Archive for the ‘Quiz’ Category

Last week I published an Agile Thursday Quiz about PairProgramming.
(You can found previous quizes at ATQ )

The quiz was created by Sallyann and you can find her answers below.

1. Which of the following has Pair Programming as a core practice?
b. Extreme Programming. Although pairing is useful in any other the others is it only described as a Core Practice in XP.

2. When pair programming, the most regularly used names to distinguishing which person is currently typing are: 
c. Driver and Navigator. Some say the Driver types, while the navigator looks at the broader problem / real world level. I (Sallyann) dispute this though

3. In Jim Coplien and Neil Harrison’s book “Organisational Patterns”, pair programming is referred to as:
c. Developing in pairs. Illustrated with a lovely ‘Two Amigos’ picture.

4. Pair programming has not been shown to have a helpful effect on:
b. Pair programming has actually been shown to lengthen the amount of effort required to develop a feature, however this is considered a cheap price to pay for the eventual time saved through not having to fix the extra defects found in solo-developed code.

Do you want to learn more about PairProgramming?

Brian Marick wrote a nice post about pairing with Corey Haines 
A Pair Programming Experience by Randal Jenson
You might want to spend a while on Wikiwiki: (If you have never been to the first wiki, make sure you take some time to look at everything written here.)

Research

Remote pairing: 

Books:

You can also find these links and other on my delicious page for PairProgramming

Another Thursday that we have an ATQ. This time written by Sallyann Freudenberg. Some years ago, Sallyann has done reasearch around PairProgramming. Recently she started to reblog her research.
As a kind of publicity for her blog, I asked her, if she wanted to create an ATQ about PrairProgramming.
I hope you enjoy it, please write your answer in the comments.

1. Which of the following has Pair Programming as a core practice?

A) Scrum
B) Extreme Programming
C) Kanban
D) DSDM
E) Crystal Clear

2. When pair programming, the most regularly used names to distinguishing which person is currently typing are: 

A) Parent and child
B) Master and Servant
C) Driver and Navigator
D) Coder and Designer
E) Teacher and Student

3. In Jim Coplien and Neil Harrison’s book “Organisational Patterns”, pair programming is referred to as:

A) Coding in Tandem
B) Delivering as a Duo
C) Developing in Pairs
D) Coding in Couples
E) Working in Twos

 

4. Pair programming has not been shown to have a helpful effect on:

A) The quality of delivered features.
B) The amount of effort (man-hours) it takes to develop a feature.
C) Knowledge-sharing.
D) Peripheral awareness via overhearing.
E) Problem-solving.

Last week I published the Agile Thursday Quiz about Retrospectives.
Here are the answers from Ben Linders. (who created these questions.)

1) When do you normally do a retrospective?
b is the best answer, all others are wrong or do not reflect the real intention of a retro.

2)  Who should attend the retrospective?
a and c are both valid answers, this questions aims to trigger reaction if the PO should or should attend the retro.

3) What is the best way to do a retrospective?
a

4) What happens with the actions that come out of retrospectives?
b is the correct answer, e is not wrong but doesn’t emphasize enough that it is the team who takes action

Where to learn more about Retrospectives:

 

 

A few of my example Retrospectives

 

 

 

 

For this ATQ, Ben Linders helped me out with the questions.

1) When do you normally do a retrospective?

a) Just before the start of a sprint, to prepare everything that is needed to do the sprint
b) After the sprint review of each sprint, when you have all the input that is needed to reflect and decide upon actions
c) As a servant leader you only do it when the team asks for it, and as often as they think they need it
d) The retrospective is a part of the sprint review, where you reflect on the product and the process
e) Between the planning game and the sprint review, so that you can do improvements during the sprint

2)  Who should attend the retrospective?

a) All team members
b) The scrum master and some of the team members
c) Everybody in the team, except for the product owner
d) Everybody who is attending the sprint review, to get as much feedback as possible
e) The product owner, team members, and their managers

 

3) What is the best way to do a retrospective?

a) There are many good ways to do retrospectives, the facilitor usually proposes a way to do it depending on the team needs and the issues at hand
b) You can use the the four key questions from retrospectives, as a minimum ask the team what went well and what should be improved
c) There is no best way to do a retrospective, as the purpose of a retrospective varies in agile projects
d) Team members should submit problems before the retrospective, and the scrum master decides what is most urgent to discuss
e) Most teams use sticky notes to collect actions what should be improved

4) What happens with the actions that come out of retrospectives?

a) They are given to the project manager so that (s)he can plan the actions and assign people
b) Team members will pick up these actions during the next sprint, to continuously improve their way of working
c) The scrum masters collects them and documents them in a report
d) There shouldn’t be much actions coming out, as the next sprint is already filled up with user stories
e) They are documented, and will be discussed in the next retrospective to check if they are finished

 Please add your answers in the comments and on monday I’ll publish Ben’s answers.

Last week I published the Agile Thursday Quiz about BurnupCharts.
Here are the answers from Pawel Brodzinski. (who created these questions.)

Looking at a burn-up chart one can say:
A,B,C,D,E

Looking at a burn-up chart one can’t say:
A,B,C,D,E

On a burn-up chart you measure amount of work on a vertical axis. What measure you can use?

A,B,C,D,E

What is a difference between a burn-up and a burn-down chart?

 A,B,C,D,E

Yes, Pawel decided to pull a trick on you,  as all of the answers are correct.
Most of answers can be found in his post about burn-up charts: and the rest is stuff that is true for both burn-ups and burn-downs.

More links about BurnUp Charts:

This last reference can be used as a reference to the questions, may render some of the answers for the last question false. Pawel used as a reference the classic version of burn-down charts.In fact, this may be the biggest lesson: how can you improve your burn-downs.

Books

Agile Estimation & planning 

 
For this ATQ,  Pawel Brodzinski helped me out with the questions.
1) Looking at a burn-up chart one can say:
a) How much work has been done
b) How much work is yet to be done
c) What is roughly the pace at which the work is progressing
d) When roughly the work is expected to be done
e) How much time has elapsed since the team started tracking work using the chart
2) Looking at a burn-up chart one can’t say:
a) How much time it took to build work items that are completed
b) How many work items were completed on each day
c) The exact date when the work will be finished
d) How many people worked in a team on each day
e) What the quality of estimates for each work item was
3) On a burn-up chart you measure amount of work on a vertical axis. What measure you can use?
a) Story points
b) Number of work items of any type
c) Number of user stories
d) Weighted size, e.g. if you use T-shirt sizing, L item will be worth more than M, etc.
e) Estimated effort needed to complete work
4) What is a difference between a burn-up and a burn-down chart?
a) On a burn-up chart the curve goes up, not down
b) It is easier to show scope change on a burn-up chart
c) On a burn-up chart the curve shows only change of completed work, while on burn-down it can also refer to the change of scope
d) Steepness of the curve on a burn-up chart always allows to figure out the pace of work, while on a burn-down chart it isn’t always possible
e) A burn-up chart can be easily enhanced to Cumulative Flow Diagram while it’s not that easy with a burn-down chart

Please add your answers in the comments and on monday I’ll publish Pawel’s answers.

 

Carlo was invited by Oana. Carlo is one of these people I know over twitter.
What I find interesting about Carlo, is that he is calls himself a developer and a system administrator. A DevOps avant la lettre. On his website he mentions he uses Pomodoro Technique. Which is not so strange knowing he is Italian.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is something people usually don’t know about you but has influenced you in who you are?

Many people who know me as an IT professional ignore the tremendous impact that my wife Karina has had in my life. To make a long story short: she held my hand, in the last 8 years, while I learned how to be proud of myself – and not ashamed.

If you would not have been in IT, what would have become of you?

(Bio Time! 😉 At 18, I was sure I would have become a journalist – possibly a Robert Fisk, or a Ryszard Kapuscinski. When I did actually study media and journalism (and learned about news-making routines, construction of reality, self-censorship) all poetry vanished. I did not want to be “part of the machine”. Still, I was fond of semiotics,  and international relations. This somehow led me to a sincere involvement with grassroots activism and free software. I started to “do web” more seriously around 2000.

What is your biggest challenge and why is it a good thing for you?

I want to change the world – to make it a better place to live. This is my BIG BIG challenge. And it’s been on the top of my list for the last 20 years 😉
In my current daily IT job, while designing and developing what we call “sustainable IT solutions I feel that I’m part of this “global effort. Delivering real value, delighting customers, respecting co-workers, creating win-win-win situations, … – I am giving my small but concrete contribution.

Whenever I manage to perceive myself *aligned* with this goal, and with all other people walking the same path, I feel just great – smiling, light, energized. And of course this is something good – for me and for those around me.
(I’m constantly training my eyes and heart, to discern this alignment, and to stay aware of this sense of belonging. There are mountains of injustice, violence and hypocrisy which populate our towns and lives – and they are very good at hiding the beauty and the happiness.)

On a much more trivial level, I’d like to list a couple of other challenges I’m facing.

First, I strive to better organize my time and activities, to achieve the highest productivity, value generation and sustainability. I’m not that bad at it, but I know I can do much better. (I’ve recently assisted a great on-line presentation by Aslam Kahn about personal flow, personal flow of waste, … )

Second, I’m looking to find my balance, in an actual context, where I need to be a charismatic leader (and not just only a servant one) without letting my ego expand too much and narcissism prevail.

These challenges are very good, since they’re part of my walk of continuous self-improvement. I’m very happy to see myself getting slowly better and to be able set the bar each time a little higher.

What drives you?

Passion.
Desire of growing, of evolving.
The pleasure to learn.
The will to feel proud of myself.
The beauty of sharing.

What is your biggest achievement?

Generally speaking, I love it when others appreciate something I do (and I’m happy if they use it, practice it,  enjoy it :-).
A couple of years ago, my team and I had designed and released an extension to a very popular opensource CRM.  It became the most downloaded plugin for that software] and it was then included in the successive release. This was a big satisfaction – and a win-win-win-win-win situation  (for me, for my team, the company I worked for, that CRM company, that CRM community, …) 😉

Last year, I had made plans for moving to a different job, in a bigger company. Two members of my team came to me and said “We have something for you. We want to make our own company. But we need you.” That’s how Devsum was born in summer 2010. We’re small, lean, and proud 😉

What is the last book you have read?

I’ve recently read Jim Womack Gemba walks. An Agile enthusiast and practitioner for a few years, I’m getting more and more passionate about Lean. I’m currently reading Stephen Denning “The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management”. (Both of them on my Kindle).

More recently, I just finished reading Lean From the Trenches by Henrik Kniberg, and I’m reading the amazing Managing yourself and others (Quality Software) by Jerry

What question do you think I should also ask and what is the answer?

It took me two months to answer to your eight questions. If I’m to formulate the questions too, we’ll end up being in 2012 😉 Anyway, your questions are great. As others mentioned before, there’s many more you could eventually ask me, but none that you should 😉

Who do you think I should ask next?

Please send these questions to Claudio Perrone. Already known at the international level, he is doing an amazing job, especially with lean tools applied to the IT domain.

And send them also to Jacopo Romei. He’s not so famous outside Italy, but he’s a very smart, skilled and creative agile coach – and he’s very active in grooming the Italian agile community.

If you like these questions. You can read Carloz and similar answers in our book Who is agile.

Last weeks Thursday I published another ATQ this one about Daily standups. The questions came from Simon Baker. Here are his answers: (I added my comments with his, to show there is not one truth)

1. What are the goals of the daily stand-up?

a) Share status information.

b) Report progress to the manager.

c) Identify impediments.

d) Set direction and synchronise the day’s activities.

e) Remove impediments.

f) Assign work to people.

Correct Answers:

a) Even when there’s promiscuous pair programming, it’s useful for individuals to hear fresh updates from their team mates (especially at the start of the day) to get a sense of overall progress towards the goals. It’s also helpful to share anything interesting and relevant that people may find  generally useful.

c) Impediments can’t be removed if nobody knows about them. It’s therefore important to make people aware of new impediments and raise early awareness, and also update them on progress to remove existing impediments.

d) With an understanding of current status the team can organize itself to provide assistance where it’s needed and work collectively to maintain the flow of work to done and move closer to achieving its goals.

Incorrect Answers:

b) The daily standup is the team’s forum for communicating the latest useful information to one another and collectively coordinating their activities for the day. It’s not a meeting for people to report to a manager or leader.

e) Removing impediments takes time and happens outside the daily standup.

f) Work is not assigned to people. People volunteer. The team is meant to be self-organizing and should decide for itself how best to deploy in order to achieve its goals.

Remarks from Yves:

F) >> this is were you see that details are important. When you assign the work in the team by the team. You could say it F is also ok. (Although I prefer people sign up themselves)

2. What do people talk about at the daily stand-up?

a) Impediments that are causing delays.

b) Percentage complete on work in progress.

c) What will be attempted today.

d) Solutions to problems.

e) Ask questions to clarify understanding.

f) What was accomplished yesterday.

Correct Answers:

a) People actively working to remove impediments and clear obstacles blocking stories provide updates on their progress.

c) Individuals state succinctly what they’ll be working on today.

e) It’s often necessary for people to ask clarifying questions of others to get a clear understanding of what’s been said. If a discussion develops about problem solving it should be taken offline and continued after the daily standup.

f) Individuals provide a bulletin on the progress they made yesterday. This is headline information and not details. It can be helpful to summarise the acceptance criteria satisfied (providing the acceptance criteria are expressed in a meaningful way).

Incorrect Answers:

b) Progress isn’t reported by the percentage done. As humans, we’re very good at knowing when something is started and when something has been finished, but we’re terrible at knowing anything in-between. It can be informative to talk about progress in terms of the acceptance criteria satisfied or outstanding (providing the acceptance criteria are expressed in a meaningful way).

d) Make people aware of any new problems but the daily standup is too short to fix problems. Discussing potential solutions and agreeing a way forward is done outside the daily standup.

Remarks Yves

B) Depends on how you look at progres. % progress on storys/task I agree.

If WIP is shown by one card per task/story. You do see some progress indication when some parts are done.

3. Why do people standup at the daily standup?

a) Stimulate a higher level of attentiveness.

b) More people can huddle.

c) Helps keep the standup short.

d) It’s easier for people to queue up to speak.

e) Avoid deep vein thrombosis.

f) It’s more sociable.

Correct Answers:

a) Standing up prompts people to engage as their physical movement stimulates a mental readiness, for a while at least.

c) Standing up provides everyone with a physical reminder to be expeditious. When people start fidgeting it’s a sure sign the standup is taking too long.

Incorrect Answers:

b) It might be possible to fit more people in when everyone is standing, and it might even make it easier for people to see the board, but in and of itself it’s not really a reason to be standing.

d) People don’t queue up to speak at the daily standup, the team walks the board, i.e. the story owners speak according to the order of work on the board. Typically, impediments are covered first followed by the stories in progress (including defects, systems work, and technical debt), either working down from the highest value story (story board) or working backwards from the done column (Kanban board).

e) While office workers probably do spend more time on their butts it’s arguably not long enough to develop deep vein thrombosis.

f) Sociability probably has more to do with how friendly people are, how well they know each other, how well they get on together, and whether it’s a safe environment than it does standing up.

4. What are the signs of a good daily stand-up?

a) Everybody gets to speak.

b) It happens at the same time every day, where the work happens.

c) It manages itself.

d) Afterwards, people feel energised and are clear about what they’re doing.

e) Stakeholders come to observe.

f) It takes less than 15 minutes.

Correct Answers:

b) Doing the daily standup at the same time and in the same place removes coordination costs and helps make it a habit. It also lets other people drop by and observe proceedings. A standup first thing in the morning provides a springboard for launching into the day. It makes sense to do it around the board because that’s where the information lives about what’s going on and it provides triggers on what needs to happen.

c) A good standup feels like it managed itself. I’ve seen daily standups done without any facilitation where people get to the point, share information, organise, and jump into the work day with clarity.

d) A good standup gets people energised.Maintaining a clear sense of purpose and urgency to make a difference rather than just get busy on activities reminds people why they’re dong what they’re doing and focuses their attention on what needs to be done to achieve the goals.

e) This may be a contentious view but I think it’s good to have stakeholders and people from other parts of the business present who want to hear about progress or relevant information. I include an ‘any other business’ piece at the end of the daily standup to allow stakeholders a few seconds to share relevant information with the team. Sharing information in the presence of stakeholders removes the need for other status meetings and reports.

f) The daily standup ought to be short and sweet. 15 minutes or less is a general rule of thumb, regardless of the number of people attending. Any longer than 15 minutes and energy dissipates and minds begin to wander.

Incorrect Answers:

a) Nowadays it’s common practice to talk about the stories rather than each person answer the three Scrum questions. Focus shifts from personal commitment to moving work in progress to done. This means it’s not necessary for everyone to speak at the daily standup. Perhaps the current story owners do most of the talking.

Remarks Yves

I do agree in general with the remark about A. Yet on not teams that struggle with commitment I can be good to have everyone speaking. And if people don’t speak, what they have done should have been discussed (f ex if the paired, their pair should have spoken)

Some URL’s about Daily Standups

See what wikipedia has to say about standups

A few years back Simon wrote a popular article about Standup’s.

Jason Yip wrote a few patterns about Standups (on Martin Fowlers blog).

Also Mike Cohn wrote about standups

On the first wiki (from Ward) there is also a page about standups

Even on Methods and Tools has an article on Daily Standups (from Mike Vizdos)

Big Visible has a post on extreme standups

Also the website Extreme programming has a post on standup meeting

Because of my work on the “Who is agile” book I did not publish new ATQ in a few weeks.
A lot of people struggle with a standup. As with a lot of things, it’s simple but not easy.
For this ATQ, Simon Baker helped me out with the questions.

1. What are the goals of the daily stand-up?
a) Share status information.
b) Report progress to the manager.
c) Identify impediments.
d) Set direction and synchronize the day’s activities.
e) Remove impediments.
f) Assign work to people.

2. What do people talk about at the daily stand-up?
a) Impediments that are causing delays.
b) Percentage complete on work in progress.
c) What will be attempted today.
d) Solutions to problems.
e) Ask questions to clarify understanding.
f) What was accomplished yesterday.

3. Why do people standup at the daily standup?
a) Stimulate a higher level of attentiveness.
b) More people can huddle.
c) Helps keep the standup short.
d) It’s easier for people to queue up to speak.
e) Avoid deep vein thrombosis.
f) It’s more sociable.

4. What are the signs of a good daily stand-up?
a) Everybody gets to speak.
b) It happens at the same time every day, where the work happens.
c) It manages itself.
d) Afterwards, people feel energized and are clear about what they’re doing.
e) Stakeholders come to observe.
f) It takes less than 15 minutes.

The answers of last weeks ATQ, can be found on the Agile Manifesto page

I on purpose don’t copy them as the page contains a lot of detail about what these statements mean.

I mixed the answers with some statements of the Software Craftmanship manifesto

Another agile related manifestos is the Declaration of interdependance