I received a text message last night from one of my developers around 8:15 pm. “Do you want to talk shop?” it said. My first thought was, oh dear, what is broken now? (it’s release week as it is every other week and it’s been a rough month or two). When he called me and what he said next completely blew my mind.
Coming up on Agile2015 is hitting me right in the feels. This will be my fourth Agile Alliance conference, my fourth job in as many years (actually fifth), my second time presenting at an Agile Alliance conference, my second time presenting in Washington D.C., and my first time really feeling like I have no idea what I’m doing.
Agile2014 marks another Agile conference this year. As usual it did not disappoint. This year was extra special because I was able to be a reviewer for the Collaboration, Culture and Teams session track and was also selected to present my session on the UX Runway. It was great to once again catch up with old friends and meet new ones; even some from my home state of Minnesota! Some Women in Agile also got together for an impromptu session in the Open Jam area and though I was not able to make it, I heard great things! After attending many conferences over the past few years I wanted to make a list of some of the things I’ve learned for how to get the most out of your time there.
I’m going to start off by saying that I know Scrum and metrics don’t necessarily get along. But I will also acknowledge that it’s a necessary evil in most cases. And in a lot of cases it doesn’t have to be evil. Metrics are simply: a method of measuring something. In Scrum, we measure a lot of things. We measure the size of our work items, we measure the effort or time it takes to complete them. We measure our accuracy. All of this is in our quest to become predictable as a team and to improve (and we need to start with a baseline measurement to know if we’ve improved). But when others start taking notice of our metrics, that’s when things get tricky.