Pain is temporary, failure lasts forever

Lean, agile living for the running mother of Peter


The sprint is over!

Delivery. I actually got well before delivery and we had a sprint demo for the company. We showed both X and Y (for you following previous posts on the blog). The users liked Y. Don´t think they understood X. That is also because X is something we did to enable other stuff. And that is also an important lesson: if you're going to do something expensive that people won't really understand because it won't be finished during a sprint, be sure to include something inexpensive which will blow people of their chairs.


The sprint objective....

So, I talked to my dear and beloved scrum master about the need for a sprint objective. And he came back with:
'Increase the visibility of the connections between entities in the system'
-You said what? I asked. How is that supposed to help us with anything?

The sprint objective must be concrete. I want an objective that a developer on a daily basis can relate to. Did my work today bring me any closer to the objective? And when choosing between two tasks be able to think which one brings the team nearer to the objective of the goal.

If you compare with rugby, it is not enough to have a sprint objective which says: 'Well, we should move in the right direction.' All the guys probably have their own view on what is the right direction. And avoiding that fuzziness must be a part of an agile development vision.

So, back to the product owner. I asked the product owner about the sprint objective.
- So, the objective is increase visibility of relationship between the entities in the system.
- Yes... (He always get weary when I barge in asking questions like that.)
- So, does that mean that we from the search result should be able to search for related items or does that mean that you should see related items on the forms?
- Öh. Dunno. Both, I guess?
- But, which has the highest priority? Should we focus on both solutions or one?

Let's say I came out from the room with a concrete sprint objective. And this made it clear that we'd missed a lot of stuff on the backlog. And there were also a lot of stuff we thought high priority but wasn't. Sprint objectives are about doing the right thing.

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Better today

They are starting to leave, the small bugs in my system. So, today I'm starting to feel OK. That is good.



The need for a sprint objective

I know, all the knowers and doers know it: if you're going to do agile: you better have a sprint objective! For you not-knowers: a sprint objective is a sentence which describes what you want to accomplish during the sprint. We've been not so good at this. That is: I've known the objective, but no one else has. Not the product owner, not the scrum master, not the development team.

So, what happens if you don´t have a sprint objective:
- The wrong things get done
- I get disappointed
- The product owner doesn't know what the delivery contained.

This sprint, we had a storyboard and I had a clear sprint objective. We also had some side projects, some POC:s (Proof of concepts) which we wanted tested. Small stuff. The problem was that it was fun stuff. So, people took those tasks and thought that someone else would pick the other stuff. Or waited on someone else to start. Or something. So, the last week of the sprint and no where near the objective. So, I pointed that out:
- Hey, I see that we don't have X! Someone responded:
- Then we have to cut it.
- But X was the objective.
- But we've completed Y.
- Completed?
- Yes, you can do Y in the actual application.
- But Y was only going to be a POC.
- But we were so close so we went the whole way.
- O.H. M.Y G.O.D....

So, next sprint I'm going to print the sprint objective in large letters and hang it over the most used white board, the one we use for scrum meetings. No one is going to miss the sprint objective of September. I just have to make the product owner set one....


No running

I'm officially having a cold. Pulled on my running gear, took the temperature. No running for me today.

So, why now? Then, when I come to work, it all seems so familiar. Tomorrow's delivery. Of course. I've got the delivery cold. So, nothing new under the sun. Besides it's really being autumn. The tree leafs are turning yellow and it was really cold this morning. I wore my new autumn coat. The product owner changed his mind, again.



First autumn cold

We humans are relatively large and the small bugs causing colds are really tiny in comparison, but they can change everything. I usually don´t get very sick when having a cold: I've gone to work, felt bad and when coming home realizing I've had a 39C temperature. It's more like an annoyance. I feel irritated. I don't hear very well, and the fatigue. I hate the fatigue. Combining this with last week of sprint constitute the basis for a LONG week. I thought this was Thursday. (I think my scrum master is very happy it's not Thursday, though.)

So, am I freaking out. Well, no. It might be the cold, it might me not feeling so responsible. I've done my best and I hope that we'll have the things packed and ready for the sprint start. So, what is the objective of the September sprint? Oh, oh. Oh no. I don't know the objective. Guess that's a bad thing. Or just me having a cold and not remembering properly. Or it's just my scrum team business as usual.

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The beauty of boredom

This weekend my husband and I at last came around to watch Brokeback Mountain. We knew what to expect, a beautiful movie on a compelling subject. When it was over I saw that it was based on a SHORT story. AKA, it was not enough stuff for a long movie. Umberto Eco once stated that the definition of a pornographic movie (and the definition of movie is when there is some kind of story which can be followed through the film: not just separate film clippings) is that there are a few scenes that all in the audience are waiting for and that the rest of the time you just waited for those scenes. This wasn't even porn. It was dull. Hadn't my husband been there I would have watched the movie in *4 speed (I actually do this sometimes). When something actually happened it was too dark to see or they just told you afterwards what had happened.

But what really disturbed me was the people and the costumes. If the movie reminded me of something it was the old fascist movies about the "blacks". And in this case the people pictured were white Americans from the mid west. The costumes, the wigs, the language, the description of the culture. For me, hating racism, it was quite disturbing.

But the scenery was fantastic: if there was some kind of message it was that if you're going to be gay: be it it in a beautiful landscape. Next time I want to be bored, I can watch the dust bin stead. It least I wouldn't give a dime to racists in Hollywood.



Scrum family?

On the skeptic forum I visit, I've been part of a discussion regarding the affect of siblings on one's personality. I've always been quite good at fingering a person's position (eldest, youngest, middle), but I've never seen this as something scientific. Well, the discussion got me thinking about our scrum team and how the tightness has made us almost like a "family" in behavior and roles. And perhaps that makes us behave quite differently to each other than we would ordinary colleagues. For better, and for worst.

When I tried explaining to my therapist how we worked, he was amazed that we were trying this without professional consulting (and why wouldn't he, offering professional services ask this?). So, what is the actual difference between a family and a team (besides from the time of day/week we spend together). The likenesses are many. For example:
  • You cant choose all your team/family members. Some you have chosen. Some not.
  • You spend a lot of time together and are very dependant on the others for your own success with your tasks
  • Arguments over cleaning: what is enough, who's going to do it and who pulls all weight. And with cleaning in a development project you can also apply this to testing and fixing bugs and other "boring" tasks
I could go on for ages, but after starting thinking about this, I can say that many of the books I've read about family issues can be applied to our team. So, perhaps we have a scrum family instead of a scrum team. That is SO post-agile...

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Friday evening and night

Two members of VOF (, some present and previous collegues and my familj met for what probably was the last outdoor party of 2007.

Eating outdoor is something magical for many Swedes, now adays. But it has not always been like that. August Strindberg, the famous 18-19th century Swedish writer, caught the time in the Hemsöborna with the line (told by the local islander, representing the Good Old Days) 'City folks, eating outside and sh*tting inside.'

Now, we're moving into Autumn and the summer will be sorely missed, mostly by us adults. For little Pete, the distinction is not so prominent. At least, I think so.
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Moving into the last week of the sprint

So, now, only the last week of the sprint is left and the scrum master and product owner are deciding on the last details of the suggested content. I'm quite at easy, actually. And I hope we've done a better job informing the product owner what he can expect. A thing I've introduced during this sprint is, when modeling and discussing stories I've written down a sentence which says what question PO wants to have answered: I want to see which assignments I can register Usage Quantity on, for example. And I think this has made it much easier for all. It's important for everyone to know what the problem really is and it's easy to miss that during long discussions.



Visiting customers

As part of our plans, me myself and two of the developers are meeting some of our customers. We're showing them what we're doing and they share ideas and questions. And here we can see what agile development has meant for my company: instead of shoving over a thick document of written specifications and visio diagrams you need to be insane to understand, we show screen dumps from the actual application and sketches of our most recent thoughts.

Using a written specification, you give the impression that you are so sure. it's like using Microsoft Project: those unfamiliar with the calculations behind the program you as a viewer of a Gantt chart can be lead into the belief that the person presented this has used some kind of scientific method to come up with the perfect solution. Not to mention it's boring to read text and visio diagrams. So the customer think: they seem to have thought this through very well. It must be correct.

So, we just use images and words: explain from the pictures using the right word for just that customer. I spent 20 minutes finishing the Powerpoint presentation. It consisted of less than 10 slides. But we got more questions and good ideas than I would ever have gotten from a 100 pages long document. If I was not interested in spelling corrections that is.


A small sorting feature

Sometimes the answer to a simple question is expensive. In development that is more often true than false. I wanted to sort a list so that the user could see his stuff on the top of a list. Now, two developers have been discussing it for an hour... Not so easy.

A real user in the room

Today we've borrowed one of our consultants to test our new applications. He´s a really funny guy with a real user perspective, having been a real user in the past. It's fun and interesting to watch. And a little scary too...

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An evening with Peter and his friend

Peter has always liked Clara, a girl from daycare. They are about the same age, look kind of alike and started at the same time. They are both head strong and active. We take her home once a week so Peter can have some competition at home and her mother some free time of her own.

It's getting more and more fun watching them. Peter, who is very emotional and physical wants hugs and kisses, and Clara, who is more preserved, chases him off. Peter explained: "Clara doesn't want me." But of course she wants him. She loves playing with him and spending time him: she doesn't want him up her face. And that is good for them both: her protecting her wishes and him understanding the needs of others. And it's good for me seeing Peter interact with others. That's a wonderful gift from Clara and her mother.


Sometimes you just have to make up your mind...

Time's up! Time for release and there are so much stuff we want in the application. Supporting offline mode certainly has been costly, but we hope it's as important as we think. But it has also had the effect that everything we've done has become four times as difficult. Offline support for our business is hard and complicated. So, what has happened is that things we wanted to complete by now is not finished.

The scrum master and product owner has discussed the priorities for the September sprint for hours. Often it has resulted in a Decision. But when I have asked for details "Well, if we're going to do that won't we have to ..." and things have become more complicated and costly so the priority has dropped.

Us soon pushing into the last week of the sprint has made me seeing the inevitable: us doing all the planning the last week, again. It's not like I haven't been creating storyboards and models. It's only that when I've had a decision and started, the plans have changed.

To put it as it is: our Product Owner wants it all. An he wants it next month.

So, today I demanded an answer: I want to finish something! I know that we want A + B + C but that is not an option. And every time we change our minds, we have done some planning/modeling that is good for the future but it won't help us the first week in September. I hope I got a straight answer this time. We don´t have time for a new decision. If we don't get a cloning device or a time machine. Offline is expensive...



Peter moved back

Peter has tonight moved back to his room. Yje wallpapers are finally in place. It's not finished but it looks nice. His father is an excellent builder. Both software and renovating. Hugs and kisses from the missus.
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The ultra nice caffeine bomb is no more

There is no more super caffeine coffee at work.... Missit much...

Running in company

So, now I've tested running wearing a costume. It was hilarious! We masquerade runners soon found each other and I came to realize that many of them had this as a habit and they often run every year. Being a belly dancer in the middle of Stockholm a late warm summer night was also interesting. Let's say that males with a drinking habit were soon to spot me in th crowd. So, how did it go? I made it seventh in the masquerade competition and had a really lousy time (wearing a costume you have to perform on a stage during the race and many of the onlookers wanted some extra showing.

And afterwards, my shoulders are all sore from all the dancing... This was not the last time but next time I'll spend more effort on my costume.



Late summer day with my son

Peter has improved even more and is more than up and running. Couldn't be better. The face is almost back to normal and there is nothing wrong with his legs. Since a tester found some bugs in the solution my husband is working with, he's spent most of the dat fixing the critical bugs. And I got to spend a wonderful day with Peter. Playgrounds and walks with the dogs. Things could not be better, exept for the weather. Tonight, it's the Midnattsloppet, where I'm running wearing a costume. I'd planned for heat (hate being hot when I run) but it's really chilly. And the run is 22.30. And if I'm selected for the costume competition, I need to stay until 24.00. In my belly dancer costume. The most positive aspect of the whole event is that all my friends seems to be out of town this evening so they won't see me make a fool out of my self and get a cold in the process.

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I just love myths. They intrigue me. I wish they were true. Love watching Discovery Channel and National geographic's programs on myths. Unfortunately, myths are rarely true. That is, the most amazing one's rarely are. That is so sad. So, sometimes it's sad to read Factoid, a web site dedicated to those myths we all take for granted. It's so often I read about a myth and think: 'How sad, I just wished that was true'. And that is what makes me a skeptic: I don't see the big conspiracy and cover-up just because the evidence points in another direction than I wanted. I can still appreciate a good story, realizing it is not true. And sometimes I wish a myth is not true. Like the myth of HH Holmes of the book I just read.

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My beautiful boy

My wonder of a son is back in business again. Goofing and jumping and playing. His face still lucks weird but it's much better. Much better



Lady in waiting

This morning when I woke up my son I looked at him and thought: well, he isn't as cute after all. He was screaming and crying and not even little Elin, who was visiting today could bring up his spirit.

At last, Peter came up, still screaming. My husband, who'd been working all night, took one look at him and said: Hey, he looks funny. Can't you see: his for head is all swollen. Look at him. I looked and my husband started getting really annoyed at me not freaking out. Well, he looked swollen. Very swollen. Not my beautiful boy but someone looking like a Neanderthal. So, with me taking care of little Elin, my husband bashed off to the ER. So, now I'm waiting. The awful wait. And there is nothing I can do. So, I try playing with Elin, who prefer playing alone today. I try reading, but is unable to focus. Surfing the web... And now, writing absolutely nothing on my blog. If I'd been religious, I'd probably be praying right now. Sometimes religion is bliss.


The understanding of not understanding

Working for a product company brings certain problems in an agile project: who to build for. It's easy to say that 'Just make it configurable and flexible and all will be well', but I don't believe that's the case: software should be created to support processes and increasing flexibility and configurability might not do the trick all the times. And it's not about possibility to change labels: our sales manager firmly believes that the changing of labels do the trick: the reason for us not being successful in certain lines of business is that we don't use the right words. Well, that is partly true, but I also believe that different words means different things in different lines of business and even if you use the right word you might not do it in the right context.

For example, working in the service management area we have something called 'make rounds'. In a facility management company that means that a customer pays you to walk around in a building, checking stuff out. But in the security line of business it means that different customers pay for different parts of the route: the security guy has his route that is to be completed during a night. The needs are often very different and if you were to say to the security company that make rounds is to be supported the way they were to be supported in facility management, the security guy would know that you don't know anything about his business. So how could the product support his processes? Hey, no thanks!

The use of personas can often do the trick, but they should be used by all in a company to enable knowledge of our customers. But to make our salespersons understand that they don't understand is probably our greatest challenge right now.

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The difference between team and not team

One of the downs with having a team is that the border between Inside and Outside becomes a corporal problem. The team is more important than the company. So, walls are established. Of course, this is a problem in all organizations, but when you have a tight team, the problem can become extreme.

Then, it becomes obvious. The Talk get out of hand. Something needs to be done. It is then easy to take to the solutions that feel easy. In our case it was creating a room for our team and another. I felt this would not solve any problems, it would only create new. Destroying a team may not mean that new teams are built. And agile development without a team is unthinkable for me.

So, I added some laughter, talking, walking and caffeine to the picture. Walked around. Popped in my head in unexpected rooms, asked someone else about going to lunch together. Updated some folks on things happening. Dunno if it was the caffeine but being happy makes you even more happy. Talking to people creates understanding and a feeling of belonging. And I didn't give up my own team in the process. Socializing also has business value and it should be included in all sprints.



We have a new coffee brand at work. More caffeine. AND YOU CAN TELL! I almost feel drunk. Without the alcohol. I hope without the hang-over. This is wonderful!

Why, why why???

Did I decide on wearing a costume. Normally when there is a masquerade in a running event, it's just people dressed up. But I had to choose Midnattsloppet, where there is a big thing of the total event. Photos, stages and competition (best costume). Well, if you're going to do something, why not go the whole way...



The even number

Some numbers are special, well you could say that all numbers are special. well, for us NORMAL people, some numbers feel special. Like an even hundred.

Perhaps it has become a habit of mine, blogging. Wonder which best describes a habit: someone who has been blogging for many years but who only writes a couple of times a year or someone like my, blogging almost every day but haven't been active for more than a couple of months.

Storyboards, why? Part 1

On the Chicago World fair 1893, it was decided that the fair would only be open during the summer months. After the fair, all the buildings would be torn down. So, they didn't build for the winter. The roofs, for example, weren't built for snow load. So what happened? Well, even if the fair was in the summer, the buildings took some time to be completed. AKA, the buildings were built the autumn 1892. So, the roofs fell in during the winter before the fair. The whole story wasn't discussed, only the use case.

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The autumn summer

An American once told me that we swedes are strange. He'd lived here in twenty years but there were a few oddities he could never grow to understand. First of all, we keep saying how stupid we are. You Swedes know the saying: 'how stupid of me, why didn't I think of that!'. The American said: there are so many people who thinks you're stupid so why point that out? The other strange part is of course the obsession with weather. He said 'You Swedes love to punish yourselves, so since you love nice weather you've all settled in an area where it's always too hot or too cold for your own taste.' That is so true...

Well, yesterday it was really hot. This not being the warmest of summers, I became almost baffled by the heat, and I like it when it's warm. Little Peter couldn't care less. Hot, cold, damp, snowy: he finds the weather as it is and what games he can play in that weather. The problem with us adult swedes is probably that we decide up front what we're supposed to due and require from the weather to be that it suites our daily goal. And who said growing up makes your brain develop.



You might as well win, or quit???

Read tonight that Team Discovery (previous Team Postal Service) has given up finding a new sponsor. The team cycling fans love to hate or love to love is no more after this season. There is also a rumor that George Hincapie, the cyclist who'd been a part of the team's all Tour de France wins are transfering to T-Mobile. For us cycling fans who watched the Lance (Postal) - Ullrich (T-Mobile) fight this is like, unbelievable. So, a night of sadness, an era has come to an end.

But it seems like Bruyneel already found a new career as a book writer, perhaps influenced by Armstrong's successes as the writer of 'It's not about the bike' and it's not so notable sequel, the former pro's written a book called 'You might as well win'. A bold statement, made by a bold man used to taking risks. And a man used to winning. I'll probably dig into the book when I get my hands on it (will probably have to order it online from an outlandish book store), but I've read the first chapter, free on the bruyneel site. Worth reading.


My ride home today...

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Code analysis

I just read an interesting blog post. We're reinstalling our Team System server and since we'd have had many discussions on ca-warnings I checked which warning Microsoft uses, as a minimum.

If you're interested, here is a link to the Blog in question.

Then I realized that this is as boring as it can be. They have infected me with geekiness here at work.


An empty envelope

Yesterday I got a letter from Midnattsloppet ( Or, to be precise, I got an envelope from Midnattsloppet. The envelope was empty. Empty envelopes bring funny thoughts - did they forget all letters? Will they send a new letter, saying how sorry they are for the empty envelope but forget the original message. These thoughts are probably more amusing than the real message but until I get response from Midnattsloppet, I can at least keep fantasizing.



Extreme everything

You might have heard about extreme programming, extreme skiing and extreme climbing. Now the extreme generation is turning into family guys and gals. So, hence extreme ironing. Brave new world...

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World's columbian Exposition

What does cracker jacks, juicy fruit, serial killers and hamburgers have in common with picture post cards? Well, you Americans all know that the common thread is the World Columbian exposition. It is funny because we Europeans often brag about how much we know in comparison with Americans. And still, I'd never heard about the fair until I started reading a book on the subject yesterday. The fair was open during six months and during that period over 27 million people attended. And this wasn't yesterday. It was in 1893. This was when USA's population was a little bit more that 50 millions. Simply amazing. It was built in less than two years and was 2,4 sq km. The Vatican is 0,44 sq km...

So, the commonalities. Well, the fair hosted the first cracker jacks, the first juicy fruits, the first hamburgers and the first known serial killer of USA. I never knew that. But should I? Well, the mind behind the project was David Burnham, an in USA famous architect and urban planner with Swedish decent. Being educated as an urban planner, how can I know know that the architect of the first known sky scraper was of Swedish decent? Well, now this hole in my sorrowful education has been filled. And I will now spend some time scanning Google for more pictures from this strange event in Chicago's proud history.


The coffee machine has landed

Yesterday, it finally landed. My Siemens S60. So now, I can have my morning dose of caffeine before going to work. And when the machine at work is out of order, I know what to expect at home. Some days, like this one, this is good to know. Again, not the best of days. But these were to be expected: I know from friends falling down that the bad days are to come and now they are here. I just have to work myself through them. And tomorrow is another day.

By the way, the big coffee machine at work broke down on Monday. We all wished it had given up for good with all the electronics hanging on the outside for a couple of days, but today it was up and running as always. So, the small espresso machine made for the small household have to keep it up for some time to come. Like that was the greatest of my problems right now...
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I have multiple blockers. Ergo, I can't do any of the tasks on the sprint backlog due to blockers on each and every of the tasks. Many of the task are connected so a blocker affects many tasks. So, what can I do? YouTube, perhaps. Or just hang out. I think I'll just go home. Or something.


The stupidity of a mother

Little Peter was very nervous last night and he woke early: "The dragon won't eat me..." he kept saying. Of course it was my fault, taking that stupid dragon stuffy to his bed. He's become more into stories and books lately and now, when we're reading Richard Scarry's wonderful books, he sees the smallest of details and make up his own little stories about these details. So, I should have known. But it's sometimes hard to keep up with his development. Yesterday, using the pictures in the book, he described how a mill works (or worked when everything wasn't automatized). Hey, I don't know how all that stuff works. That is perhaps why he grew tired of my ignorance and called for daddy when I couldn't explain the next machine in the book. At least he says he loves me.



Sprint start, and ending with run

New sprint start, again in Sundbyberg outside Stockholm. We had a good sprint start, focusing on a number of issues that have troubled us during the previous sprints. I really hope we've learnt something new and that we will have a good sprint with good focus and deliver what the product owner expect from us.

Stockholm is finally warm and I had decided to run home. I didn't get properly full after lunch: eggs mixed in the rice made it impossible to fill up with carbos so I had some ice cream in the afternoon and dranks loads of water. Then a wonderful and hot run home. It was even hotter than during the marathon and I actually feel a bit burned, even if it doesn't show. But I can see a line where my pants finished on my leg so I guess it took today. Well, a two hours run in 26C should have an effect...

I got to run a number of bridges, one being the famous Västerbron, from which the photo was taken. At home, I got to spend some time with my wonderful son. He's really turning into a little thinker. We discussed a stuffed dragon we bought him for his castle. We came to the conclusion that if she slept outside the door, she wouldn't eat him.

Well, I'd better have some more fluids, feel a bit dehydrated, so long for now.
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Two weeks make a difference

My son is finally home. With slightly different going to sleep habits and a much improved language. It's amazing how much you can love someone. Him looking me in the eyes before going to sleep, saying 'Älkar dig' (love you) beats everything else in the world. Then wanting me close when reading bed time story and holding on to me when time for the night.

Well, after my husband turned off the lights, Peter hugged me closely. I said good night and started to act sleeping. But Peter couldn't come to rest. So, said to him to be still. He just kept going, creeping around in the bed. Then he said, 'mamma gå' (mommy, go). I asked him if he wanted me to leave. He said yes, I kissed him good night and he seems to have gone to sleep. Wonder who need who the most this evening...


And another party, and another party

Saturday. Gay pride parade. Realized when I woke up that I missed that the neighbor's baptising their boy this day. Sh*t. Already made other plans. Going to the Gay pride parade. Never being into these public parties, the only time I've been participating I've been running a race or having some tasks for an organization (aka red cross). I really wanted to go. So, I packed my rug sack with beer and headed off to the parade. There must have been a million watching and still I met some friends just by chance. I later learned that two others had spotted me but I hadn't heard them. Perhaps because of the noise, perhaps because I was on a fast track of getting drunk. Party!

Sunday, woke up at nine. Sh*t. Dog wants out at eight. But he was also sleeping so all safe. I was glad I wasn't having a hang over but since I was throwing a party for my husband's brother and his family (they're moving from Stockholm), I figured I needed some rest. Read. Hang out. Sat down in the garden. The lawn really needs to be cut. So, I cut the lawn. And the bushes needs to be lifted from their gooseberries. I can do that. And I would really like to bring some redcurrant syrup to the sprint tomorrow. So, then I needed to pick the berries, pick over clean them, boil them, buy sugar, boil everything again, buy bottles and make the syrup. By then it was time to take the dog out again. And then I had to make arrangements for the party. And then there was the party. And then I took out the dog again. By now, it was evening. I needed dinner. Now, it must be time to do the hanging out? But I must clean up after the party. So, no reading for mommy today. But I made some wonderful syrup! I used some cinnamon and that made it really nice! Hope the guys feel the same tomorrow. Oh, now I must make arrangements for my son coming home. I've missed him, to put it mildly.



All alone, or part of a party

With my dog gone for the night, my husband and son away in the south, I came hope to a completely empty home yesterday evening. Silence. Tranquility. I forced myself not cleaning up the last stuff that need to be taken care of and just hanged out (a.k.a, slept in front of the telly). I didn't even think about work.

Then a neighbor started partying. They are of the type that think that if they are having a party, the whole neighborhood probably want to be awake. They open all windows in their house and turn on the volume. When they watch a soccer game they use an old car alarm to signal to everyone when their team scored. It's not that these parties are common: it's about a handful a year but a party in that party means that me, living 200 meters away, sleeping in another room and my son waking up regularly.

I just grabbed my stuff and slept on the bathroom floor, which was the only room where I could listen to my audio book without having the I-Pod on the highest volume. It was like camping.


Last day of the sprint....

You couldn't guess it, hey. We finished the storyboard the last day of the sprint, after 20.00. Nice planning, again. Due to my not planned early arrival I worked 13 hours. And I'm supposed to be sick and taking it easy. But not like all the other times and sprints, I wasn't stressed about it: I'd done my job and my chores. There was actually nothing I could have done to avoid the situation, so why becoming stressed? And since it wasn't my responsibility, I didn't push the others either. So, they pushed themselves. I didn't stress we need to finish, so they did. It's not that I say: "let it crash": I did everything to complete my tasks and support others finish theirs, but I didn't remind others to do the right thing. And it worked.

So, today I'm tired but happy. I think we have a good storyboard, I'm not stressed out and I avoided conflicts. Next month we'll work a lot on storyboards and the plan is that we are to build a storyboard library so we don't do the storyboard for the next sprint every sprint. It should already be there and should only be updated with the latest screen dumps and updates. They say that after the forth sprint, you have a good picture of the scope of the project. We're into sprint eight and we're no where near that. I hope that when I write the next retrospect, that will have changed. Hope is nice. Keep your fingers crossed for me!


No spinning for me this morning....

Wakes up this morning, thinking about a solo spinning at my gym. Well, I could sleep over instead. Or not. Gets up. Checks again on the web that the gym is open this morning. Check. No excuses then. Get my things together and make it for the tube. Takes an energy bar on the tube, still sleepy. Some people are staring: to make everything smooth, I'm wearing my Discovery cycling pants with padding. And a bandana, since I haven't taken a shower yet. Brisk walk to the gym. It looks awfully dark. And closed. IT IS CLOSED??? It is really closed. Walk to work. Take shower there, of course no hot water. This must be a good day, or not. (And yes, I checked again at work and the web site really says it should have been open.



Costume semi finished

This evening I finished my costume. Well, I can if I want make it better and more fun but I have something I can run in. Felt kind of strange though, trying it on. I looked at myself in my mirror, tried some steps to feel the weight and suddenly I was SO happy I don't have to watch myself running. What an idea. The running belly dancer.



Make it easy or make it simple

If you make things easy for yourself you'll probably not figure out the most simple solution... The product owner wanted a combo (Product) on a form. That shouldn't be too hard.

Well, actually this meant two forms - one in the PC application and one in the windows mobile application. And depending on what you choose in another combo (Product Type) different fields should be visible and there should be different options in the wanted combo, Product. And if one of the options in the Product Type combo is selected, this affects a sub domain (Warehouse) and if another choice is made another sub domain is affected (Time management). And we haven't done any modeling of these sub domains. And the next sprint starts on Monday.

If we'd done things easy for ourselves we'd just ignored that we touched the sub domain and made a guess. But that would have meant that we'd built in complexity. And we wouldn't know if that would have been the right complexity or if would have built it too complex. Easy now, horrible later, in other words.

The simple choice is to remove the combo that created all the complexity, Product type. Instead one form on each platform will be built and we'll include the product type later. When you look at it here afterwards it's not so difficult of a choice, but the simple choice is often the most difficult of decisions.