Insects Inspire Computer Chip Design

Neuromorphic computing.   Once again, IT looks to Nature for improved tech design.  Mimicking organic life form biology, even more speed and greater computing efficiency is around the corner.  Anticipate impact on software development environments and the apps that get written.

Silicon Brains That Think as Fast as a Fly Can Smell

Researchers in Germany have discovered what they say is a way to get computers to do more than execute all the steps of a problem-solving calculation as fast as possible – by getting them to imitate the human brain’s habit of finding shortcuts to…  <more>

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2014 Tech & Marketing Trends

We may be rogue app creators but there is always the people side of the business to consider… be it the team, client, end user, or potential end users.  Or dev partners.   😉

What is Rogue IT?

We find we’re already living some of these 2014 marketing predictions from the New York #tech community, posted by Jacob Ajwani.  It’s tougher every day to manage the complexity but therein lies the opportunity.

It’s reassuring to see our instincts seem to be right: create companion apps that make life EASIER as they operate natively independently and interdependently.
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Rogue IT!

The larger ‘swell’ is change coming from the bottom up.

You already bring your own tech (BYOT) to work, on your tablet or phone, to get the job done better/easier/faster.  Bonus: you are free from being locked into outdated corporate IT constraints.  And the ‘Help Desk’.

Benefits for corporations:
  1. It’s a whole lot cheaper… to buy and maintain.
  2. You’re more agile, in the flexibility sense of the word.
  3. Your people get and use the latest and greatest solutions available.
It’s a win-win, my friends, this next wave of change.  If you develop software, this is (or will be) you.  This is us.  NextWave Online Training is riding!
NextWave IS Rogue IT

NextWave IS Rogue IT.
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Another Alternative Burndown Chart

Reality… average velocity changes throughout a project.  For any number of reasons—level of work, its difficulty, spikes, staff changes, holidays, etc.  No two sprints are the same in terms of content so it’s not reasonable to expect velocity to stay the same from one sprint to another.  Therefore, it can’t be the only variable to use to predict your final sprint.

Backlog changes too.  This is normal.  It just makes project tracking difficult unless you have a tool like NextWave ScrumMaster™.

Reading Mick Cohn’s article, Alternative Release Burndown Chart, reminded us why we designed the interactive ScrumMaster™ Burndown graph to project and handle backlog, velocity, and end dates the way we did.

As Mike points out,

“For example, suppose a team had expected to make progress of 40 hours, points (or whatever) last sprint, but the burndown chart only shows net progress of 10. Was the team slower than expected, or was more work added to the release?
It’s important to know the answer to this question, because we cannot really predict when the release will be done without it.”

Absolutely, and Mike shows you how to handle it using Excel.

Or, you can let ScrumMaster do the work for you and then some.  As you can see in the video, ScrumMaster automatically projects your ending sprint.  It also shows you when, where, and how your backlog grew.

If you are using ScrumMaster, here’s how it differs from Mike’s Alternative Burndown Chart.

  • Projections to finish date are simpler… and ScrumMaster does it all.
  • Want to see the trend line to project finish?  Choose the Average velocity menu option and you get the classic projection.
  • Backlog is automatically adjusted at each Retrospective (purple dotted line).  You don’t have to add anything.
  • All task work is color-coded, Original work plus any new work (Added tasks, Issues found, Software bug, Spike, Technical debt, Meetings).  There’s a ScrumMaster Report that tracks and analyses Backlog by type, by sprint.
  • You can select confidence levels for velocity and backlog estimates, to make automatic percentage adjustments to the projected ending sprint.  The greatest impact is usually seen early in the project cycle.
Estimating Agile Project End Dates

The interactive Burndown graph shows your project’s last sprint.

Make sense?  Give us a shout if you have any questions or comments.
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NextWave ScrumMaster™: Estimating Ending Sprint for Agile Projects

Agile.  Scrum.  Project management.  When does this project finish?!!

As scrum masters and project managers, we live in the future as we constantly try to predict it.  If you’re already using ScrumMaster™, we sincerely hope it’s a tool that’s made your life easier.

If you’re new to ScrumMaster, this video shows you how to use NextWave ScrumMaster’s interactive Burndown graph to estimate when a project will finish.

NextWave ScrumMaster Video: Estimating Agile Project End Dates

How To video demo: Use interactive Burndown graph to estimate project end dates.

Closed captions (CC) can be turned on in the player.  The video transcript is here to download if you need it for translation.

Like it?  Let us know what you think!

Are backlog, sprints, stand ups and retrospectives part of your daily life?  Help build the community!  Follow us know so we know where we can follow you.  Send us a Tweet:  @NextWaveScrum
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The Vulnerable and The Invulnerable

Poetically put.  Essential to #Retrospective success.

Diary of a ScrumMaster

The Vulnerable considered options
The Invulnerable made a plan

The Vulnerable experimented
The Invulnerable stuck to the plan

The Vulnerable were open
The Invulnerable were defensive

The Vulnerable collaborated
The Invulnerable segmented

The Vulnerable listened
The Invulnerable assumed

The Vulnerable learnt
The Invulnerable blamed

The Vulnerable grew
The Invulnerable feared

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Agile Problem Analysis

The Wheel of Life, the ancient Tibetan Dharmacakra symbol, represents dharma, the Buddha‘s teaching of the path to enlightenment.

Tibetan Dharmacakra Symbol

Dharmacakra: Tibetan Wheel of Life

Here is the NextWave Retrospective wheel we’ve created as a discussion tool.  We use it during #Retrospectives for sprint post-mortem discussions.

NextWave Retrospective Tool for Agile Analysis

NextWave Retrospective Tool for Agile Problem Analysis

As a mirrored variation of dharmachakra, it appeals to us and evokes the iterative cycle of waves… and the #Agile cycle.

We’ve found it to be useful to help us structure our thinking about any problem we’re analyzing.

Question #1:  We’ve defined a problem.
What’s its real source?

People?  (You?  Me?  Us?)

Process?  (How, who, when, what, where, why…?)

Or Product (Our understanding of the requirements?  The code itself?  Our approach?)

Once we’ve identified potential source(s), we ask: ‘Is the root of the problem at its source a Knowledge, Skills, or Attitude issue?’

Reflection and discussion often yield interesting insights.

Triangle of Success

Cool.  So now we think we understand the sources of the problem (there’s usually more than one).

Question #2:  What can I/we do about it?

Back to the NextWave Retrospective wheel.  Where, when and how can I/we impact change involving PeopleProcessProduct?  What will it take to bring about the change?  Who’s involved?  How?  Who’s taking responsibility to follow up with action?

And so the cycles and discussions continue…