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Blog Post

A Product Owner Needs Facilitation Skills

January 5, 2024
So much has been written about a Scrum Master needing to have facilitation skills. But what about a Product Owner? In this article, I’d like to make the case that a Product Owner having facilitation skills is as important as a Scrum Master having them.
Blog Post

Going Too Fast, Too Soon with Evidence-Based Management

January 3, 2024
An important thing to understand when getting started with EBM is that there is such a thing as going too fast and too soon. EBM can create a lighting bolt of transparency, which in turn, could cause irrational responses. We humans can be emotionally triggered when we find a situation is much different than it appears.
Blog Post

The Ten Principles of Evidence-Based Leadership

December 4, 2023
Navigating leadership in complex work environments demands a nuanced approach, blending various tactics, practices, frameworks, and strategies. The road to success is multifaceted, requiring leaders to navigate and adapt to evolving situations within complex domains adeptly.
Blog Post

The False Sense of Security of Release Plans

November 2, 2023
In organizations, there is a lot of time and activity spent on teams creating Release Plans. Is it worth it? Or are Release Plans just creating a false sense of security? In this article, I take a hard look at my past practices using Release Plans and how, if I knew what I know now, I would have abandoned that practice and instead used Evidence-Based Management.
Blog Post

An Overmanaged Product Backlog

September 26, 2023
Overmanaging a Product Backlog can be wasteful. Product Backlog Items are no guarantee of value so details should be added with the minimum amount of detail to perform the work.
Blog Post

Too Many People in Your Sprint Review?

September 21, 2023
A lot of Scrum Teams are struggling to get stakeholder engagement in their Sprint Reviews. Without the proper engagement from stakeholders, Product Owners run the risk of not properly adapting the Product Backlog. There are many different ways to spawn better stakeholder engagement. This article is going to focus on an aspect often not considered: who is invited.
Blog Post

Product Backlog Item Naming Conventions

September 19, 2023
​​​​​​​We often get caught up in the tools we use and feel like we need to get our money’s worth by using every feature. Instead of creating transparency, using every feature of a tool often degrades the transparency of the Product Backlog. Keeping things simple and using a method such as a naming convention might be all that you need. Consider what is simple, is easiest to manage, and gives you the opportunity to create the most transparency.
Blog Post

Product Backlog Item Attributes

September 12, 2023
The Scrum Guide is rather vague about how Product Backlog Items should be structured and how to make them transparent. That is by design because Scrum is intentionally incomplete. Understanding what attributes you are dealing with is helpful in creating a well-structured Product Backlog.
Blog Post

Product Backlog Levels of Decomposition

September 8, 2023
In Scrum, it is the expectation that the Product Owner makes the Product Backlog transparent. Making the Product Backlog transparent doesn’t just mean making it visible; it means making it easy to understand, to convey meaning, and to have it illustrate the ‘why’ behind the Product Owner’s decisions. Introducing levels of decomposition is an optional practice that can be applied when a situation calls for it.
Blog Post

Are You Failing to Adapt?

January 26, 2021
I sat, as an observing consultant, in my third Retrospective of the day. I noticed high energy and openness as the room's buzz showed me signs that this team was genuinely collaborative...
Blog Post

PSM II: A Trainer's Perspective

October 9, 2018
I woke up Friday morning at 3 am for the second consecutive day and yet again I couldn't fall back asleep. The day before was the second and final day of my first experience co-training the new Professional Scrum Master II course.
Blog Post

Simplifying Scrum

June 21, 2018
From my go-to barbecue chicken to practicing Scrum, I have tried adding many different ingredients over the years. Is there a point when too many ingredients get in the way of the original recipe?  Would the Scrum framework in your world of work be more optimal with less of them?
Blog Post

Future Expectations of Software Development

April 5, 2018
Over the years, the tools we use to develop and deploy applications are significantly more robust, and most companies are working to become more efficient with their processes. But what is the next step toward improvement in software development? New expectations.
Blog Post

Optimizing Product Backlog Refinement

March 28, 2017
I've recently been involved with several Scrum Teams that are struggling to have the right level of detail in their Product Backlog items. Some symptoms: difficulty during Sprint Planning sessions, a massive or very small Product Backlog, or a lack of understanding during a Sprint. All of the teams I spoke with had refinement activities in place.