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Mike Cohn

Participating in agile projects since 1995, Mike Cohn is an agile trainer, consultant and author of Succeeding with Agile, Agile Estimating and Planning and User Stories Applied. You can learn more about Mike at his website, Mountain Goat Software or connect with him on Google+.

The Case Against Sprint Zero: How to Stop Stalling and Start Sprinting

Projects do not spring to life fully formed--that is, staffed and ready to be worked on. To address these pre-project tasks, many teams use something that they call "sprint zero." I understand

Test Automation: Let Service Be Your Middle Man

Tests should be automated. You know it. I know it. Agile methods insist on it. Yet,all too often we don’t do enough of it, don’t...

Break Your Team’s Status Habit

I was at a client yesterday and heard something that made me cringe, “We’re about to start our daily status meeting.” They were talking about their daily scrum (or daily standup) but were referring to it a status meeting. While I understand where that comes from,...

Story Points Are a Measure of Effort. Period.

Despite my best efforts to squash it, a rumor persists that story points are a measure of complexity. That rumor is downright wrong. The truth is,

Urgent, Novel, Complex: 3 Signs You Might Need an Agile Approach

Could your project benefit from an agile approach? Agile is best suited for projects with aggressive time lines, a large degree of novelty, and a high level...

Why Sprints Should Be Planned with Hours, Not Points

For anyone who has read my book, Agile Estimating and Planning, it should come as no surprise that I'm a big proponent of using story points

How Many Hours Is a Story Point Worth?

One of the concepts new Scrum teams struggle with is how to relate story points and hours. People want an easy answer, such as “one story point = 8.3 hours.” The truth is, though,...

Physical Task Boards & Virtual Team Members

More and more lately, people ask me, “What should we do when the team really likes having a physical task board, but one team member is remote? Do we have to move to a virtual task board?”   Before I answer that question,...

Scrum & XP: Better Together

Scrum and Extreme Programming (XP) are two agile processes that work well in tandem. In fact, if you walked in on a team doing one of these processes you might have hard time quickly deciding whether you had walked in on a Scrum team or an XP team—both because their framework is...

Agile User Stories, Epics and Themes

Agile teams favor a just-in-time approach to requirements. In place of a lengthy requirements document, we use feature descriptions that are minimally described, progressively refined, and stored in a product backlog. User stories are the best way I’ve found...

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