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Forecasting in agile Projects - Do you get your things done within time and budget?

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Forecasting in agile Projects - Do you get your things done within time and budget?

Well, this sound like a question for classic approaches J. However, I often get asked how could we know in agile projects, or on product level if we get things done in time?

Agile projects are cool and simple, planning is sprint by sprint and team size defines monthly budget. However, if you’re a product owner you might be asked by your stakeholders and sponsors "what of the product backlog could be done until when", "what does it cost" and most difficult "are we still on track"?-As usually just sprints are under deep monitoring I’d like to share with you a very simple instrument, the product burn up chart.

Usually I paint this to a physical flip-chart, but I was curious if I could manage to create a simple monitoring tool?-This tool should keeping track over whole product lifecycle. As I’m a mac user I’ve done that with 


, however you could download and convert it to excel if you like. Just to to download here:


From my point of view most important things for a product owner to monitor towards his team are:

  1. Progress and Forcasting of Product Backlog implementation (Top Chart)
  2. Tracking continous Improvement of Team (Bottom left Chart, even if that’s in responsibility of SM I’d like to know about)
  3. Budget Burndown (Bottom right Chart)

While creating these graphs I started to play around with some scenario’s and I found out that this is getting more and more complex. E.g. it might be interesting to monitor development of product backlog size as well. In my scenario the product would be implemented within 6 sprints and additional stories would be rarely added. However in corresponding data sheet I’ve added some notifications if it gets unrealistic to stay within time and budget. Furthermore over time the best/worst case forecasts are getting more and more accurate. In my example the team is performing very well, since sprint 4 near best case scenario.


My calculations might have still some bugs, so I do not guarantee nothing. I’m curious about your input about, may be we could develop it more and somebody creates a standard plugin for Atlassian Agile?

Please note:

I pass any monitoring of outcome like end user feedbacks, increasing of revenue, etc. at this moment.

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My speech about "The future of …“ Collaboration - How agile cooperation models substitute classical client/vendor relationships


My speech about "The future of …“ Collaboration - How agile cooperation models substitute classical client/vendor relationships

Last two days I was at conference ONE and "The future of.." in Zurich while  I gave a speech about „The future of collaboration: How agile cooperation models substitute classical client/vendor relationships“.-There were several other very interesting speeches about newest trends in technology, biology, culture, etc! I'd like to share with you some impressions and tweets, over 150 attendees came to me speech. While the whole cause within that two days (ONE-Experience, The future of.., E-Commerce-Connect, Topsoft) had several thousands of registered visitors and exhibitors.


Find below the presentation at slideshare and don't hesitate to contact me in any case of questions. I'll answer you on any channel, like twitter, comment to that article, email, etc.

[slideshare id=34468771&style=border:1px solid #CCC; border-width:1px 1px 0; margin-bottom:5px; max-width: 100%;&sc=no]

REVOLUTION - How agile cooperation models substitute classical client/vendor relationships


Mirko Kleiner


Why Scrum is that successful - Another perspective


Why Scrum is that successful - Another perspective

I recently talked with a Scrum Newby about why scrum is that successful and what makes the difference. I explained him that based at an instrument he knew, the task force.A task force is a temporary grouping of best resources for the accomplishment of a specific objective within shortest possible time. In IT it’s usually to solve a business critical incident.


If we compare a scrum team with a Task Force I see a lot of overlappings. We put together a multi-funtional team, containing of best resources each to accomplish fastest possible our objectives. While this process the scrum team has full management attention with direct communication to. Outcome has to fulfill highest business value, otherwise company looses time-to-market and it will become a problem. Only difference is that a Task Force will be disband after incident is solved. In other words we also could say:

"Scrum Teams are ongoing Task Forces"
Mirko Kleiner, 11/2013

Interesting point thinking about Task Forces is, that this is not new -but used very rarely- and just in extreme situations. Question is why, it’s approved and one of multiple reasons why Scrum is that successful.


Double O Model - How a Product Owner can escape the hungry Beast Scrum


Double O Model - How a Product Owner can escape the hungry Beast Scrum

As Richard Stinear mentioned  recently  "Scrum is a hungry Beast, that wants to be feed constantly by Product owner". Lets see how Product Owner could escape this end-less-loop.

Gabrielle Benefield recently published by Twitter the Double O Model (see graph below). As I understood it will be part of her new Book, that comes out soon :-). It shows the 2 O's, where on the left hand side Product Owner is creating new Options and Innovations that will bring valuable Outcome. On the other side we see the delivery cycle, that runs experiments with common Output like Stories, Bugfixes, etc. Those impact are measured/adapted and flow back to Create Options O.


By Alistair Cockburn @TotherAlistair

What is danger now if a Product Owner is fully occupied in the delivery O, without any time left for Innovation.

Some Product Owners are captured in delivering Output, instead of caring about valuable Outcome

Gabrielle Benefield, 10/2013

In other Words Team and Product Owner are just focused to deliver fast, but wrong, non-valuable Output. To get back to the left O it's recommended to constantly do a  critical review of your current top Backlog Items and check there Outcome. As Alternativ go back to your stakeholders, the team and ask for the 2 most valuable Requests each and try to calculate the costs if Item wont be Done.



My Talk about distributed Scrum @CodeCamp Romania

Today I held at Developer Conference CodeCamp in Isai, Romania a talk about our experiences in setup and run a distributed scrum. I'd like to share with you some impressions, over 150 attendees came to me speech. While the whole event had 600+ registered visitors.


Find below the presentation at slideshare and don't hesitate to contact me in any case of questions. I'll answer you on any channel, like twitter, comment to that article, email, etc.

[slideshare id=27100393&style=border:1px solid #CCC;border-width:1px 1px 0;margin-bottom:5px&sc=no]

Download Link:



Checklist to become a good Product Owner

What does the profile of a good Product Owner cover, what are his duties and how he could achieve those? Bild

Image Source:

Most of you might know Michael James' ScrumMaster Checklist, which already mentioned some tasks regarding improving Product Owner from Scrum Master perspective. Recently Lare Lekman posted a checklist to become a good Product Owner.


Download product-owner-checklist-september-2013-v2

I will for sure use it. What I personally like is that Lare tried to cover Product Owner's role 360° and with the point system  at the bottom "My current Product Owner Score is ________ / 28 points." you have a neutral KPI as base for discussions.

[polldaddy poll=7449444]


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When we have a distributed Scrum?

I'd like to present you my personal definition of "Distributed Scrum". Do not take it too serious. But on the other hand it's not so wrong too. In discussions with newbie's about distributed scrum I often notice, that they put it in relation with nearshore/offshore teams. This gave me reason for finding a simple definition, that makes sense for business people too :-).


It's a fact that a lot of informal talks but also social integration are important topics during a coffee break. Thinking about this I came up with idea, that


Mirko Kleiner, 10/2013

If they don't do, they are distributed and should organize themselves as distributed scrum teams do. I often saw on customer side, that those teams are not aware of being a distributed teams. In other words companies with multiple offices, even in same street/city/country have distributed teams and should be aware of that while implementing scrum.

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Importance of Meetings on same level in distributed Teams

While sharing customer experiences about distributed scrum a very simple action came up, that could have big impact to team culture and satisfaction. Last week we made a workshop with one of our team sourcing customers, that has it's own nearshore team at youngculture as workbench extension of his local developement team. While discussion with customer about they're implementation of a distributed scrum we noticed one simple action I'd like to share with you.

Usually meetings, e.g. daily standup, were done using video conferencing. Therefor each part of team moves to it's meeting room. So far so good.


In this case scrum master was part of local part of scrum team. So local team was talking and talking and often after a while they realized, that delocated part of scrum team was recently disconnected because of network issue. This sounds now nothing special, this happened to everybody of us in the past.

However, customer had afterwards internal discussions about this from another perspective. How this meeting passed off until this moment from point of view of delocated part of team?-The local part of team put themselfs in place of delocated team members and decided together the following action.

From now on scrum master was in any meetings added remotely too. In my opinion they reached with this very simple action, that  both parts of team are handled at same level. Doing so local part of team accepted delocated part of team as full-fledged team members!

To be honest I never looked at this from this perspective, but I will give this higher priority in the future for sure.



Register NOW for my Speech with @JeffSutherland at Free GOTO Night on Sept. 19 in Zurich

Join me when we open the doors to another free GOTO Night organized by trifork Switzerland! We will have Jeff Sutherland answer questions from the audience and the main speech of the evening will be given by Mirko Kleiner from youngculture AG about "Scrum in distributed Teams - The 4 DONT's to be successful". We will serve some light snacks and provide an educational environment for networking - all you have to do is show up.

Pease note we just have 60 seats (first come – first served), so Register now - It's free!

Find attached the flyer for more details but also for sharing: