Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
The idea behind the FishBowl is quite simple - assemble some chairs (I used 4 chairs for about 12 people) in a semi-circle. These are the fish. Everyone else sits behind the inner circle - these are the observers.
I stood near the FishBowl, encouraged conversation and made sure that the rules were followed. I also took notes using a flip chart.
- Only the 'fish' can speak
- The 'fish' can only speak when exactly one of the fish' seats are empty
- Anyone may come forward and sit in the empty chair at any time
- Discussion then stops until one of the 'fish' relinquishes their seat and returns to an observer seat
- People may move between areas as often as they like
This has a number of effects on the group.
- People realize that they may only have a limited time to speak and will make points quite directly
- The group self-manages people who 'hog' the speaking chairs back into the observer pool
- When people feel passionate about a particular topic they jump into a fish chair
The session went really well - lots of intense passionate debate. I think that this is a really useful technique and a good way to introduce variation into a retrospective. Try it and see how it works for you!
Backlog grooming involves breaking down the highest priority stories (for the upcoming sprint/s) into smaller stories until they are fine grained and well understood by the team. When Sprint Planning occurs these items are then easy to plan and estimate.
The Scrum Guide mentions that teams can spend up to 10% of their time on grooming the backlog. In practice, most of our teams are not close to that 10%.
Some teams like to have regular twice weekly grooming sessions of around 90minutes, whilst others do some every day after their daily stand up meeting. Either way I think that it is a really essential activity.
In my experience, skimping on grooming results in many extra tasks being added mid-sprint, and stories being de-scoped because the team can't get to them (due to these extra tasks that have been added.)
I would love to hear about other peoples experience with grooming - how often, what percentage of times do your teams use?
By way of introduction, I am an Agile coach working in New Zealand helping my current company transition to Scrum. Definition of Done seems like an apt title for the blog as it can be one of the hardest things to uphold when times get tough.
I will hopefully be blogging weekly about scrum adoption topics and relevant links that I find.
So that's enough for the intro. Next up is the new Scrum.org training and assessment programs!