Splitting User Stories Doesn’t Have to Suck

If you perform a search on Google for ‘how to split user stories’ you will get back some 87.2 million results. Many agile practitioners have their preferred methods, some with fancy names, others with complicated charts, and still more with double-digit principles or techniques. It feels like a lot of time, effort, and money has been spent trying to figure how to correctly or appropriately split user stories, but everything proposed so far still seems more difficult in its application than in its worth. To quote Kimberly Wilkins, “Ain’t nobody...

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So, you want to be an agile coach?

This was the name of a session that I hosted at the Agile Open Florida on October 26, 2018. It was just an idea rattling around in my head coming off a month of screening candidates for scrum master, product owner, and agile coach roles. Honestly, I think wanted to talk about it to help me solidify some ideas and maybe some criteria around each of those roles, but especially the agile coach role. I had no idea that day that some many others would be interested in it as well.

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The Shortest Version of the Agile Manifesto Ever!

I originally published this article directly on LinkedIn on April 2, 2018. It quickly began making its way around the world shortly afterwards. Needless to say, I was quite taken aback by both its popularity and the overwhelmingly positive response. It’s very humbling and I am very grateful.

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Is Your Organization Prepared to Adopt Agile Successfully?


Since the writing of the Agile Manifesto in 2001, agile software development has made major gains in popularity. As I write this, that increasing momentum shows no sign of lessening any time soon. However, like all popular movements in business (or society), agile doesn’t always mean the same thing to all people. This is where the struggle to adopt agile software development begins. But couple the confusion stemming from what agile really means with a fundamental lack of knowledge of what kind of environment agile software development needs in order...

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Scrum vs Kanban

What Is Scrum?

Scrum is an iterative, ritualized, process-driven agile software product development framework created by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland. Their official guide can be found at Scrum organizes software product development around three foundational pillars; artifacts, roles, and meetings, that control the flow of work through the Scrum framework.

Scrum Artifacts

The Scrum artifacts are the product backlog, the sprint backlog, and the product/software increment. The product backlog is composed of prioritized product backlog items (epics, user stories, and bugs). The sprint backlog is composed of...

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What is ‘DevOps’?

DevOps is the collision of "development" and "operations". It is the practice of collaboration and communication between development engineers and operations IT engineers for the purpose of automating software delivery and infrastructure changes. When most people think of "devops" they think "automation". But it is important to remember what devops is automating (software delivery, e.g., deployments, and changes to the infrastructure used to make those deliveries) and why devops is automating these things (to eliminate errors and process lag caused by the time and effort required to perform these deliveries manually).


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Redefining the Sci-Fi MMORPG Experience

What follows is the result of a random idea followed by a thought experiment followed by multiple discussions all which occurred after a decade or more of playing MMORPGs. If you are a game designer or developer and you like what you read here, please feel free to contact me at Happy gaming!

Disclosure: In the interest of full disclosure, I do not now (September 2016), nor have I ever worked for any company that designs and/or makes video games. I have played Firefall and MechWarrior Online, and...

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What is ‘Agile’ software development?
Agile refers to a set of principles in software development that provides a different perspective from the traditional dependency-based project management methodology known as Waterfall. Agile also encompasses the set of software development methodologies (Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM), Scrum, eXtreme Programming, etc.) created around those principles.

Origins of Agile

Prior to 2001, Agile was not much of a software industry buzzword, even though DSDM (first introduced in the UK in 1994), Scrum (first introduced in the US in 1995), and eXtreme Programming (XP) (first introduced in the US in 1999) had all been around...
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“Accountability” is just another word for “blame”
"...there’s a tremendous bias against taking risks. Everyone is trying to optimize their ass-covering."
- Elon Musk, Wired Magazine, October 2012 What a great quote! You've got to hand it to him, Elon Musk can really turn a phrase when he needs to. I've been in the workforce now, officially, for just over 20 years. I've been in the software development industry for just over 10 years. And if I had a nickel for every time I heard some manager or executive say the word "accountability", then I'd have a wheel-barrow full of nickels. The funny...
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Help! My website sucks!
Relax, don't panic. It's going to be alright. I promise. As a web product manager, I get asked about sucky websites all the time. And, yet, I don't get asked often enough to fix some of the truly atrocious websites that can be found all over the internet (like this one). So, what do you do now that you've realized that your website is a hideous blotch on the digital landscape?

Step 1

Every website and every page in a website needs a clearly defined purpose.
Most small businesses treat their websites like amateur digital billboards. And I totally understand why....
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