Happy New Year everyone and apologies for not blogging in such a long time. I don’t know about you, but I have no idea where 2018 went! It seemed to speed past so quickly.. I have been busy w...
7 / 2 / 2019 by Helen Meek
Agile experts will tell you the first rule about scaling Agile is … Don’t! The ideal Agile team model is a single co-located, cross-functional team working closely with the customer. As soon as you...
28 / 8 / 2018 by Colin Bird
Whether you use Scrum or Kanban as a delivery method, as a ScrumMaster you must be able to help the team or organisation understand and use the methods or frameworks. This involves an element of te...
7 / 8 / 2018 by Helen Meek
I wanted to share with you a blog by my good friend Doug Idle. It is about a conference session that we created together for London Lean Kanban Days. I was going to write a blog on this, but...
6 / 8 / 2018 by Helen Meek
One of the key areas of my role I am super passionate about is people! They are the highlight and sometimes the lowlights of each of my days. But ultimately by loving, cherishing and harnessing their...
6 / 8 / 2018 by Helen Meek
Limiting WIP (work in progress) is another of those wonderfully simple Agile principles that many of us still struggle to implement and possibly understand the significance. It’s fundamental to Le...
1 / 8 / 2018 by Bazil Arden
Arranging work around projects is a significant impediment to the creation of a responsive organisation. Hopefully this simple illustration shows how focusing on projects generates waste and delay...
2 / 7 / 2018 by Bazil Arden
I have used in memory EF tests, however they do have some limitations. In the past I have also mocked out the Entity Framework part of my tests but this can only take you so far especially if you wan...
18 / 4 / 2018 by Rory Street
This is more for my own reference but has proved rather useful. The problem it solves for me is that when automated Selenium tests run and fail its usually quite a task to figure out what went wrong....
8 / 12 / 2017 by Rory Street
If I asked you what feedback loops you used, I could pretty much guarantee that your top answers will include retrospectives and daily stand ups. This isn’t an uncommon set of answers, but there are ...
28 / 4 / 2017 by Helen Meek
I have been getting very involved with the Business Analysis community at my current client ASOS (Mega large fashion retailer). In the absence of a true Product Owner role here, the job they do is ab...
2 / 2 / 2017 by Helen Meek
Yesterday I migrated one of our TFS collections to VSTS using Microsoft's migration guide for moving from TFS to VSTS . I won’t lie, it was a pretty long process and it took a lot of going back...
22 / 1 / 2017 by Rory Street
The venerable Burndown chart has been a central plank in tracking progress and predicting likely release dates in Scrum since I can remember. Over the last few years, the Burnup chart has gained popu...
4 / 1 / 2017 by Colin Bird
It has been a while since I last blogged about MS Visual Studio Team Services Release Hub. The last time I blogged about Release Hub the product was very much rough around the edges and quite a few o...
8 / 12 / 2016 by Rory Street
I ran across this error when installing a new Release Agent and it got to the Azure File Copy stage. Many of the solutions on the Internet to this problem point to it being caused by incorrect times ...
4 / 10 / 2016 by Rory Street
I started using Microsoft Fakes for some code I was not able to encapsulate and use Interfaces for (my preferred approach) . One of the issues I had was the documentation didn’t appear to be all that...
22 / 7 / 2016 by Rory Street
Agile can be seen as an interplay between its two overarching goals of building the right thing and doing it properly. Although 'Interplay' is putting it positively, as they often compete for r...
3 / 6 / 2016 by Bazil Arden
A few years before I left Microsoft UK to join RippleRock, I remember having a conversation with one of my future colleagues about RippleRock’s value proposition and their response was simply this: ...
21 / 4 / 2016 by Richard Erwin
I once asked a friend of mine ‘What would be the one thing you would change about Scrum?’ He pondered with that question for a short time and then responded. ‘I would change the name of the Sprint Re...
11 / 3 / 2016 by Helen Meek
We recently had an issue where we were seeing different behaviour being exhibited by two different Visual Studio Team Services accounts when testing SenseAdapt. We closely compared the settings...
8 / 3 / 2016 by Richard Erwin
Did you know that in original Scrum books by Ken Schwaber he talks about one of the roles of a ScrumMaster was to get enough chairs for the Daily stand up? The first pilot company also used to ...
4 / 3 / 2016 by Helen Meek
I have been working with a new client over the last 3 months. This has been really fun as it has meant that I get to explore Whitstable, meet new people and of course kick starting the teams on the r...
16 / 2 / 2016 by Helen Meek
I wanted to share with you one of my latest retrospectives. Well, it’s not that new I just forgot to tell you about it Continuing my theme of movies from the 80s, I was having a think ...
16 / 2 / 2016 by Helen Meek
RippleRock are developing an awesome tool for providing realtime, actionable visualisations of your project data. If you’re wondering why your backlog is such a mess, want to understand how you...
27 / 1 / 2016 by Richard Erwin
One of my clients recently moved to Visual Studio Team Services (formerly Visual Studio Online/VSO) and decided to share an account already in use by another part of the company. Their devel...
6 / 1 / 2016 by Richard Erwin
*Update April 2016 – If you are interested in this area and based in the UK then register for our free event at Microsoft Campus in Reading on 6th May* About 18 months ago I wrote a blog post on TF...
23 / 12 / 2015 by Richard Erwin
A common scenario I encounter is when a client has some existing assets in TFS or VSTS and they want a clean slate, to consolidate backlogs or to use a new Process Template. More recently it is...
22 / 12 / 2015 by Richard Erwin
Last month Microsoft finally put the new VSTS (formerly VSO) Release Management into public preview. If you haven’t checked it out yet then just navigate to your Team Project and you should see...
17 / 12 / 2015 by Richard Erwin
A living backlog needs a strong internal structure (skeleton) in order to effectively guide a project and maximise the value delivered to users. That structure enables the backlog’s primary purpos...
13 / 12 / 2015 by Bazil Arden
Writing queries in TFS is really simple, right? Flat query showing high severity Bugs with low effort estimation in the modelling area? “No problem.” Direct Link query showing only Backlog ...
9 / 12 / 2015 by Richard Erwin
We’ve been on the preview of “Release” for a while now and have been using it for several deployments. Its a great product when you have figured out how it works and as the documentation improves thi...
25 / 11 / 2015 by Rory Street
Are we really 15 years into Agile and still failing to master one of the foundational principles? That is to use data to provide frequent, actionable feedback loops. Most teams still rely on the most...
30 / 9 / 2015 by Bazil Arden
The joy I get in my job is through seeing other people flourish. This means that coaching is something that I am very passionate about. When I train or mentor ScrumMasters I teach them how they can c...
30 / 9 / 2015 by Helen Meek
Why have an ROI field in the Product Backlog The goal of a Product Owner in a Scrum team is to derive the maximum benefit from the team’s time, in other words to maximise the Return On Investment (R...
17 / 8 / 2015 by Colin Bird
TFS Rippler is an add-on for Microsoft’s Team Foundation Server (TFS) that runs as a background service, providing some key benefits that you don’t get out of the box with TFS. TFS Rippler automatica...
13 / 8 / 2015 by Colin Bird
One of the questions I am often asked is ‘How do I sell an organisation agile? The answer is I don’t… The business has often decided they need to change because something is no longer working for the...
4 / 8 / 2015 by Helen Meek
Recently I have been doing a lot of coding, and we’ve been working on some exciting things at RippleRock from Lean Coffee Table, TFS Rippler and some advanced HTML 5 charting tools. Our working atmos...
20 / 7 / 2015 by Rory Street
Are you adopting TFS 2013, 2015 or even Visual Studio Online? Do you need to train a lot of staff members with different roles? eg. developers, testers, scrum masters, product owners, stakeho...
10 / 7 / 2015 by Richard Erwin
There are some great features coming in Team Foundation Server 2015 and they’re already largely available in Visual Studio online. My personal favourite is the enhanced Agile tooling in Team...
8 / 7 / 2015 by Richard Erwin
I wrote this article more as a reminder to myself on the process I need to go through to make a web application written in ASP.NET (MVC) that uses the TFS API to actually work. I have done this sever...
24 / 6 / 2015 by Rory Street
This post is more for my own reference as I spent a bit of time trying to figure this one out. For a long time now you have been able to choose your own Team field in TFS and let TFS know this using ...
21 / 5 / 2015 by Rory Street
The function GetProjectNodeInfoFromReportFolder() is typically used to identify where the top data node is for an SSRS report. So the project GUID and/or the collection GUID. The table ...
18 / 5 / 2015 by Peter Haynes
I’m embarrassed to admit that, as a long time Agile coach, I hadn’t appreciated the benefits of burn-up charts over burn-downs, merely seeing it as a mirror image - I was wrong. However it has b...
14 / 5 / 2015 by Bazil Arden
I recently gave a talk at the BCS London Lean Kanban Day 2015 (http://www.slideshare.net/KanbanDan/coaching-served-2-ways) which was about what I learned as an Agile Coach going through the English R...
28 / 4 / 2015 by Dan Brown
I’ve collected a few notes together into a working Ruby script that shows just a little of what the Chef API can do for future reference. The Chef API provides a route into collecting Chef data; pe...
6 / 3 / 2015 by Peter Haynes
TFS update 4 (and possibly previous updates) run code coverage works one way and not the other. I’ve got a couple of unit tests setup and I want TFS build code coverage . I turned on code c...
27 / 2 / 2015 by Peter Haynes
Back at the beginning of February I showed how Microsoft Release Management can be used to get CI/CD up and running. I’m now going to show you Microsoft Release Management with Chef integration. ...
25 / 2 / 2015 by Peter Haynes
Using Microsoft TFS with Microsoft Release Management you can successfully automate from code check-in to deployed and ready to test. You might already have some of this happening; at least you’ve ...
4 / 2 / 2015 by Peter Haynes
Docker and containers are causing something of a stir in the Linux ALM DEVOPS world. A bit of a revolution is taking place. Microsoft has been quick to respond by announcing that it will include D...
22 / 1 / 2015 by Peter Haynes
Technical Debt is a difficult concept for people to understand, and I once came across a wonderful analogy and although I can’t remember who I heard the concept from, I would like to share with you a...
24 / 10 / 2014 by Dan Brown
Imagine a motorway between Starttown and Finishcity. When it all flows it takes exactly 3 hours to get from start to finish for a car, a little longer for a lorry, and a little shorter for a motorcyc...
14 / 10 / 2014 by Dan Brown
I’ve often asked the question, “Why are we doing an agile transformation?” to people in agile transformations, and it’s amazing how people usually focus on the tech teams. Don’t get me wrong, agil...
6 / 10 / 2014 by Dan Brown
I’ve been struggling for a metaphor to help explain the difference between statistical forecasting and estimation, and this one came to me, so lets give it a whirl. Let me express the scenario ...
25 / 9 / 2014 by Dan Brown
Numbers Game Whenever I’m in a meeting talking about metrics, someone always brings up Velocity. If you’re familiar with Scrum you’ll know that in this context, velocity means the number of story...
22 / 9 / 2014 by Dan Brown
A client recently told me of some members of a development team saying how they couldn’t see the value of adopting Agile. It’s not uncommon to hear similar sentiments in many teams. This got me thi...
16 / 6 / 2014 by Bazil Arden
Scrum and Kanban, What’s the difference? My intention was a short blog, but it quickly grew into a long one to explain what I meant. With that in mind, the conclusion is at the top, please read that...
14 / 1 / 2014 by Dan Brown
How a humble bottle of tomato ketchup can teach us about flow, pull and push. Knowledge work tends to be Complex Adaptive work. That means as you try to solve a problem, the solution leads to a cha...
5 / 12 / 2013 by Dan Brown
I recently blogged here on Is Estimation Waste and I would like to come back to it. There is a movement in Lean and Agile towards #NoEstimates which has a lot of value, but I still believe that we ar...
16 / 8 / 2013 by Dan Brown
Rewiring Brains Personal development is often viewed as ‘fluffy’, with little relationship to the bottom-line, not something a CIO would hang a vision and strategy on. This blog series demonstrates ...
12 / 7 / 2013 by Steve Garnett
Personal development and organisational structures are often viewed as the ‘fluffy’ stuff, with little relationship to bottom-line. This Blog series will attempt to demonstrate that the reverse is tr...
24 / 6 / 2013 by Steve Garnett
When I go into organisations adopting Kanban or advanced Agle, they often know that they should be limiting WIP (Work in Progress) or even are limiting WIP without really understanding why. I'm hopin...
7 / 6 / 2013 by Dan Brown
We’ve been working with a small, ambitious, energetic financial services technology company. They’re a ‘green-field’ agile site, with executive sponsorship for agile adoption and a large portfolio of...
4 / 6 / 2013 by Steve Garnett
Original Post: http://businessvalueexchange.com/brains-are-machines-series-blog-2-innovation-automation-investment/ Personal development is often viewed as ‘fluffy’, with little relationship to the...
29 / 5 / 2013 by Steve Garnett
Original post: http://businessvalueexchange.com/brains-are-machines-series-blog-1-shifting-sands/ The industrial revolution saw the landscape of Britain transformed from rural & agricultural to ur...
17 / 5 / 2013 by Steve Garnett
I’ve been invited to become a CIO Thought Leader and Featured Contributor on a new IDG produced site in collaboration with HP Enterprise Services. The site is called The Business Value Excha...
10 / 5 / 2013 by Steve Garnett
The Cellular Business Model Business in the 21st century is fast-paced, our tools are the internet, the knowledge worker, internationalisation, globalisation, the PC, the cloud, digital communicatio...
1 / 5 / 2013 by Steve Garnett
The Agile:MK Journal, Issue 04 March edition is available from www.agilemk.com. This edition is a write-up of the March User Group session was a discussion about Writing Good Requirements. ...
17 / 4 / 2013 by Steve Garnett
Working on a customer project which is an upgrade of Visual Studio 2008 and SQL Server 2005 projects up to the latest Visual Studio bits and pieces. Upgrade of most solutions went fine, except for ...
2 / 4 / 2013 by Stuart Preston
I adore working with teams and seeing them pull together, be creative and succeed against the challenges they face. However, quite often the challenges are human-centric rather than what they’re work...
24 / 3 / 2013 by Sophie Manton
This blog is part of the Blog Series: A Decade in Agile and was first published in February 2005. My updated reflections are in blue italics. I believe that adopting a scrum approach to project del...
19 / 3 / 2013 by Steve Garnett
Technorati Tags: TFS Branches,Branches,Peter Haynes Technorati Tags: ALM Technorati Tags: TFS2012 I don’t want to get into the whys and wherefores just yet; I’d like to start with the ass...
12 / 3 / 2013 by Peter Haynes
www.agilemk.com Latest issues of Agile:MK Journal available. Next Meeting: Tuesday 26th March, 6pm-8pm, Jurys Inn Hotel, Midsummer Boulevard, Milton Keynes ...
11 / 3 / 2013 by Steve Garnett
Introduction In many organisations a TFS installation will comprise of more than one project collection. The data from all project collections is stored in the same TFS warehouse. This i...
11 / 3 / 2013 by Peter Haynes
Introduction This is a description of how to put together a report that tracks change to some data over time. This example will be a basic Product Backlog report. For this work we will...
8 / 3 / 2013 by Peter Haynes
Portfolio-level prioritising is fraught with problems… ambitious senior stakeholders, promoting their agenda, rarely meeting together to see how their projects compare to others resulting in a portfo...
8 / 2 / 2013 by Bazil Arden
The simplest illustration of the benefits of focus must be this one – clearly illustrating that if we focus on _and finish_ one feature (or project) at a time then all 3 features are delivered quicke...
23 / 11 / 2012 by Bazil Arden
Multiple Teams with Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2012 & Visual Studio Scrum V2.x (Updated 14/5/2013)
Introducing Team Foundation Server 2012 and Scrum V2.x The combination of Microsoft’s latest Scrum process template and Team Foundation Server 2012 brings a host of new features and much im...
19 / 11 / 2012 by Colin Bird
Many turn to contracts as a way to reduce risk. Agile has several alternative, and proven, was to reduce risk. This blog outlines shows how to get from a contract to an ordered list of clear requirem...
9 / 11 / 2012 by Bazil Arden
At a current client, there have been incidents where the running of an MTM Test manually changes the IE proxy settings, which means no more Google juice and no email – as they are running Office 365....
18 / 7 / 2012 by Simon Reindl
A tale of two error in the path to RC install. I wanted to install the RC of TFS2012 to do some upgrade proving. To keep up to date the target is Windows Server 2012, running SQL 2012, and TF...
3 / 7 / 2012 by Simon Reindl
Overview There is a common misconception that there is no planning in Scrum. While there is nothing in the latest Scrum Guide (http://www.scrum.org/scrumguides/) specifying Release Planning, the omi...
13 / 6 / 2012 by Simon Reindl
The performance of software delivery teams is so often undermined by team members being shared with other teams or regularly borrowed for operational support and other emergencies. We know that sma...
31 / 5 / 2012 by Colin Bird
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