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John Garison
Lead Technical Communicator
Medidata Solutions
2
Who am I?
 Lead Technical Communicator for very agile software company
 STC Associate Fellow
 Agile veteran since 200...
What is Agile?
MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU
3
 What the book says
 What it really is
 What it really isn’t
 What it can b...
What’s So Special About Agile?
MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU
4
 Agile is series of structured conversations among all the peo...
MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU 5
The problem in
a nutshell
MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU 6
Waterfall methodology
MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU 7
Water-Agile-Fall?
MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU 8
Oh yeah – this looks easy!
MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU 9
It’s pretty simple
Agile Components, Terms, and
Concepts
MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU
10
 Backlog Grooming
 Sprint Planning
 Daily Scrum
 Re...
Making Backlog Grooming Work for You
MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU
11
 What makes a good grooming meeting?
 Product Owner us...
Making Sprint Planning Work for You
MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU
12
 What makes a good sprint planning meeting?
 Stories di...
Making your Agile Tools Work for You
MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU
13
 The more information in story descriptions, the better...
Making Scrum Work for You
MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU
14
 What makes a good scrum?
 Short - 15-minutes max - stand up meet...
Making Reveals Work for You
MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU
15
 What makes a good reveal meeting?
 Everyone attends
 Demo of ...
The Path is Not Always Smooth …
MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU
16
Believe it or not, there are potential problems in working in...
Making Retrospectives Work for You
MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU
17
 What makes a good retrospective meeting?
 Everyone atte...
Agile is Agile
MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU
18
 We change/add things to better suit our needs – you can too!
 Our Innovatio...
Time for a Little Heresy … or Truthiness
MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU
19
 You don’t really have to have ‘ready to ship’ docu...
MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU John Garison
Questions?
MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU
20
 Speak up!
 Start practicing this now!
 ...
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Making Agile Work for YOU!

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How technical communicators can use Agile in their job

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Making Agile Work for YOU!

  1. 1. John Garison Lead Technical Communicator Medidata Solutions
  2. 2. 2 Who am I?  Lead Technical Communicator for very agile software company  STC Associate Fellow  Agile veteran since 2001-ish  I remember using punch cards …  john@garisons.com MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU 2
  3. 3. What is Agile? MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU 3  What the book says  What it really is  What it really isn’t  What it can be  And there’s something in it for writers
  4. 4. What’s So Special About Agile? MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU 4  Agile is series of structured conversations among all the people on a development team.  The goal is to make sure that everything is identified and discussed so that the team can deliver quality products predictably.  The product – not just the code – is continually developed, tested, and integrated.  The team decides its own metrics.  The team determines its own internal practices.  No two agile implementations are the same – even those within the same company.
  5. 5. MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU 5 The problem in a nutshell
  6. 6. MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU 6 Waterfall methodology
  7. 7. MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU 7 Water-Agile-Fall?
  8. 8. MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU 8 Oh yeah – this looks easy!
  9. 9. MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU 9 It’s pretty simple
  10. 10. Agile Components, Terms, and Concepts MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU 10  Backlog Grooming  Sprint Planning  Daily Scrum  Reveals  Retrospective  Epics  Stories  Tasks  Fibs  Chickens and Pigs  Done done }Some overlap MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU
  11. 11. Making Backlog Grooming Work for You MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU 11  What makes a good grooming meeting?  Product Owner usually attends  Addresses large issues (epics and stories)  Determine priorities  Define business value (why)  Define scope  Define doneness  Pre-fibbing / T-shirt sizing  Attend the meeting! If not invited, attend anyway! And Listen!  You’ll pick up a lot of background information  Speak up if you have salient input! MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU
  12. 12. Making Sprint Planning Work for You MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU 12  What makes a good sprint planning meeting?  Stories dissected  Tasks created, fibbed, and assigned  Doneness discussed  Attend the meeting! If not invited, attend anyway! And Listen!  You’ll pick up a lot of background information  Speak up if you have salient input  Make sure your tasks have cards MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU
  13. 13. Making your Agile Tools Work for You MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU 13  The more information in story descriptions, the better for everyone. MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU
  14. 14. Making Scrum Work for You MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU 14  What makes a good scrum?  Short - 15-minutes max - stand up meeting  Everyone reports on what they are doing today  Identify dependencies and impediments  Post-scrum discussions if needed  Attend the meeting! Speak up!  If you have a dependency on someone else doing something – say so!  Get a task card created for your dependency  Get it assigned to someone  If you can’t get something done, say you are blocked! MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU
  15. 15. Making Reveals Work for You MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU 15  What makes a good reveal meeting?  Everyone attends  Demo of code and UI  Ideally, separate front- and back-end topics (front-end first!)  Attend the meeting! If not invited, attend anyway! Watch and Listen!  You’ll pick up a lot of information, even if reveals are not final  Demo your work! Show the team what you have been doing and how it helps users.  Speak up if you have salient input or germane questions  Be the user advocate  If you see ways to make it better, say so and talk to the developer afterwards MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU
  16. 16. The Path is Not Always Smooth … MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU 16 Believe it or not, there are potential problems in working in an agile environment!  How do I get developers to listen to me?  How do I deal with multiple teams and all those meetings?  The developers finish their code long before it’s released and go on to the next … how do we keep up?  Different teams play by different rules … how do I cope? MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU
  17. 17. Making Retrospectives Work for You MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU 17  What makes a good retrospective meeting?  Everyone attends  Assess how everyone did, find ways to improve  Start, Stop, Continue  Positive things, improvements, and special acknowledgements  Negative things and problems are acknowledged  Attend the meeting! If not invited, attend anyway! Listen!  You’ll pick up a lot of background information  Speak up if things have improved for you!  Speak up if things have gotten worse for you!  http://onhumanenterprise.com/conducting-post-mortems/ MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU
  18. 18. Agile is Agile MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU 18  We change/add things to better suit our needs – you can too!  Our Innovations include:  Post-Scrum – Discussions as needed following daily scrum  Mini-groom – Short grooming meeting for individual ‘hot’ issues  Three Amigos – Development, SQA, Product meet to discuss potential problems  Melting Pot – Generic story container for small effort (< 2 hours) tasks MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU
  19. 19. Time for a Little Heresy … or Truthiness MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU 19  You don’t really have to have ‘ready to ship’ documentation at the end of every sprint.  Agile works best if it’s supported from the very top of the company to the bottom … as well as sideways.  No two agile teams are alike or follow the same process; agile is itself agile.  It takes a firm hand to run the agile meetings.  Not every agile implementation is successful.  Agile CAN work for you – it’s kaizen engineering … gradual improvement.  Like STC - You get out what you put in. MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU
  20. 20. MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU John Garison Questions? MAKING AGILE WORK FOR YOU 20  Speak up!  Start practicing this now!  John@garisons.com

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