Agile@School – 6th episode

Finally, we have a problem here!

Projects without troubles are not real, to be honest. All the students worked so good, but they’re still focused on development. Sometimes they forget the metrics and the importance of the knowledge base of the whole team. Sometimes it seems that they think that is not important to share status of tasks, remaining work hours, additional details while managing activities, and so on.

The moment in which they’re living is not simple, anyway. They’re near the exams days and they need a large amount of time for studying. I can understand the loss of focus.

However, Agile@School is the basis of their exam subjects, so, I guess that they will understand (I hope before the next time) the importance of the project, also speaking about metrics and tools usage. A correction is needed and the last bad sprint outcome is the best I can use for my complaints. Scrum Master Gabriele started to say how important a metric can be, and I kept discussing about quality, related to the project management.

That day at school was not happy. It wasn’t happy for students, because they had to listen us complaining and it wasn’t good for professors and project owner because all the troubles we’ve found lead to bad quality of the code. It’s clear, students are not committed full time in Agile@School, so, finally we’ve got the first set of problems. Why I say “finally”? Just because each trouble leads to an improvement.

Why this is happening after 5 good encounters? 

I feel that the moment, with the pressure of the exam days, could be the troublemaker. But no worries, we’re restarting from there. We will close the project with success, just because I trust “my” students, professors, my Scrum Master and everyone is working for catching the value of the project itself. That said, I guess also that we cannot blame only the students. We did something wrong too. For sure. And we’re the ones who have to fix this situation.

Why are we failing now?

If you remember, on the previous post, we’ve spoken about how to present the work done. Thus, the team prepared a set of documents and tasks for:

  • Testing
  • User’s manual
  • Technical documentation
  • Business presentation (how to present at the best the product)
  • Design (logotype, colors, theme, brand, etc.)



Testing often reveals the poor quality of the work done. The acceptance criteria and the real implementations did not match. The 90% of frustration resides here. All the tests failed and a large number of bugs were added. Why? Because the person in charge of the implementations did not read carefully. The students are not used to do so. We can solve this problem with more focus when reading the description of the PBIs.

Team communication


Despite the students had to create integrated documents (user’s manual, tech manual and business presentation) they didn’t communicate styles, themes and changes each other. The result was a set of inconsistent, messy documents. Why? We have to keep in mind that the students are not used to write this kind of documents, especially when they’re so young. They worked at school, they didn’t work in a real team and they didn’t invest time in working together out of the school time. This can be an easy-to-solve problem. We will start to cooperate online more, also during the afternoon and evening hours.

Communication with the team


We’re using slack. One of the best tool for team collaboration. Nevertheless, the students aren’t using it. Why? Despite they’re used to download apps, they thought slack as a pc tool (so, no smartphone app). They tried to suggest Whatsapp, but it’ll be confusing. The problem is solved, they downloaded the app.

Wrong usage of Visual Studio Team Service


The tasks were not managed correctly. Wrong statuses, wrong remaining work hours, and so on. Why? The students cannot catch the real value of these details. I’ve explained again the importance of the metrics and what it can happen when they’re not followed. I hope that the problem is going to become obsolete.


At first glance, it seems that everything went wrong. I can see only positive things, actually. For example, a test/QA process in place, which is not so frequent also in some company. How many people can say that a real QA is in place in their teams? How many companies invest in code quality?

It’s not just that. Slack is used with different channels, with pins, with videos for sharing practices and with integration with third party product (wunderlist, dropbox, etc.). Finally, VSTS is used at school, both for the source control and the team/task management. How many people can say the same?

We know, there are problems, but problems can be managed, missing processes are missing! This is the reason why I say “finally we’ve got problems”. And now we will resolve them all.

I’d like to close this post with the following sentence by Michael Jordan: “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

Stay tuned! 🙂

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