Managed Chaos: How I use Agile and Scrum in the classroom

Agile is great for developing software. It improves quality by committing to transparency and realistic estimates. It improves morale by putting creative people in control of their process and it gives stakeholders visibility into the process and the flexibility to change priorities (pivot for all you trendy wantrapraneurs out there).

And while Agile originated in the software industry, the principles and even the processes now exist outside of it. It works pretty well as a system in any place where there is inherent uncertainty. While traditional management methodologies seek to eliminate uncertainty by careful planning and enforcement, Agile embraces uncertainty as essential and builds teams and processes which can adapt to it.

Now think about traditional education. You have a lesson plan, you have a syllabus, the teacher assumes how will each student will absorb every lesson, how many hours of work they will need to put in to prep for a test, how best to learn each topic, etc.


Velocity tracking in Agile

Long comment from has turned into a post here.

Scrum and Agile is something I'm particularly interested in and enthused about.  But it is strange how many people throw the terms around or even claim to work on Agile teams without a background in the reasons and common applications of Agile.  I'm not saying you have to do everything in your Agile book, but at least read one!

Some of these comments make my eyes bulge out a little bit.  I think even the most elementary book on scrum makes it really clear why we use story points and why they are the basis of all sprint planning.  

Now granted, this is *really* hard to use when you are responsible to a client and have to invoice weekly with the # of hours of work performed and estimate ahead of time what they will get for X.  Time and Materials or fixed bid, client's have expectations.  But outside of that, if you can get a client who is happy to use agile that basically means they hire X full-time people for N number of days - and hope to fullfil part of an agreed upon roadmap.

In that case, the point is that you will never have the


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