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Showing posts from November, 2013

Poker, cake, and an agile survey.

I just passed a group of developers and project managers playing poker in the kitchen, surrounding by plates of cake.  This made me happy.

The "poker" was planning poker - a technique for estimating user stories in agile projects.  The players simultaneously choose values for how much work they think a user story will take.  This approach ensures that everyone gets a say, without one person having to go first and possibly influence the estimate more than they should.

The cake was real cake.  Some of our enterprising project managers are running a home-bake stall to raise money for Children in Need.  Everyone looks well-fed today.

What I was actually going to write about today was the survey that we organised over the summeron the uptake of agile software development and agile techniques in Higher Education across the UK, America and Canada.  We posted the invitation on the UCISA PCMG mailing list and the EDUCAUSE Project mailing list in and were delighted to received fee…

Darwin, finches and poker chips - an agile journey

Bill Lee and Dawn Nicholls gave a very successful presentation about our experience with Agile project methods at this year's EDUCAUSE conference in California.  You can see their slides at the link below.

Darwin... slides

Bill tells me that he knew the session was going well when everyone in the audience closed their laptops and put away their mobile phones.  These days, thereare visible signs that your audience is paying attention!  Dawn and Bill had worked very hard preparing their joint presentation.  It took more effort working together than a one-person presentation would have done, but it produced a better show.

This was the first time we have presented a session at the prestigious EDUCAUSE conference.  Members of IS have attended the conference for several years and we believe that the University of Edinburgh is "up there" with the world's best - ahead in some areas, lagging in others.  So this year we decided to submit some proposals for presentations.  In fa…