• Issue 59 - April 28, 2016


    5 Major Changes in SAFe 4.0

    New version of SAFe introduces an optional value stream layer that provides additional cadence, synchronisation, and guidance. It highlights how to work with suppliers and customters, internal or external. A major change is the upgraded use of Kanban as a flow-based pull mechanism at all levels. Architectural and feature epics are gone. What are they replaced with? Have a look at 5 major changed in the new version of SAFe.


    How Lawns ‘R’ Us Solved Portfolio Planning?

    Agile portfolio planning is a great  tool to plan and trace initiatives across various teams working on a large portfolio of products. It enables plotting all work related initiatives to corresponding teams. How do you make decisions at portfolio level? Which products and features should get done first, which ones should wait? Here’s how Lawn ‘R’ Us do their portfolio level planning.


    Scrum Master or Armchair Psychologist?

    New Scrum Masters often latch onto the mechanics of Scrum, but overlook the personal interactions of a team. When difficulties arise, it is important to ask: “Do we have a Scrum problem, or is it a people problem?” How do you build a team, and trust within a team? Are you a Scrum Master or an armchair psychologist?



    14 Lessons Learnt During Product Growth

    Should we add more features on several platforms, or better features on one platform? Should we capture the complete user’s workflow, or focus at just one piece? Should we always try our product first and then release? How to break free from “we are one more feature away from mass adoption”? How to identify good and bad early users? Here are 14 practical lessons learnt in the process of growing a product.



    Retrospective With a New Team

     Let’s say you are going to facilitate a retrospective with 9 team members. Some members know each other, but essentially it’s a new team. Which technique or game would you use? How would you prioritise the outputs for actions? How would you help the team stay focused and not go to “wide discussions”? Here are a couple of good exercises you can use with a new team.


    10 Tips to Improve User Stories

    How to write user stories more collaboratively? How do we discover “right” stories? How do we keep user stories short and concise? How to get started? How does using paper cards help? What else do we need other than user stories? Here are 10 tips to write good user stories.


    How to Give Non Judgemental Feedback?

    Even warm and fulsome praise is likely to be received, at times, as controlling and conditional. Is nonevaluative (i.e. nonjudgmental) feedback a better option? Researchers have found that just such a response – information about how someone has done, without any judgment attached – is preferable to any sort of praise. Then, how do we provide non-judgemental feedback? Here are a few tips.