How to print Scrum user stories on sticky notes

October 10, 2010

Sticky notes are convenient in use. But my user stories are often done with Word/other software for a clear readable print. So here I want to show how you can print user stories on sticky notes.

First you need to buy sticky notes with the size of 200 * 149 mm. This is A5 landscape. Now you can write your user story with MS Word or Open Office, but limited to the upper half of a A4 page.

Now you have to prepare the sticky note for the print (see right pic) : Read the rest of this entry »

The main SCRUM tool for Your success: get a physical task board

January 26, 2010

team on the glass task board

Originally uploaded by Stephan’s Place.

As mentioned before, we were doing Scrum just a while, but we used a software as main basic tool for the project management. Still we had many questions about Scrum, some occurring problems and insufficient results. When I was asking some of those questions my Scrum trainer, Boris Gloger, his answer was often short: “Get your self a physical task board.” Or: “That won’t happen with a task board”

So after the training, we started to look for a physical task board right away. As already told, we finally used a segmented glass wall as our new task board.

Read the rest of this entry »

First steps in Scrum

December 9, 2009

How it began

While we saw, that the old way of developing software was full of adversities, like missing the milestones, getting things that nobody needed or just a general bad quality of software without documentation, we decided to try something new. The team-leader, Rene , picked Scrum as the most hyped methodology to meet our problems.

So we started by reading books, blogs and other sources and picked Agilo as basically cost-free software to work along that line.

To be honest, the only good result was that the programmers liked the 2-week sprints because of the better prepared job definition and tasks. At least for that short duration they got clear messages what to do. We didn’t use a task board and relied pretty much on the free Agile features.

But still I did not saw major improvements. To increase our professionalism, we decided to get a coaching with Boris Gloger.

The real start of practicing SCRUM

Now we returned excited and enthusiastic with new knowledge and many ideas. Read the rest of this entry »

Online Workspaces for the Masses

March 10, 2008

I’ve managed to get a Beta account of Office Live Workspace. That offers free upload of files to a workspace. The GUI is well done so far, but the upload has a strong limitation: no folder structures are supported. This might be the application I’ve so long waiting for, but that limitation shows me once again the big loss when Mindquarry was closed down. Synchronize your team files including the full directory structure with one click is a feature I’m still missing so much. That was the best solution ever.

Flickr in Windows Life?

February 1, 2008

So Microsoft finally akquires Yahoo. That means my flickr account (which is now a Yahoo aaccount) becomes finally a Microsoft account. When they rise the fees, I’m leaving the service. Time to think about backups.

Products are people too

November 7, 2007

Products are people too
Originally uploaded by cvander.

Today’s most popular keynote was from Jesse James Garrett: “Delivering Rich Experiences”. Garrett, known for his naming essay about the Ajax technology, is an evangelist for simple & smart products. In the picture he’s just talking about the mannerism, that people get a familial connection to good products (“I can’t live without my new [car/phone/ipod/…]”). And products become a treatment like real persons too (“Don’t make the elevator angry, he might stop”)

I think the world still needs more products with “personality”.

Web 2.0 Expo Berlin: Tuesday keynote: Kathy Sierra: “Creating Passionate Users”

November 6, 2007

Originally uploaded by Stephan’s Place.

Kathy Sierra was one of the keynote speakers today, and as I think by far the most entertaining one. This might be obviously, since you read her topic, which is her mission too. On person I spoke after her keynote said, there have been no news in her presentation (to him). That might be true, but first she presents that in a really entertaining way and second, she does it in an intelligent way delivering things you already know with a new viewpoint.

One thing she was talking about, was the point how companies caring about her customers before and after they became customers. She compared for example a marketing brochure for a camera with the user manual (which is the brochure you get after you bought the camera, with your bying decision based on the reading of the marketing brochure). On the one side a delighting and inspiring artwork, on the other side a technical manual designed by an engineer for an engineer’s use. And that is really, what we mostly get. Companies woo to “strangers” and deal cumbersome to existing customers. I bet everyone has a own story to proof that! How often had you to wait in the support line? How often did you actually benefit from special offer any company (like telco’s) provide to new customers?

Kathy was asking that question:

“Can you imagine, how it would be if companies would shift the budget and the talent of people away from marketing to customer education”?

A interesting thought, isn’t it? Even when I would not agree to leave marketing without a budget, teaching the customers better to make the best use out of your product can really make the USP. And caring for customers in a way they don’t feel upset when dealing with the company.

But, as the guy said, this is all no news. But it was good to get it in those clear pictures as a packed and user friendly and entertaining message once again. I hope Kathy don’t stop to do this, even if we all know it.