Friday, 11 June 2010

MoSCow and the Release Planning Burndown Chart


Just recently I have been the ScrumMaster on an interesting project to create a new tool for the agile and scrum development community.    More details of this will be published in the near future.  In the meantime I thought I would share a new take on the release burndown chart.

On this project we conducted a lot of release planning to determine the product owner’s priorities for the functionality.  When doing our release planning we came across a problem with the sheer size of our product backlog and projecting delivery dates.  The total story points was in excess of 700.  Our project sponsors asked numerous difficult and challenging questions about what we could deliver and when.  The simple response of it is the Product Owner’s responsibility to determine the priority and when we can ship just didn’t wash.  We needed a level of confidence about a ballpark timescale and the usability of the product.

To overcome this issue I proceeded to create a variation on the release burndown chart.  We had already invested a lot of time in establishing the MoSCoW priorities for the complete Product Backlog.  In doing so we had created a list of acceptable functionality that needed to be shipped as part of the first release of the tool.  These were our Must haves.  The revised burndown mapped the various MoSCoW totals onto the burndown.  This indicated to us in which sprint the product would be shippable with the level of functionality acceptable to the Product Owner.

We continued to use the burndown to track our progress to against the Must haves deliverable.  Reflecting increases and decreases in the total estimate, as estimates for the stories changed, new stories are added as the Product Owner’s vision changed.

The fundamental underpinning that made the information on the burndown valuable was to always address the Must haves above all other stories.  In our case this was simple as the top of the product backlog was populated with Must haves.

Here is an example of the burndown we used:


Post writing this blog I came across a similar approach detailed in Mike Cohn blog here.

Friday, 26 February 2010

BDD Talk at the next Agile South Coast


The next Agile South Coast meeting is coming soon.  The 8th March 2010 to be exact.  Howard van Rooijen will be doing a talk on BDD.  You can find more details on the Agile South Coast website:


Direct Link to the Event

I look forward to seeing you there.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Agile South Coast – New Website

Since my last post the Agile South Coast website has started to take shape.  We have moved away from using Linkedin for organising the group.  The Linkedin group still has it’s place, but the new website gives us a lot more flexibility to deliver content that is relevant and interesting to the group. 

Join this new and exciting group on the below link.  Or just have a browse to see what we are all about.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

WSUG – Retrospective – 8th Feb 2010 (Agile South Coast)


We had an excellent WSUG meeting at the offices of iMeta on 8th February 2010.  At the end of the meeting we had a little retrospective about the meeting and the group.  Below is a summary of the discussion.

What is holding back attendance of group?

-          “Wessex” name is not helping the group to be recognised.  Most of the group did not associate themselves with the Wessex area.

-          Lack of a website is missing an advertising opportunity. 

-          Reliance of Linkedin could be limiting our audience.

-          The aim of the group is not immediately available.

-          Need more blogs/twitter etc to communicate the activities of the group.

The group agreed to:

-          Change name of group to “Agile South Coast”

-          Create a specific twitter account for the group

-          Attendees will try to bring at least one more person to the next meeting

-          Howard to consider doing a talk at the next meeting in March.

-          Blog about the this meeting and the next meeting

-          Set-up a Ning Network for the Group.

-          Research local companies using Agile/Scrum to enlist more attendees to the group


Agile South Coast is a group of likeminded individuals that meeting every second Monday of the month to talk about Agile/Scrum/Lean for the improvement of the attendees and the wider community.  The group normally meets in the Southampton area with easy access from Portsmouth, Winchester, Bournemouth, Poole, Salisbury, Hampshire, Dorset, West Sussex, Wiltshire and beyond.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Charging Problems with iPod Touch and iPhone 3GS in Speaker Docks


It appears that Apple have removed one of the ways to charge iPods and iPhone in the latest generation (3GS iPhone and 3rd Gen iPod Touch).  Previous version have allowed charging through either the USB (5V) or Firewire (12V) connections in the standard 30 Pin cable.  Now only USB is supported.

The result is that any device that uses the Firewire to charge will no longer charge.  This includes Speaker Docks, In Car Adapters and Mains Chargers.

I have personal experience of speaker docks (Klipsch) that are advertised as supporting charging on all 30 Pin connectors that do not charge, obviously attempting to charge over Firewire!

There is a solution available from Apple.  It is called a Scosche Passport.  There are various available to fit different applications (Docks, In Car).