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By Request - Agile Estimation & Backlog Grooming

Sizing and maintaining your product backlog in a reactive environment can be challenging.  New information and impatient sales pressure can wreak havoc on an agile team if not managed properly.  Join us to discuss challenges and strategies for keeping it all manageable, consistent, predictable, and transparent.

This topic is by request.

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  • Richard Lynn P.

    I never thought that Planning Poker or its variations were a good use of programmer time (having the whole team in the room, not working on post-planning development)--the man hours being eaten away. Mike presented a much better method of estimating that creates better estimates through a 2-step approach that starts with Symbolic Use Case Diagrams, rather than Story Cards, then beyond that to uncover what is needed through a Data-Flow Diagram (hope I have the terminology right, but either way the concept is much better than other estimating methods). A great use of time and helpful method!

    1 · May 29, 2013

    • Richard Lynn P.

      Simultaneously during an iteration, the analyst writes the User's Guide, the QA engineer wrote a test suite with corner cases and exceptions that programming may not have thought about, the programmer and code reviewer discuss the details of the implementation and do the coding. Obstacles and progress were discussed frequently among the whole team and communicated to management and other stakeholders.

      May 29, 2013

    • Richard Lynn P.

      QA tested each code drop so a programming path that wasn't going to work was caught quickly and little code had to be thrown out. QA had enough time to do their job properly and checked how the feature functioned with other features. Analysts, QA, programmers, and domain experts generated other enhancement ideas not only for the project, but for other projects as there was more time for exploratory testing, prototyping, and thinking about the entire product/program. At the end of the iteration, the released product was more closely bug-free than the waterfall methodology. Lastly, QA had test suites that could be assigned in the future to other QA members or customer support for re-testing prior to each product/program release.

      1 · May 29, 2013

  • Mike B.

    Thanks for everyone's participation. This was more technical than most of our past meetups. I enjoyed the insights and discussions, and meeting even more people doing Agile.

    May 24, 2013

  • Richard

    It is always good to meet with people who are willing participants and have questions and experience to share.

    May 24, 2013

  • Bret S.

    Great discussion! I really learned some practical things I can take to work! I also met several new people I learned from and connected with. Great group & meeting

    May 24, 2013

  • Merland H.

    Fantastic Meeting! It was very helpful to see how different organizations were doing estimation and what what was working and not working. I came in with a specific issue my organization is having and the answer became very obvious.

    May 24, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    This was an excellent presentation. I have no formal training but have been told I work in an "Agile" environment. This presentation taught me that my environment is not at all Agile and that if it actually were it could function so much better. Being an entry level new comer everyone was great with letting me ask dumb questions but I know the more experienced guys got something out of it too. It was great having different perspectives within the software cycle. Excellent for all levels. I'll be going again!

    1 · May 23, 2013

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