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The world of coincidences

Lunar Logic Polska Planning Poker

Lunar Logic Polska Planning Poker

I went to Krakow this week to hold a couple of workshops for people from our office on 18th of May.

Workshop 1.
Agile estimations with planning poker.

Workshop 2.
Agile planning with Blitz planning.

To my great disappointment early in the morning the day the session should be held I discovered that I forgot planning poker cards. And how do you teach people play planning poker without the cards? I needed at least 4-5 decks of cards because it should be around 20 people at the session.

The were not many options:

  • Print out and cut the cards from the A4 sheets of paper.
  • Find the real cards

I was more inclined to try the last option. So I turned my laptop and fired a search “planning poker krakow”. Couple of hits returned the name of Mariusz Ciesla and an image you can see above this post. The caption on the image was “Lunar Logic Polska” and this was also my second google search which returned a link to the Lunar Logic Polska – a company based in Krakow.

My reasoning went fast. If a company orders planning poker cards from a designer, probably they will have some decks available. I went to a contact us page, grabbed the address (it was a few blocks away from my hotel) and went out of the hotel. 5 minutes later I was knocking on the door in a dark office (hey, it was 8 in the morning). A girl showed up and I fired: “Hi, I´m an agile coach who forgot his planning poker cards at home and will have a planning poker workshop very soon, so I need to buy 5 decks of cards. I found you your company on the Internet and understand that you are doing agile development and can possible have the cards here”. *smile*

The girl said wait a second, and seconds later I was met by a men who said that I can just get the cards from them free of charge. I said I would happily borrow and return the cards later. Got my 4 decks, got a business card saying Paul Klipp on it and was about to leave the office when

Coincidence 1 happened
I saw opened on the screen and I said to Paul: “Oh, you are using too (because I used the tool)” and got a reply: “We actually made it”. What a surprise!

I had little time to express my astonishment so I jumped out in the rain to go to the office to do my workshop preparations.

I had my cards and the session was saved!

Coincidence 2.
During the session I found out that the designer who designed the cards was one of our former employees and actually worked in our Polish office where I was holding the session.

The same evening I chatted with Paul over skype and we agreed to meet the day after to have morning coffee and an agile talk :). We met 9:30 in the morning, I returned the cards, and we had a really great chat discussing our agile challenges, broken different scrum implementations and such :). An hour went like a minute for me (thank you Paul for sharing your insight and expertise). Paul had his daily scrum at 10:30 and had to go, while I had one more hour before I should be heading to the airport, so I was invited to attend the daily scrum (thanks again Paul).

Which agile coach can say no to attend others daily scrum meeting? None? Me neither. I said yes and minutes later I was attending the morning meeting of the kanbanery team :) (they even let me talk there, yeah a talking chicken).

Now I´m back to Oslo sitting in my office, really glad to actually have forgotten the cards at home. I feel being grateful to the agile community, to people like Paul Klipp helping strangers, to the world being such an amazing place to be and to all the coincidences happening in my life.

P.S. Coincidence 3.
Paul is a man behind Agile Central Europe Conference that I hope to attend next year.

Wrong sprint burndown?

Just wanted to share with you all this sprint burndown chart:

Sprint burndown chart

Sprint burndown chart (click to enlarge)

How do you feel about it?
How do you think the team felt about it?
Do you think this was a good or a bad sprint?

Say what you think in the comments, I’ll update this post one week later with real answers :-)

I launched a small project for the Agile community. If you use kano model for prioritizing your features, this site would be helpful. You can set up a survey and get your users/customers answer it in order to find out more about your features.

Fitting UX people into scrum team

Sergey Dmitriev talkingYesterday, I’ve been participating in a Debate about agile and usability.

Three Scrum Masters (I was one of them) and three UX people was sitting at the same table. Everyone of us should come with one suggestion about how to fit UX people into the scrum teams better.

Here is what’s been said.

Scrum Masters:
* Geir Amsjø: Use Feature Times (and sprint 0)
* Sergey Dmitriev: UX people can swallow their pride and contribute to the backlog
* Johannes Brodwall: UX people should become more versatile, so that they can contribute more

UX people:
* Jon Gunnar Wold: Developers should know their responsibilities
* Fredrik Matheson: Product Owner should be a pro
* Anders Fagerhus: UX people should stay one sprint ahead of developers

We had a really great talk and I want to thank all the participants. I also enjoyed talking to the audience in the free minutes: Miguel Calix (nice chat about combining PO and SM roles) and Marit Søholt Stokes about the importance of making the contracts better by having a paragraph or two about the customer responsibilities as a Product Owner (I really wanted to do a followup on this one).