Logi Helgu

Being Agile

Teaching Agile Project Management

Posted by on Mar 17, 2017

For 3 Monday mornings in February I was a teaching at the University of Iceland where the focus was on Agile in managing projects (Verkefnastjórnun II (2017)).

The slides were online and created with slides.com and linked to various older slides and material I already had. I also just added the material before each class but the upfront plan was:

  1. Day 1 – Agile, Kanban & Scrum…and teams
  2. Day 2 – Product Owner, requirements and release thinking
  3. Day 3 – Improvements, retrospectives and the future

I think it went well, I really liked a lot of the feedback (points from the retro are below). But there were two times that I really remembered:

Empty classroom

Here is a picture I took when the classroom was completely empty with the exception of the teacher who will be leading this course next year. There was a work assignment going on that ended with everyone going outside the room…I really liked the fact that I was teaching and all the students had just left the room =)

Smiling faces
One of the activities I did was draw faces where you draw numerous smily faces. When they were drawing and I was looking over it was so fun to see how many were smiling at their papers…down at their smily faces…I didn’t feel like taking individual photos of people but really enjoyed seeing the smiles facing their drawings.


At the last day we did a retrospective on how they felt about these three days. I did the Learning Matrix which is my go to retro activity. There were some great feedback that I got…and I must admit that it was a bit strange to have a retro as a facilitator and getting so much feedback directed straight to me…but they were all good remarks, thx everyone =)
Still a few points I want to keep here for the future:

  1. More workouts that are based on real examples
  2. Easier access to slides
  3. Connect the material beyond software delvelopment
  4. Glossary of terms for those who are not into the lingo
  5. Connect with the other parts of the course

I had fun and from all the other good comments I think they liked it…I guess the remark “More teachers should be like this” is something that tells me that I was doing something right 😉

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Release thinking (talk) at UTMessan

Posted by on Feb 12, 2017

Last week I did a talk on release thinking (at utmessan) called “Waiting for the next big release?” and the recording is on youtube:

Something I think everyone should think about…and I’ll try and explain each topic in more details here.

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Kanban & Trello talk

Posted by on Feb 20, 2015

Kanban rule nr. 2 - limit work in progress
The Environment Agency of Iceland [is. Umhverfisstofnun] asked me to come and give a talk about Kanban and even connect that with Trello. I do like Kanban…and I do like Trello so this was really fun to set up.

I focused on what I like most from Kanban and was also able to touch a bit on Scrum after a question about the methods differences. I felt that was really good and wished that I planned to talk about that =) I sacrificed some things like the games but I tried my best to explain them. I also wanted to end the session with a short Retrospective but only ended up with explaining it and leaving people with the desire to follow up on that =)

The slides are online at slides.com. I didn’t get to draw images for all the slides (with Paper from 53), but I was really pleased with the results even though there were some “nude” slides …there’s always next time to improve on that 😉

The Trello board is also online that I tried to keep up with as we went to through each part…but I wasn’t able to write down all questions so they are just for the attendees.

Quite a good turnout and people were generally very pleased. Afterwards I had a few minutes to talk and check out one of their boards…wish I had more time with the enthusiastic individuals there that I feel are going in the right direction and I hope I’ll catch news of how they are evolving in the future =)

Thank you all at UST =)

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Agile & Gamification talk

Posted by on Feb 6, 2015

I gave a talk at UTMessan 2015 titles “Spilar þú Agile leikinn” which would translate to “Do you play the Agile Game”. I touched on a lot of stuff I like and mostly Gamification. The point of the talk was that we need to learn the game and play it (a lot) to fully capture it and change it. The game here being the Agile game we play…but we could swap that with any “game” we like 😉

In Icelandic I used the word “Leikjafræði” which is used for “Game theory”…and one attendee pointed that out me after the talk…I totally got his point since guests did only get the title of the talk to figure out what was being presented and I hope that will be better next year. I myself to like to read at least a couple of sentences to know what the point of the talk is going to be.

I asked a good friend that attended what he though and he was worried the first moments but then he said I pulled if off. And I was a bit worried since I had been told I could walk around but there was only the mike on the lectern so I was pretty immobilised and did have to skip some parts that I had planned.

It’s really great they now have video recording of all the talks. I havn’t watched all of mine but I feel like I was trying to get over a lot… and I guess I was.
My plan was to have a maximum of 10 slides…but they seemed to enjoy each other and multiply like rabbits when I was planning. One of the hard part was to try to fit this all in 30 minutes.

I general I was pretty pleased and everybody who I talked to about it was pleased or even inspired…a word I really like =)

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Online Sprint Burndown chart

Posted by on Apr 10, 2014

Daily ScrumWhen keeping track of the sprint burndown it’s often good (or ever required) that you show that process on a daily bases. In my case I have a wiki page for each sprint and want to have the daily burndown there updated every day.

So I created a simple Google Spreadsheet for Sprint Daily Burndown. There I create a new tab for each sprint using the TEMPLATE as the base (or just duplicate an old one).

How to set this up

We were running weekly sprints so there are only 5 days on the template now.

  • Start off by duplicating the TEMPLATE sheet (the small triangle on the right site of the Sheets name).
  • Set the Sprint name
  • Fill out the total plan (story points) in the first Planned remaining column (C3), this is your total burndown “plan” for the sprint.
  • Then you have to set how much you plan to have burnt the first day in the second column of Planned Daily Burndown (D4). The reason for this is that we had SPM on Mondays so the planned burndown was always lower on Mondays and we decided that each sprint 😉
  • The rest of the Planned Daily Burndown is just divided evenly automatically, but you can change that if you need to.
  • Then every day you insert the Daily Burndown on your Daily Standup Meeting (Daily Scrum) accordingly and the Chart below is updated.

Sharing the Chart

The sweet part is that you can publish the Chart as an image and place on your wiki or webpage and the image is update each time you fill out new numbers. Very handy when you have a sprint page that you wan’t to display the process of the sprint =)

  • Click the chart and in the right corner click the triangle and select Publish chart
  • In the Select a publish format select Image
  • Copy the URL for the image and pate wherever you desire =)

Feel free to make a copy and edit your own, I’d love to hear if this helps or if you anything else to tell me about this 😉

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