Recent Posts

Estimating in an agile way

4 minute read

People would love it if we could predict the future. We get this all the time in our work: How much is the project going to cost? When will it be finished so that we can go live? We are really busy so how much of Dave’s time do you need next month? We only get the actual answers to these questions after the work is done (occasionally years later) but people need estimates, forecasts and indications to help coordinate people and activities. Agile ways of working do not immediately remove these needs but techniques like Scrum can help avoid some of the common pitfalls.

Getting started with user stories

3 minute read

Think about the last time you bought something at a shop or online: Did you care what brand of vehicle delivered the goods? Probably not! In the Cornwall Council IS team, our products exist to help people get things done and they, in turn, are helping other people get on with their lives. Often, as long as these people can do what they need, the details of how our products work do not matter very much to them. User stories are a way of capturing the needs of our users and leaving out the rest of the details. They are very efficient, easy-to-use and have become the typical way for agile teams to define their products in the product backlog.

An introduction to backlogs

2 minute read

In this post, we’re taking a closer look at another agile term: Backlog. The dictionary definition is: an accumulation of tasks unperformed or materials not processed In agile working, backlogs are a list of things that a team still has to do. If you are struggling to get started, brainstorming a list of what a team needs to do is a good first step.

So, what exactly is a sprint?

2 minute read

I don’t think the people behind Scrum and other agile methods participated in sports very much. They seem to have borrowed a lot of sporting terms but haven’t used them very wisely. The phrase “Sprint” is a good example of this. In athletics, a sprint involves individuals trying to run faster than everyone else over a short distance. This might be how your team feels at the moment, but it probably isn’t a good picture of where we would like to be.