All posts by Zachary.Burruel

Staying Agile Webinar – How to Grow High Performance Teams

high-growth

If you missed last month’s webinar on How to Grow High Performance Teams Through Mentorship by Peter Saddington, we have attached the audio and slide deck below. Enjoy!

A few problems came up when recording, but we were able to save the audio.

Thank you Peter Saddington for taking the time to be a presenter for our continued Staying Agile Webinar series. We greatly appreciate it.

Lastly, be sure to register for the upcoming free agile webinar on Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PDT.

94 Expert Tips for Agile Teams

94 agile expert tips

Here are 10 articles from 10 different authors that provide valuable advice for Scrum teams. These articles are in no particular order, so feel free to skim down the list and start with the ones that are most relevant to you.

  1. 10 Tips for a Great Daily Scrum Meeting by Platinum Edge – The daily Scrum meeting is a powerful tool that keeps your project moving. At the same time, it is also easy for the meetings to not bring any added value.

  2. Tips for Effective Backlog Grooming  by Charles Bradley – Are you wasting time in your Sprint Planning Meetings? Increase the value of your team’s Sprint Planning Meetings by grooming your Product Backlog.

  3. Yoda’s top 10 tips for a new Scrum Master by Nigel Steane – As a new Scrum Master, you face unfamiliar challenges and your success is very much based on your ability to utilise coaching and soft skills to gently guide your team and colleagues.

  4. Top ten tips for distributed Scrum team teleconferences By Jon Archer –  After acting as a Scrum Master for several months on a distributed team with people in six different locations, three different countries, learn ten tips to help get past those inevitable awkward silences.

  5. 10 tips for adopting Scrum to save your project by Matthew Hodgson – Are you interested in adopting Scrum for your next project? Here are 10 tips from his experience with moving a number of projects from their existing project management frameworks to Scrum.

  6. Five Tips for Impediment Resolution with Scrum by Stefan Roock – Impediments can slow down or even halt the progress of an otherwise well-functioning Scrum team. Take a look at the most common challenges that crop up on teams and what steps you can take to resolve them.

  7. 10 Tips for Succeeding with Enterprise Agile Development by Tools Journal – Many enterprises are experimenting with agile development approaches like Scrum, Kanban, Lean, and XP hoping that introducing a new development approach will help. Yet, agile development has struggled to achieve critical mass in large enterprises.

  8. 6 Tips for Good Scrum by Martin Harris – If you are doing these 6 tips, then you are doing very well and are likely to get better over time.

  9. 9 Tips for Creating a Good Sprint Backlog by Luciano Felix – Giving attention to the sprint backlog creation process is fundamental to the team’s understanding of what should be done and how to better plan during the sprint.

  10. 7 Tips for a More Effective Daily Scrum by Richard Lawrence – The main purpose of the Daily Scrum is for team members to make and follow-up on commitments to one another that work towards the team’s shared sprint commitment. Here are seven ways to get your Daily Scrum back on focus If your it has become unfocused, too long, or otherwise ineffective.

If you have any other good articles related to agile, please share them in the comments. Thanks.

Agile and Scrum Q&A Webinar

agile webinar

We are hosting a free live agile webinar (Agile and Scrum Q&A Webinar) on March 28, 2013 at 11:00 AM PDT that is going to consist of questions sent in from the agile community. The content of what we talk about is entirely up to you.

We need your help to make this webinar informative and awesome. Please submit an interesting question or problem you are currently facing in your organization that you would like covered during the webinar. If there is time at the end, we will answer follow up questions.

amazon-card If your question or problem is used during the webinar, we will send you a $25 amazon gift card. Please send your questions to team@axosoft.com.

Register at: http://www.ontimenow.com/training/scrum-webinar

If you can’t make it on that day, register anyways and we will send you the video recording of the full webinar.

How to add a Free Live Chat Widget to Your WordPress Website

We have received quite a few enquiries about how to install Pure Chat on WordPress websites, so I decided to create this quick tutorial. This simple step-by-step guide applies to installing Pure Chat’s free widget on your WordPress blog, however if your blog is hosted through WordPress.com, these directions will not apply to you because WordPress.com does not allow access to the template editor.

For those of you that don’t know, Pure Chat is a simple, yet powerful free chatting widget that allows your website visitors to instantly chat with your sales and/or support team.  I won’t go over the features in this tutorial, but you can learn more information by checking out the tour.

Important: When you update WordPress, the changes you make with this tutorial shouldn’t be affected. However, if you decide to change or update your theme, it will overwrite footer.php and you will have to add the Pure Chat javascript code again. Luckily, after the first time, it should only take you a few minutes to do.

I created a test blog for this tutorial. It uses the default WordPress template. However, this tutorial should work with any template.

WordPress Test Blog

Step 1: Log into your WordPress Admin dashboard. The default login url is /wp-login.php. Once you are logged in, you should see something similar to the image below.

WordPress Dashboard

Step 2: Hover over “Appearance” in the left-hand menu. This will open up a sub-menu. Click “Editor.” Note: If you don’t see the “Editor” option, you most likely are using WordPress.com (or another hosting provider), and they currently restrict access to “Editor” feature.

Word Press Dashboard Appearance

Step 3: You should now be in your theme editor. As you can see below, I am editing the default WordPress theme, Twenty Twelve’ Stylesheet (style.css). The content in the box and in the right menu labeled “Templates” will be different depending on what theme you are using. However, this doesn’t change what you are going to do. On the right hand menu, you will be looking for the template section named “Footer (footer.php)”. In the image below, it is highlighted by the red box. Click “Footer”.

WordPress Theme Editor

Step 4: Now, you can see that I am editing the Twenty Twelve: Footer (footer.php). Your footer content will be different, depending on the theme that you are using. However, you will still be looking for the “</body>” tag. In the image below, you will see a red arrow next to the </body> tag. Go to Step 5.

TIP: No matter what theme you are using, the closing </body> tag will be at the end of all content. Therefore, if your theme has a lot of content in the footer, you might have to scroll to find the </body> tag. If you have to scroll, I suggest scrolling as far down as possible and start looking for the </body> tag from the bottom up. You can also use the browser searching capabilities.

WordPress Footer Editor

Step 5: Ok, now that you have found the closing </body> tag in the previous step, you need to register for Pure Chat if you haven’t done so already. You can see in the image below that is is extremely easy to register. Not to mention…Pure Chat is FREE and includes an unlimited operators and chat sessions, all with no hidden costs!

Pure Chat Registration

Step 6: After you register, the first thing you will see is the javascript that you need to use in the next step. So, copy the code and go to the next step.

Pure Chat Javascript Code

Step 7: You located the closing </body> code in Step 4. Now paste the javascript code you copied in the last step right BEFORE the closing </body> tag. In the image below, the highlighted content is the javascript code for my Pure Chat widget. You can see that the code is BEFORE the closing </body> tag. To save your changes, press the “Update File” button.

Word Press Footer Editor

Step 8: You have now installed Pure Chat on your WordPress website. Below is an example of an active chat with myself. :-)

step9

Pure Chat makes it extremely easy to add live chat for WordPress websites. You can add and update your chat widgets right in the Pure Chat dashboard. I hope that this simple tutorial helps you add Pure Chat to your WordPress blog. Please let me know if you have any questions and I will gladly answer them.

Axosoft at ‘VS Live 360!’ in Orlando 2012

A few of us just got back from sponsoring the Visual Studio Live 360 conference in Orlando, FL last week. Now that the jet lag has worn off and we are back in our comfy offices in Scottsdale, Arizona, we would like to give a big thanks to the attendees, other sponsors, volunteers, and organizers for a successful conference. The Royal Pacific Resort was beautiful, the weather was decent, and the food was great. A few of our developers tagged along, and they learned from the workshops, speakers, and keynotes.

We had the opportunity to chat about OnTime with a ton of awesome attendees and we are really excited about the positive feedback we received about our latest release, OnTime 13. Also, it was awesome to meet the faces behind some of the thousands of companies that are already using OnTime — thanks for stopping by the booth and I hope that you enjoyed the swag!  :-)

Axosoft is dedicated to sponsoring software related events that help the development community. We sponsor and attend events throughout the year, so keep a look out for us and definitely come say hello!

Check out some pictures from the event:

axo-booth

The Axosoft booth loaded up with swag!

 

A few of the Treasure Chest “Key to Agile” Promotion

axo-nexus

Nexus 7 Winner (1 of 2)

axo-speaker

Tego Audio Speaker Winner (1 of 10)

axo-shirt

Axosoft T-shirt Winner (1 of 30)

axo-keys

Dud keys — hey, they can’t all win!

We’re preparing our 2013 conference schedule, so if you have a conference that you thing would be good for us to sponsor drop us a line at ‘team — at — axosoft — dotcom.’