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New Scrum Process for v3

With the release of xProcess v3 drawing closer here's an overview of some of the improvements that are in the pipeline enabled by new features in the product. In this article we look at the steps to create Scrum projects and the backlog, then to prioritize them and allocate them to Sprints. In subsequent articles we'll consider how you can use the same features used in the Scrum process to tailor development processes for your organisation.

Here's the dialog for a new Scrum project. It shows the parameters used to set up the project including the location where Wiki pages may be created (including a home page for the project) and the Sprint duration which is used when Sprints (the timeboxes of the Scrum process) are created.

As the next screenshot shows there are now more patterns to choose from when you hit the "New" button in the project toolbar. We'll be looking at exactly what all these patterns are for in subsequent articles. For now let's just look at the "backlog items". The patterns for these are User Story, Technical Task, Defect Fix and Delivery. In fact you can see just this menu of items if you right-click on the "Backlog..." task (or a Sprint if you've created one) and select "New" there.
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Does your Definition of Done allow known defects?

Is it just me or do you also find it odd that some teams have clauses like this in their definition of done (DoD)?
... the Story will contain defects of level 3 severity or less only ... Of course they don't mean you have to put minor bugs in your code - that really would be mad - but it does mean you can sign the Story off as "Done"if the bugs you discover in it are only minor (like spelling mistakes, graphical misalignment, faults with easy workarounds, etc.). I saw DoDs like this some time ago and was seriously puzzled by the madness of it. I was reminded of it again at a meet-up discussion recently - it's clearly a practice that's not uncommon.

Let's look at the consequences of this policy. 

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"Plan of Intent" and "Plan of Record"

Ron Lichty is well known in the Software Engineering community on the West Coast as a practitioner, as a seasoned project manager of many successful ventures and in a number of SIGs and conferences in which he is active. In spite of knowing Ron by correspondence over a long period of time it was only at JavaOne this year that we finally got together and I'm very glad we did.

Ron wrote to me after our meeting:

I told a number of people later at JavaOne, and even later that evening at the Software Engineering Management SIG, about xProcess. It really looks good. A question came up: It's a common technique in large organizations to keep a "Plan of Intent" and a "Plan of Record" - to have two project plans, one for the business partners and boss, one you actually execute to. Any support for that in xProcess?

Good question! Here's my reply...

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Understanding Cost of Delay and its Use in Kanban

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Don Reinertsen in his book Flow [1] has shown that, if you want to deliver the maximum business value with a given size team, you give the highest priority, not to the most valuable work items in your "pool of ideas," not even to the most urgent items (those whose business value decays at the fastest rate), nor to your smallest items. Rather you should prioritise those items with the highest value of urgency (or CoD) divided by the time taken to implement them. Reinertsen called this appro…