Agile Antics: LCM at Big Apple Scrum Day

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Abby Kingman
Scrum Master / Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competency

With high hopes and great expectations, a team of Certified Scrum Masters from Last Call Media made the trek to the Big City for Big Apple Scrum Day 2016. There were a lot of questions on our minds about how other teams implement the Scrum version of Agile, and where our practices fit into the spectrum of possibilities. We absorbed lots of interesting ideas and information, here are a few of the highlights that stand out for me:

  • Most of the firms represented were a whole lot bigger than LCM! While we discuss scaling here at LCM, the other folks in the room were talking about scale of a different magnitude. It gave me some perspective on how the challenges and rewards of scrum differ for organizations of different sizes, and I’m pretty excited about the positive way in which our developers have adopted agile practices.
  • Pair programming is much more widely used than I thought. While I was familiar with pair programming and XP as concepts, I has assumed that it was more or less of a niche practice applicable to a limited set situations. So wrong! I left with a better grasp of the more widespread use cases and benefits of this strategy. My observations generated some interest back here at LCM and while there is still some healthy skepticism, one team here is trying it out on a limited basis to see if there is a way we can benefit from it.
  • Avoid late learning. This was a memorable phrase from one of the talks I attended. More often than we like, we learn something late in a sprint that impacts the outcome in a less than desirable way. I shared this phrase with my team and we talked about how to front-load the discovery process into the early part of a sprint, while there is still time to gather information, or adapt in a graceful way. We’re trying out a couple of ideas already, and it looks promising!

I love working in a place where people are adventurous and not afraid of change. We are small enough to be nimble, and smart enough to stay on course through the transitions. The agile journey has been fun so far and I’m looking forward to seeing new and different agile landscapes as we move ahead.

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