Matthew Sigman

Hands-On Software Leader

Matthew Sigman - Hands-On Software Leader

Scrum daily stand-ups running long and causing headaches?

Many software development teams have heard of agile, scrum, and daily stand-ups.  Many teams looking to become more agile implement stand-ups but almost as many get into trouble with them.  Common issues I’ve encountered are:

  • Running too long (should be 15 minutes)
  • Veering off course (should be hyper-focused on user stories at hand)
  • Getting into deep technical discussions

Sometimes these can be problematic and in the worst case, people slowly stop coming and the team abandons the stand-up entirely.  But this is a mistake.  The stand-up is a critical piece of the already-minimal Scrum framework.

A good way to re-phrase the questions that each team member asks are:

  1. What did you accomplish toward the sprint goal yesterday?
  2. What do you plan to accomplish toward the sprint goal today?
  3. What is stopping or slowing you from meeting the sprint goal?

By focusing on the sprint goal, it helps contain off-topic discussions.  And by focusing on accomplishments, you are reinforcing that the standup is not a status check-in meeting but rather a confirmation that everyone is moving toward the goal.  (You DO have a goal outlined for each sprint, right?)  It’s also appropriate to use the stand-up for team coordination, but any discussion over 60 seconds should be taken offline.

It’s perfectly okay for a team member to say “I didn’t accomplish anything because a production issue came up and I spent all day fixing it,” or “I didn’t accomplish anything because we underestimated this story and it’s taking longer than expected.”  While neither situation is ideal, at least the ScrumMaster will have a clear sense of the team’s current state and can act accordingly.

It’s still incumbent upon the ScrumMaster to step in as soon as he detects the conversation going off-track from the 3 questions above, and to timebox the meeting to 15 minutes (I advocate for a hard cutoff at 15 minutes even if not everyone has had their say).

Over time the team learns how to successfully navigate the stand-up and the benefits quickly outweigh any initial stress.

Telerik MSBuild Task could not find “LC.exe” using the SdkToolsPath

As of Q1 2015, the Telerik UI for ASP.NET AJAX suite uses the standard .NET licensing mechanism, which means that using the Telerik controls in design-time causes Visual Studio to add a license.licx to the solution. The .NET framework (lc.exe) will embed it in the assembly your WebApplication will be built for deployment. The license file is maintained by Visual Studio and contains information about all licensed components in the application (including non-Telerik products). [1]

You may receive an error when trying to build your solution

Task could not find “LC.exe” using the SdkToolsPath “” or the registry key “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v8.0A\WinSDK-NetFx40Tools-x86″. Make sure the SdkToolsPath is set and the tool exists in the correct processor specific location under the SdkToolsPath and that the Microsoft Windows SDK is installed

step-3

You have two choices to resolve this error:

Continue reading “Telerik MSBuild Task could not find “LC.exe” using the SdkToolsPath” »

Add Dynamic Node to SiteMapProvider

Quick post to present a simple solution to the question:

How do you dynamically insert a node into an ASP.NET SiteMap?

I needed to do this for a project I was working on but all I found on Google were a bunch of way-too-complex solutions.  So I developed this simple approach and wanted to share it in hopes it helps someone in the same predicament.

Continue reading “Add Dynamic Node to SiteMapProvider” »

SSRS print icon not appearing in Internet Explorer 11 (Not able to print reports from IE11)

Products involved

  • SQL Server Reporting Services 2012
  • .NET Framework 4.5
  • Internet Explorer 11

Summary

Due to the new user agent string that IE 11 sends, SSRS no longer correctly identifies that browser as among the “whitelisted” browsers to enable the print icon/functionality when viewing SSRS reports. The print icon simply disappears. Enabling Compatibility View restores the print icon, but this is not a workable solution.

You can confirm this is the case by navigating to a report within a page, then pressing F12 to go into the Developer Tools, then go to the Emulation tab (last tab in the list), and change the User Agent String to Internet Explorer 10. The page will refresh and you should see the SSRS print icon re-appear.  This will confirm you are experiencing the issue described in this post.

Solution

Continue reading “SSRS print icon not appearing in Internet Explorer 11 (Not able to print reports from IE11)” »

TFS 2012 Update 2 Error – TF400898

After upgrading Team Foundation Server 2012 to Update 2, we started to get an error when opening a PBI or Bug via the web portal.  This was the error:

TF400898: An Internal Error Occurred.

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Not terribly helpful… Anyhow, after searching the web there were some similar-sounding issues but none of them helped.  In this case it turns out the problem was that non-Administrators received the error, but Collection Administrations did not get the error.  I’m not sure why that is the case yet, but will continue to look into it.

As a temporary solution for anyone with this issue, try giving increased permission to your team.