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Crisis of productivity – things that you can do not to become a slave of your calendar

It is quite often that I am afraid of things I have to do. And what is even worse I start acting as a firewall – I am busy!!! I am very busy!!! I do not have time!!! I become the slave of my calendar and ToDo list. Even more, there are sometimes tasks that I do not want to do and I am not obliged to do.

In such situation, effectiveness became an issue… There are a lot of small matters to do, and there is no time for bigger and more serious ones. Sometimes at the end of the day, it is hard to say what I have managed to achieve during the day. I am just rushing from one meeting to another… I am solving problems of other people. And there is no progress in my task. Read more

Premortem analysis – how you can go against your animal instinct

Human, an animal that is adjusted to live in pack. Some of us can deny this statement but we are not able to live alone. We are always looking for other people society, acceptance and belonging. The reason is very simple – our life is easier in pack. Group allows us to solve problems faster and maybe what is more important it allows us also to survive during last centuries. And probably we will not win with our evolution.

Have you thought about how many times your decision have been driven by your instincts. They are taking control from us in very easy way. And they are making us a bit stupid. In such moments we are able to take decisions that are not coherent with our point of view. In such situation it is possible that we will became part of crowd that will convince other people to decision that we took moment ago. Read more

Win-Win in Scrum – Cooperation rules

Win-win term is connected to game theory and it means such game ending when both sides of competition gains something. In such situation there will be two winners and no losers. We can use the same approach when we are trying to define contract between customer and Scrum team. In most cases customers would like to get final project estimation before signing a contract.

There is also second type of agreement, so called time and material. In this type of contract customer pays for time spend by the contractor’s employees to perform the work. Sometimes customers do not like such agreement. In most cases it is matter of trust. But you can try to convince or even encourage your customer to use this type of contract by making it more attractive for both sides. Read more

As a [type of user], I want [some goal] so that [some reason] – how to write good user story. INVEST model

As you probably noticed title is a Scrum user story template. It allows you to identify three very important elements:

  • user whose business need will be satisfied
  • functionality which will be developed
  • business value which will be provided.

It seems that writing uses stories is very easy but it is not. You can make a mistake easily. Please try to remind yourself how often you had seen the following stories:

As a user…

As a product owner…

Many of us can say that those are quite normal user stories. But please try to look at them from other perspective. Please try to focus on those three mentioned issues. In such user stories you are losing very important information about user who will be working with our application. I believe that UI will be designed in different way for somebody who is keen on with technology and for somebody who is not so good with working with computer (e. g. your accountant).

The second issue – functionality – in most cases is written correctly. But the third one is sometimes omitted. Moreover in stories people forget about acceptance criteria. Please try to think about such situation. Probably in most cases you should be able to implement requested feature only with description of functionality. But do you think it will be the best solution that you could provide to the users? Read more