB Com components, 36 Database Tables and whole database from our product. Created a automated QA deploy Created […]