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Within companies that use Scrum properly, the organization is built around fixed, cross-functional, self-organizing teams who are given the freedom and responsibility to think of a strategy they believe will result in the best product. Everyone around the Development Team is focused on supporti...
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This is a list of 10 questions a Scrum Master may ask a Product Owner, in order to help coach them in their role.
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This blog post talks about the issues caused by unlimited budgets.
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According to the Scrum guide, sprint retrospectives are "an opportunity for the Scrum Team to inspect itself and create a plan for improvements to be enacted during the next Sprint." In my early career as a Scrum Master, I used to follow this definition quite stricly. Time was taken to look for o...
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Inspiring Lessons From the Life Journey of Mr. Warrick Dunn __________ As many of us in the USA prepare for the big college football rivalry weekend, let’s take a moment to learn about Agile leadership from Warrick Dunn, retired football star with a storied career in college and...
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It is my favorite time of the year - Fall, the season of thanks, reflection and resolutions. As we approach the end of one year and the beginning of a new one, I look back with thanks and appreciation at all this year has given to us. Among other things, I am thankful for you being part of my jou...
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Where do you spend your days in the workplace? Are you living in the Scrum-oriented trenches of your organization, like the vast majority of us? If so, then I celebrate *you* -- as a real Scrum Team Member -- the person who does the actual work that delivers value for the business. Allow me the h...
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Are you considered an authoritative "leader" in your organization? Do you spend your day at the top of the tower or in the trenches? Real Agile leaders abandon the top of the tower and thoughtfully empower an organization from the trenches, which fuels the connections that lead to high-performing Ag...
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A lot of people talk about scaling Agile. It’s all the rage nowadays. Everyone wants to scale Agile. But what does that actually mean? What does it imply? What are the underlying assumptions? Capital-A Agile When people refer to capital-A Agile, mostly they are referring to the value stateme...
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When Scrum is introduced in a company, most of the time, the development team embraces it with lots of enthusiasm. Scrum embodies self-organizing, autonomous, multidisciplinary teams that acknowledge individual qualities and reinforces the strengths of the team as a whole. Who doesn't want to be par...
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The role of a Scrum Master is one of many stances and diversity. A great Scrum Master is aware of them and knows when and how to apply them, depending on situation and context. Everything with the purpose of helping people understand and apply the Scrum framework better. In a series of blog posts...
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The subject of this blog post might seem unusual. But having worked with multiple development teams, I've gained some experience with team members having (symptoms) of Asperger's. I mostly contributed to the team as a Scrum Master or Agile Coach. The combination of Scrum and Asperger's hereby always...
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Before I begin, I have to make sure you’re not fixed on a misconception. The Daily Scrum is not a status meeting, nor a report back to the team. It’s a planning event. You can read some more here: [What is The Daily Scrum for?] Years back, in the beginning of my adventures with Scrum, I worked ...
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The story of the Wygat Weed Whacker goes back many years – to the time we bought our first home in the beautiful town of Allen, TX.
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Southern Fried Agile is the premier Agile event in Charlotte NC. It is a one day, content delivering, network creating conference with a focus on community and people talking. And I was lucky enough to be asked to present the keynote the last two years. This has given me the opportunity to ...
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A lack of defined engineering practices, standards and tooling is an often observed problem in software development, regardless of whether Scrum is used. It reflects the appalling lack of attention to technical excellence in our software development industry. In a context of Scrum, it is even more e...
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Many years ago I was told to be successful you have to have a personnel mission, a clear, short statement that says what you are all about. And mine is ‘to help people deliver software just a little bit better’. Actually this mission has changed from its inception with the addition of the words ‘jus...
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Just like how the Development Team role and Scrum Master role that can be easily misunderstood, the Product Owner is also easily misunderstood by organisation who are using Scrum. Over and over again I see people who are assigned as Product Owner are not really a Product Owner, either they ...
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This blog post is about a little box. A little transparent box. The box contained only one sticky note. A sticky note with a milestone. The milestone belonged to a large project that concerned a comprehensive organizational change with multiple Scrum teams. This milestone was special, because it ...
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Although the Daily Scrum seems to be a simple and straightforward event, I still encounter a lot of teams struggling with it. In this blog post, I'll share my tips & tactics. You can use it as a checklist for your own Daily Scrum, and hopefully, it helps you ensure the event to become (or stay) ...
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I notice how many people struggle when they try to improve their understanding of Scrum. I notice it in classes, on forums, at conferences, through mail. They look for detailed instructions. They ask universal questions that demand exact and precise answers. How long should Sprint Planning b...
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Update: after receiving some valuable feedback, I've added the third lesson learned. The previous week I used the Spotify Squad Health Check model to assess a team's situation and condition. One of the cards the game contained caused quite a lot of discussing during the retrospective and also ga...
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Have you ever seen a Sprint Backlog that can be reused across Sprints? I have! A reusable Sprint Backlog contains obvious tasks, like for example ’write code’, ‘make test scripts’ , ‘execute test cases’, 'investigate' and so on. These tasks are too trivial to be useful and undermine one of the fu...
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GREAT DALLAS ICE STORM OF 2013 I think it was the winter of 2013. I was at the Scrum.org headquarters in Boston, attending training on Evidence Based Management. On the last day of the training, as we were wrapping up, I got an automated call from American Airlines - my flight ...
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This blog is the sequel to my earlier blog - Enterprise Agile Transformation Part 1 - The Story of BB Watt's Lawn Service. In Part 1, I told you the story of my friend Walt and how he got fired as the President of his HOA. WALT'S PENANCE After being fired, Walt was in the doldrums. I fo...
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WALT'S CHALLENGE One of my friends - Walt, is the HOA President for a community of about 500 homes. Although it is a safe and beautiful community, they are undergoing a transition - many of the residents are empty-nesters who want to sell their homes, down-size and move to their retirement ho...
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There’s an old Wayne Gretzky quote that I love... I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been. Similarly, an organization must focus the business around tomorrow’s customer, not today’s customer. The organization must continually learn from its customers to guide the...
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A pair of recent findings from the Standish Group confirm the astonishing success and cost savings of Agile approaches over waterfall. In the "Chaos Report 2015", Standish found that large Agile projects are 6X more successful than waterfall projects. While Standish doesn't get specific on what ...
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This is the final post in a three part series. Please like, share,and/or comment. Please click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2. Suppose you have a persistent group in your organization who has been completing its job the same way for a significant period of time. They refuse to change despite...
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VersionOne does an annual "State of Agile Development" survey and publishes the results for the cost of your email address. Thanks VersionOne! I recently read through the 9th annual survey results for 2015, and there's lots of good, useful data there. For now I want to highlight the top five reas...
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Scrum is a framework for complex systems development. Scaled Scrum is any instance of Scrum involving more than one team creating and sustaining a product or system. Scaled Professional Scrum is any instance of scaled Scrum that thrives on Scrum’s formal rules and roles, complemented...
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If you have seen the TV documentary series Hoarders which depicted the real-life struggles of people who suffer from compulsive hoarding. Some victims suffered so severely that they were often drowning within their own filth. The disorder is immediately obvious to family and friends. Similarly, o...
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Is there a way to help organizations move from a Change Transformations mindset to a Continuous Change mind set? Traditionally, organizations implement large scale change events within their organization by spontaneously have an epiphany and transform every few years. The frequency of these tr...
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Father's Day offered an annual moment for me to reflect on the journey of a humble and influential man whose life was tragically cut short in 2002 - my Dad. Although it has been a number of years since his passing, he continues to shape my mindset in meaningful and profound ways. I hope all of ou...
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One of the challenge working as a Professional Scrum Trainer is reading what is in people's mind when they are silent. In a classroom setup, silence can mean many things and it depends on the local culture. In some culture, silence can be a form of respect to the person who is talking. Silence c...
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History In 2012 in one of my Professional Scrum Master classes I met a true gentleman. Much older than the average IT specialist in Poland, jeans and button-up shirt, amazing manners, spotless language and a perfectly kept medium-length black beard with shining strings of white. The kind of a per...
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Making a purchase can feel great when you’ve developed a rapport with the salesperson. Regardless of the product; from a tasty treat at the farmer’s market to a major purchase like a new car; a sale is much more likely when the vendor not only cares deeply about their product but also takes time to ...
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An analogy I can think of is... I want my dart to hit the dart board, and not necessarily the bull's eye.... as it calls for a lot of details which apparently is missing during estimation. However, if my dart doesn’t hit anywhere on the dart board... it's almost like shooting in the dark; a very dis...
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In today's rapidly changing world of disruptive innovation organizations need to be nimble enough to support this. We are asking our workforce to do this by becoming 'agile'. We want the agility to quickly pivot and seize new opportunities. We want to deliver to market sooner. We want ou...
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A program team of over 40 people decided to move to Agile from their traditional development practices. The program was old and had been in existence for over 6 years. In these 6 years they had released multiple versions of their software product to their customers. In the rush to satisfy the custom...
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Do you hold the job title of Scrum Master in your organization? In most big companies today, this role is still misrepresented as a Project Manager, which is hindering the pursuit of organizational Agility and hurting the professionals who are genuinely attempting to make this challenging job change...
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To imbibe Agility in an organization which is a state of high responsiveness, speed, and adaptiveness organizations should promote a new organizational culture of openness, transparency, respect for people, constant learning, improving, and constant adaptation. Even with so much of awareness, cultur...
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Years ago I was complimented on “improving the group dynamic” by bringing in a cafetiere for the my agile team to use. We developed a bit of a ritual around this object. One person had made it clear that the kettle needed to be left to cool so the coffee was not burned, procedures were in place fo...
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"Agile" (the label) is all over the place. Who would have guessed in early 2001? When the Manifesto for Agile Software Development was created and the English adjective ‘agile’ obtained its specific meaning in the context of software development. What is this manifesto, commonly known as the Agile M...
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This blog is part of my series on “Agile Trojan Horses – Covert Appetizers for Agile Discovery”. This series helps spark conversations that restore focus on Agile Fundamentals, whet the appetite to discover more about Agile and help apply Agile in day-to-day decision-making. I am writing this b...
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A team that I work with decided one day to improve the general mood in the team. A member of the team (David) bought the Snakes & Ladders board game for the team. By playing the game, his goal was to counter pessimism that was generally flowing within the team. As negative remarks about the proj...
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In the book Scaling Up Excellence by Sutton & Rao, they discuss two different ways to think about scaling: the “catholic or buddhist” approaches. I think this is a very interesting way to think about Scaling Scrum. The jist is: catholicism scales by having standardized practices and procedur...
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Are you considered a leader in your organization? Do you spend your day at the top of the tower or in the trenches? Our best Agile leaders navigate an organization and fuel connections that lead to high performance across the workplace - here's how. In my travels, I am baffled by the number ...
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[Author’s note: I will be a Scrum Day Dallas on 27 March 2015; a great opportunity to meet me and other master Scrum Masters. Find me there and let’s talk about your Scrum Master journey. Exciting travels –Mark Noneman] So you’re a Scrum Master now. Maybe you’ve volunteered to fulfill the role or...
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Watch a video version of this blog or scroll down to read a text version… I used to be passionate about Agile Coaching and Scrum. I have spent many years and a lot of money to get here. So it is strange that I am now writing about how all the investment made me a gambling addict. Writing t...
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