The agile weblog of Sebastian Schürmann

Category: agile

Jobchange INC.

With leaving after 4 Years and 9 Months a lot of new Endavours lie before me. It was a pleasure to work there with a set of colleagues that teached me a lot of the things I know about websites, teams, development of products and people.

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Why Scrum works and Maurits is wrong

Mauritius writes in his blog about the Reasons why Scrum will never work. He tries to take the devils advocate position.

I think the complete post lacks the learnings of the last 10 years so I want to respond humbly to his inquiries 😉 (and have some fun in the process)

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Play as Research

The creation of games is particularly well-suited to provide a model of research through design. In this book’s introduction, Brenda Laurel makes a distinction between the notion of designing “for needs” and designing “for delight.” {see Laurel , Introduction}While all forms of design partake of both of these categories in some measure, game design is particularly skewed toward the creation of delightful experience, rather then the fulfillment of utilitarian needs. Although it is true that we can create and play games for a particular function (for exercise, to meet people, to learn about a topic), by and large, games are played for the intrinsic pleasures they provide.

Agile Coach Camp 2011

The coach camp, what to say about it? A little more happened than I had expected and in general I must say I am grateful I was accepted as an attendee to participate i this event. It was on the ending of the “Play for Agile” conference that it came to my mind that this would be the next chance in a realistic timeframe to meet all the nice people again and have a Openspace to communicate with them. After Play4Agile it turned out that my role is more and more turning to a coaching one or I could use the methods of coaches in my (work)life. According to the fast brainstoring I did in my hotel room I had the following topics I wanted to gather more Information on.

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Infos for the XP Workshop – Dutch PHP Conference

I am currently sitting in an cafe, preparing the XP workshop. Finally I have determined a structure and a good concept for the workshop.

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Remarks and Answers to the Questions for the #ale2011 Talk Proposals

I proposed talks for the Ale2011 Unconference in Berlin, September 2011 and there where some questions raised. I will post my proposals here and try to answer the questions upfront. Maybe this will create a little new momentum to get people to rate them, improve the proposal and answer open questions.

The Agile Meme, far beyond survival of the fittest

Agile Software development has changed the way we work and is still doing so.

The ever changing and evolving forms of “New ways we work” could be seen as memes or “an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture”.

Looking into the theory behind memes can help us understand how to develop and spread versions of agile methodology at workplaces and ease the adoption of Scrum/XP in our environments.


What is a meme and why is Agile one.

The 7 forms of meme replication and how they appear in agile development environments

  • Quantity of parenthood
  • Efficiency of parenthood
  • Proselytic
  • Preservational
  • Cognitive
  • Motivational

We will have a look into the appearance of these meme replication forms in your organization and how you can use this angle to review your own actions as a person changing an organization.


Q: Memes are a really important topic. I love the work of Julian Everett in this space. Would be useful if you could list the seven forms of meme replication.

A: This was my main point from the beginning on. I now state the forms of replication in the Abstract.

Q: I am not sure whether this will give me new insights that can be really useful for me.

A: As soon as you know how exactly the spreading of such a cultural message or idea affects the persons/teams who are confronted with it you could use the contents of this talk to “debug” your interactions with them to be more effective.

History of Agile

The methodologists seem to rise and I suppose they are somewhat right. From the early days when we used things like the V-Model or the Waterfall a lot of things happened in Development Space that tried to:

  • grow the rate of success in projects
  • use wisdom of the crowds
  • simply result in more enjoyable jobs
  • get stuff delivered bug free

But all that started way before we even thought about software development as it is concluded today. We will have a look into the timeline from 1950 to now and checkout who and what influenced the ideas and beliefs of people that tried to do things better, built and changed the software development space.


Q: I don’t see how this can be viewed as a practical experience. Maybe if you could provide more information on how this talk can provide practical insights that can be used on our current situations I’d be more interested.

A: For years I had the wrong impression that Agile/Iterative Development was kind of a modern response to heavily engineering influenced methods (aka waterfall) that where not applicable to software development. Oh boy, was I wrong. So I started to do some research and a totally different image unfolded in front of me. This contents really helped me to explain to people why iterations, pull and small dedicated teams work without always starting by citing the agile manifesto. The basics are going far beyond the manifesto and the early approaches to XP at Chrysler. If agile-critical people do not trust the content and creators of the agile manifesto, they might trust the guys who flew to the moon. Right?

I will now send a mail to all the persons who asked questions, maybe I can add some of the question/answer stuff to the conf. tool which seem not to be made for such conversations.

If you want to support my proposals: Everyone can register at and help me to get a speaker spot at this conference. Either by giving me an Idea how the proposals can be improved or just by liking it. I would really love to be there and exchange thoughts with the European lean/agile community.

The newschool tools list to get your distributed XP Team up and running

So you are thinking of starting a new Thing and need to set up a infrastructure for a new XP Team that is distributed? Lots of Tools can help you.

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The prototype club

  1. The first rule of Prototype Club is, you do not talk about Prototype Club.
  2. The second rule of Prototype Club is, you DO NOT talk about Prototype Club.
  3. If someone goes limp, taps out, the Prototyping is over.
  4. A Team a Prototype.
  5. One Prototype at a time.
  6. Shirts & Shoes allowed.
  7. The Prototyping will go on as long for maximal 15 Minutes.
  8. If this is your first night at Prototype Club, you have to create a Prototype.

Agile built my Software

soon i discovered that this agile thing was true
waterfall was the devil
agile was a standard in humanity previous to it’s career in the software industry
all of a sudden, i found myself in love with the world
so there was only one thing that i could do
was ding a ding dang my dang a long ling long

The Lego is in – Dutch PHP Conference

Hello Sebastian,

We have ordered the lego you requested online and it should be delivered tomorrow or Monday if everything goes well. I will let you know if we received it!

Kind regards,


Thank you Dutch PHP Conference