Sprint Planning Checklist

A simple checklist for planning a Sprint Backlog.

  1. Quick refresh of change suggestions from previous Retro
  2. Set a Sprint Goal
    1. The Sprint Goal is an objective that will be met within the Sprint through the implementation of the Product Backlog, and it provides guidance to the Development Team on why it is building the Increment – The Scrum Guide
    2. Goals should be SMART eg Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound.
  3. Capacity Plan – Log team availability in the coming sprint (including feature owners)
  4. Agree Velocity – Based on previous Sprints’ velocity, adjusted for capacity changes
  5. Re-write and re-estimate any not DONE Stories from the previous Sprint (if they are still a PO priority)
  6. Finish writing any incomplete Stories from Grooming
    1. Split Stories where possible – smaller is better
    2. Write Stories according to INVEST http://codesqueeze.com/how-to-invest-in-your-user-stories/
    3. Write tasks on postits
    4. Estimate using planning poker – use fingers for 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 20 …
  7. Pull prioritised and Estimated Stories into Sprint Backlog  until the Velocity is reached
  8. Hold a fist of 5 vote to check Team’s confidence in getting every Story in the Sprint Plan DONE http://agileanswerman.com/5-reasons-a-scrum-master-should-use-fist-of-five-voting/
  9. Team Commit to getting all of the Stories DONE
  10. Team put printed Stories from Rally and Tasks on their Board
  11. Team hold a mini-huddle to agree the tasks that each Team member will start on first (probably after lunch). Move tasks into In Progress with Avatars.
  12. Update the started Stories in Rally!

Riding from London to Paris with (almost) no training

A friends cycled from London to Paris recently with little training. As someone who has did this once on a hybrid it got me thinking what could you do to make the ride easier if you haven?t put the hard training kilometres in up front.

This is what I came up with:

It is (almost) never too late to train even if you only have a few days to go some sensible longish rides will do you good.

Consider getting a road bike if you have time to do a few rides and get used to it before you leave.

Get your bike serviced before you go. It?ll be less likely to break and will have less grit and new oil etc. A recently serviced bike is and efficient bike. Take the serviced bike for at least one good distance ride before you leave do find out if the service has caused any issues.

Pump your tires up properly every day. Hard tires are more efficient than soft tires.

On the ride never be tempted to race or go fast. Always start each day slowly for an hour.

Find other people who want to ride at your pace and ride in a close group with turns at the front. It?s a lot harder to be the first person in a group hitting the wind so taking turns shares the load. Getting behind a large person is ideal ?

Make sure you have good quality carbs for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Porridge and pasta are ideal. Snacks are a good idea too. You (probably) can?t overeat on the ride. Drink lots of water and isotonic (with salt) drinks to keep your fluids up.

If anyone is offering a leg massage definitely accept

Get as much sleep as you can each night

Don?t drink alcohol until you finish the final day.

An old friend turns 10,000

Today on the way home from work my Cannondale Road Warrior 700 clocked up its 10,000th kilometre. In truth it has probably done a lot more than that with all the times the speedometer wasn?t working or was still in my backpack. On this momentous occasion I thought I would list out some data about the bike and list all of the parts I have upgraded or had to replace.

Name: Cannondale Road Warrior 600 2006 Hybrid Bike
Cost: about ?750
Purchase date: Saturday 13th May 2006.
Evans data page: http://www.evanscycles.com/products/cannondale/road-warrior-600-2006-hybrid-bike-ec013130?style=60315#features
First appearance in blog: http://www.hubbers.com/index.php/the-road-warrior/
Total distance: 10,000 in 71 months. Averaging 141kms a month. This figure doesn’t include time when the speedo wasn’t working or kms on my other two bikes.

Frame: Optimo Road Warrior (light and quick)
Forks: Slice Ultra Si All-Conditions
Gears: Shimano 105 rear derailleur and Shimano FD-R443 front
Shifters: Shimano SL-R440
Chainset: Truvativ Elita GXP Triple
Brakes: Cannondale Thete all-condition brakes (still going strong)
Wheels: Mavic Aksium wheel set
Tyres: Maxxis Detonator (not worth the rubber they are made from)
Handlebars: Cannondale fire with bar ends
Stem: Cannondale 3-D forged
Saddle: Selle Royal Viper (super comfy)
Seatpost: Suspension Seat Post

Parts bought

Numerous brake pads
Numerous inner tubes (I don?t repair tubes I put a new on in and throw the old one out)
Pedals were shit so replaced with Shimano PD-M324 SPD MTB Pedals. Clipping in is about the best upgrade you can make to any bike
2 original tires (shitty Maxxis Detonator that caused about 5 punctures in the first three months cycling. Usually when raining)
2 Specialised Armadillo tires (also shit and cost me a days ride on the way to Paris with a ruptured tire wall)
2 Continental Contact tires (best tires I have ever owned, lost in a flat move and they don?t make them any more)
2 Continental Gatorskins (still on the bike and going strong)
Front and back gear shifters. One broke and it turns out you can only buy them as a pair
3 chains and cog thing at back
3 sets of cables
1 handle bar grips (wore the rubber out on the old ones)
1 front rim (the first one got a tiny bend in this accident http://www.hubbers.com/index.php/big-crash/ after about 3 months I had to replace it)
3 rear rims. 1 worn through on London streets with hard breaking. 1 died on the way to Paris. The replacement I got from decathlon was so shit it lasted 3 months.
1 front chainset for about 120 after I stripped the thread on a crank arm trying to save ?10 in labour changing my pedals myself
Two cateye speedometers (one just died for no reason)
Several speedometer batteries

Complaints (not many)

The bottle holder was a waste of time
Screws on some of the components have rusted as the bike is now stored outside. Disappointing as the cost of non-rusting screws couldn?t have been that much more.


Overall the Road Warrior is a superb light-weight, durable, quick commuter bike.

25 June 2013

K21 X9-93 chain
Shimano HG50 9 speed cassette
Shimano Ultegra 3700 Bottom Bracket cups
Continental Gator Hardshell Duraskin x 2
Shimano BR-4500 R50T2 Break shoes
Vavert lock on grip
Break cables

Cost 267.83

Tooting Bec Lido is FILTHY

Tonight I rode across London to the Tooting Bec Lido because the Lido near my house at Parliament Hill closes at 6pm for some bizarre reason. The weather was warm and the ride was awesome.

Tooting Bec Lido is the biggest outdoor pool in England and it’s lucky that it is because they have to cram a lot of filth into it. The list of things I managed to identify on the bottom of the pool included: dirt (lots of), sand (lots of), leaves, twigs, band aids, toilet paper (I think) and a panty liner. Disgusting.

As one of the other swimmers said it was, “it’s good for your immune system”. My personal opinion is that if you swim regularly in the Tooting Bec Lido and you don’t die then you probably have nothing to fear from swine flu.

This photo is stitched together from two photos taken using my not-very-wide-angle Canon Ixus 970 using the magic of photoshop.

Tooting Bec Lido - London's filthiest pool (stitched)

Thames Barrier Cycle Ride

Today after meeting some friends in Holborn for lunch I rode to the Thames Barrier. I’ve been meaning to get down there for ages to take some photos.

The Tames Path ride isn’t really what I expected. At several places along the Thames, apartments have been built right up to the edge of the river so you have to cycle back to a road to keep heading in the same direction. Sometimes when travelling on one of these back roads the Thames Path is signposted back towards the river and when you get there the path only goes for fifty meters or so before another apartment block forces you back on to the road you just came from. The net effect is that you end up with the feeling that you are zigzagging down the river and sometimes you end up a bit lost or on a main road.

A bit frustrating and not really what I expected from a quite cycle down the Thames.


Earlier this month my girlfriend of nearly four years got back from three months in Africa and told me that our long term plans to move to Australia, get married and have babies had changed. More specifically she was still planning to do it but I am no longer invited. Dumped. Bugger.

Today my boss took me out and bought me a coffee. She told be that my contract would be ending in March. Fired. Bugger.

The point is that now I have lost my girl and my job my life is starting to resemble a country and western song. If I had a dog or a bible I would be watching them very closely. Instead I will be keeping a close eye on my laptop (trusty companion) and my copy of Bill Bryson’s, A Short History of Nearly Everything (probably the best book on science ever written).


Having made quite a few trips to the post office recently I have had many an hour in long queues to ponder ways that they post office could reduce the size of it’s queues.

Ignoring the obvious idea of employing more people at busy times … I though the best idea would be to have a machine that could handle regular postal duties.


The Hubbers Postmachine 3000tm is an all in one weighing, payment processing, stamping and package collecting machine that could be installed in post offices and other postal outlets all over the country.

The first part of the HP3000tm (might need to have a word with Hewlett-Packard about the name) is a weighing shelf to weigh the package. A touch screen would allow the customer to select destination, postage type etc. The machine would then take payment from a credit or debit card. Finally any stamps or stickers (airmail, customs declarations) that are needed could be printed. The customer would then place these stickers on their package and drop the package into a slot on the machine or a larger collection area elsewhere in the post office.

The machine could even be programmed to deal with other day-to-day post office tasks like collecting bill payments, selling foreign currency, selling insurance or issuing forms etc.

Every post office would have several of the HP3000tm that would operate alongside some regular chair moisteners post office workers who could specialise in larger packages or more complicated enquires.

Stop Press!!! They Stole My idea!!!

I saw this in the Post Office on Saturday 4th of October . It’s bigger than I would have built it and it looks like it was designed by students in a woodwork class at high school but it’s basically the same idea. Also I bet it doesn’t let you do all the other things I thought of like bills and currency :)

Hubbers Postmaster 3000 rip-off!


My other good idea I have had recently is “mustard cheese”?. I think this would be a really cracking flavour if done well. I have found one place that sells Mustard Cheddar on-line and when the Mutarde (Rachel) gets back from Africa I will ask her if she thinks it is any good.