Become a Certified Strum Muckster (or CSA)

With certification in agile becoming all the rage, I have decided to create a new international certification for trainers.

To become a Certified Strum Muckster you need to meet the strict sounding entry criteria for the International Strum Alliance and then abide by a number of rules that have been deemed by the International Strum Alliance  (currently me) to be the one true and correct way to create and deliver training courses.

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User stories for production support (part 1: FAB)

User stories are a great way to focus your requirements around the real needs of your users:

As a user I want to report on the number of users who read articles on my blog so I can see whether a topic is popular or not.

This approach can work really well for a production support team, but sometimes the users are listing issues or bugs, which don’t naturally follow the format. For example:

  • The current report is two slow, it needs to run in less than 30 seconds
  • Can I have the date modified to use Sydney time in Australia rather than GMT
  • The report sometimes crashes when I run it

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A mathematical formula to make agile work

I was speaking to some experienced Agilistas about whether “Agile” had a good or bad reputation at the moment.

We spoke about agile maturity models, agile certification, real agile versus pretend agile and even whether there was a right way to do agile. We did not come to any agreement about whether certification and maturity models were good or bad but we did agree there was no one formula for success in agile.

This seemed logical at first but then I thought there really should be one formula we can apply. That way we can simply measure people on whether they are using it and correct their approach for them.

So after minutes of detailed research and experimentation I came up with the following formula.

2011-07-14 09_08_43

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Link to my presentation for the agile gathering in Sydney in July

Last night I did a presentation for the monthly gathering of agilistas in Sydney, so I thought I should publish my slides here.

There is no sound so they may not make too much sense without any context, but here they are anyway:

http://prezi.com/vllsdawtxfxv/but-where-do-the-stories-come-from/

They are created in a free software package called Prezi.com that allows you to zoom in and out of material so you can present a mindmap rather than a set of slides.

I am sure with practice and creativity you can create far better presentations, but even as a first try I found it really easy to use.

Complications when motivating people on projects

I wrote an article on how to motivate people on projects and I still think that the article contains everything a project manager really needs to know in order to motivate people.

But there are some consistent forces at work that enhance or upset your ability to motivate people in each project. So I thought I would list some of the ones I am aware of here:

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