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Why is Scrum the Most Popular Agile framework?

April 19, 2023
Scrum is the most popular Agile framework. According to’s 16th annual report, 87% of organizations using an Agile framework use Scrum. That’s up from 58% of Agile teams using Scrum, as documented in the 14th annual State of Agile report. 
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Activity is Not a Measure of Success in Scrum

April 11, 2023
​​​​​​​Agile coaches have long recognized that busyness does not necessarily equal success. Checking off a to-do list does not mean you are adding value.  You might accomplish many organizational tasks, but the activity likely has little benefit if these tasks don’t contribute to the company’s goals, support operations, or customer satisfaction.
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Why Your Team’s Scrum Genius Might be Holding You Back

March 13, 2023
A dogmatic approach to Scrum tends to close down discussion and inhibit collaboration. If it’s in the Scrum framework described in the Scrum Guide, it’s there for a reason. But if it is not outlined in the framework, Scrum teams can innovate how to apply Scrum in their unique environment.
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Scrum is Not an Excuse to Ignore Emergencies

March 7, 2023
How do the Product Owner and the Scrum Team navigate unexpected customer requests? What happens when a high priority customer issue is discovered mid-Sprint? Should the Scrum Team ignore the emergency or interrupt the Sprint? Like so many things in Scrum, the answer is that it depends.
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Self-Managing: Scrum’s Most Misunderstood Phrase 

February 1, 2023
Self-managing doesn’t mean that the Scrum Team — or the Scrum Master — is all-powerful.  (Sorry, not sorry!)  It means that the organization gives the Scrum Team the mandate to deliver value according to the product vision and goal within a set of guardrails.  
Blog Post

Make the Most of Sprint Planning

December 12, 2022
Sprint Planning is one of those events that even experienced teams don’t use to its fullest potential.  Here’s why. Many teams see the Sprint Planning event as the time for selecting which Product Backlog items (PBIs) they will deliver in the upcoming Sprint.  And that’s it.  There is so much more that teams can do to maximize the value they get from Sprint Planning.
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How Scrum Event Timeboxes make your Team More Effective

November 28, 2022
Every Scrum event has a maximum allowable time period to carry it out, called a timebox.  While Scrum events have a maximum amount of time, they do not have a minimum amount of time. Let’s look at all of the event timeboxes and how they make Scrum Teams more effective.
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What happens if a Scrum team becomes too large?

October 31, 2022
According to the Scrum guide, Scrum teams typically have 10 or fewer people, including Developers, Scrum Master and Product Owner.  But what happens with a Scrum team that includes more than 10 people?  What if the Scrum team has 10, 15 even more people?
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A deep dive into the purpose of each Scrum artifact

October 24, 2022
Understanding the “why” behind the Scrum framework can help Scrum teams improve their ability to deliver value to the organization.  We previously discussed the purpose behind each Scrum event and the purpose behind each Scrum accountability.  In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the purpose of each Scrum artifact. 
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A Deep Dive into the purpose of each Scrum Accountability

October 17, 2022
​​​​​​​Scrum Teams that understand the “why” behind the Scrum framework can better increase value delivery to the organization. Internalizing the purpose behind the events, artifacts and accountabilities of Scrum allows the team to get the most benefit from them.  In this article, we will discuss the purpose of each of the three accountabilities in Scrum.
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How to get the most from your Sprint Retrospective Event

October 10, 2022
​​​​​​​According to the 2020 Scrum Guide, “The purpose of the Sprint Retrospective is to plan ways to increase quality and effectiveness.”  Scrum Teams must take the Retrospective seriously to achieve these outcomes.  In this article, we will look at four tips for getting the most from your Sprint Retrospective and provide several agenda ideas that you can use to keep this event fresh.
Blog Post

You give Scrum… a bad name

September 28, 2022
The Scrum framework is not a set of work instructions; instead, the framework is a guide within which teams learn how to work together to deliver value to the organization and discover which complementary practices work best for them.  However, some see Scrum as a rulebook and take the guidelines too far.  Others consider one or more of the complementary practices as “required”.  In this article we will discuss a few of the common missteps that give Scrum a bad name.
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3 Problems Scrum Doesn’t Solve ​​​​​​​

September 14, 2022
Scrum’s strength is that it makes difficulties visible faster so the team can address them. While the framework helps to resolve many things that might not be working optimally, it doesn’t eliminate every issue. Let’s look at three problems Scrum doesn’t solve. 
Blog Post

Agile Leadership Myths and how to move past them

August 30, 2022
The best Scrum teams that I have worked with were supported by management leaders focused on removing impediments, providing resources, and promoting an agile mindset and culture that supports the Scrum values. It’s not an easy job. Making it more challenging are the agile leadership myths out there that can get in the way of being effective. In this article, we’ll look at three common agile leadership myths and how to move past them.
Blog Post

The balance of power in Scrum

August 22, 2022
I think of the three accountabilities in the Scrum framework as creating a balance of power.  But what happens when an individual fulfilling one (or more!) of the accountabilities in Scrum gets a bit — um — power hungry?  In this article, we will discuss a few examples of how people fulfilling each of the three accountabilities can overstep their bounds. 
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What are Epics and Features?

August 16, 2022
Epics and features are complementary Scrum practices that some Product Owners use to organize their Product Backlog. Like a folder structure, they are a convenient way to group PBIs into meaningful groups.
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The three worst Scrum “customizations”

August 8, 2022
As a minimalist framework, Scrum contains only what is needed. Every piece of the Scrum framework is there for a reason. When teams modify any part, they won’t get the full benefits of Scrum. In this article, we will discuss three of the worst Scrum “customizations.” Warning: don’t try these in your organization!
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Using Agile in Project Management

August 1, 2022
As a project manager, I have delivered many complex initiatives, from re-platforming a consumer products website to doubling the size of a line of business.  My most successful projects have one thing in common; I used an agile approach to deliver them.
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Can we have more than one Product Owner in Scrum?

July 26, 2022
According to the Scrum Guide, Scrum teams are typically 10 or fewer, with a preference to the smaller size.  When Scrum Teams become too large, they should consider re-organizing into multiple Scrum teams supporting a single product.  When this happens, the Scrum Teams should share a single Product goal, Product Backlog, Product Owner and a common Definition of Done.  
Blog Post

How Scrum with Kanban works

July 18, 2022
Scrum and Kanban are two different frameworks.  But did you know that your Scrum Team can use some of Kanban’s crucial elements to optimize workflow and deliver value sooner?   Combining Kanban with your Scrum practice doesn’t involve replacing events, accountabilities or artifacts.  It’s about integrating Kanban’s complementary tools to achieve better outcomes with Scrum.
Blog Post

Empiricism is not just a fancy word

July 13, 2022
I confess that the first time someone told me that Scrum is based upon empiricism, I thought they were a little pretentious.  After all, it’s a five-syllable word for a framework with only five events.  Why make it so complicated?  But as I’ve coached more and more Scrum Teams over the years, I have learned that empiricism matters. It’s not just a fancy word; it’s the foundation of Scrum.
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Why Teams adopted Scrum during the Pandemic

July 5, 2022
During the first year of the pandemic, Scrum adoption more than doubled for software development teams. According to the 15th Annual State of Agile Report, the use of agile approaches for software development grew from 37% in 2020 to 86% in 2021. This means that agile adoption for software development doubled in a single year — the first year of the pandemic. I don’t think that is a coincidence.
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5 More Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Modify Scrum

June 29, 2022
In our recent article “Why You Shouldn’t Modify Scrum,” we discussed five reasons why modifying Scrum is counterproductive.  We’ll expand on the topic in this article by exploring five more ways organizations sometimes change Scrum and the impacts they might experience as a result.  
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5 Benefits Product Teams have over Technology Teams

June 22, 2022
​​​​​​​According to the 2020 Scrum Guide, a Scrum Team should contain members with all the skills necessary to create an Increment of usable product each Sprint. Teams that approach their work from a product perspective find this cross-functionality easier to achieve than teams that organize around the technologies required to deliver the product. Although having some technology teams in your organization might be necessary, product teams should be the default because of their many advantages. This article will discuss the five benefits product teams have over technology teams.
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Why you shouldn’t modify Scrum

June 14, 2022
The Scrum Framework is very lightweight, and it seems to get less restrictive with each release of the Scrum Guide.  What is included is really important, though.  Every piece of the framework is there for a reason.  In this article, I will discuss five common ways that teams modify the Scrum framework and the negative impacts of each.  
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What to consider in your transition to Scrum

June 6, 2022
When people ask me the best way for their team to transition to Scrum, I have to tell them that there isn’t an easy answer because every organization is unique.  Keeping that in mind, here are some general steps to consider if implementing Scrum is on your horizon.
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The Purpose of the Five Scrum Events

May 31, 2022
There are five events in Scrum.  But just going through the motions and having each of the events on the calendar is not enough.  To get the most out of Scrum, your team needs to understand the purpose behind each of the five events.  
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Scrum Events Reduce Meetings

May 24, 2022
One of the first things that I usually hear after describing the Scrum framework and its five events to someone new to Scrum is, “that’s a lot of meetings!” I get it — at first glance, it seems like a lot. But it really isn't when I get the person to take a closer look. This article provides a description of each event and how you can reduce the need for other meetings by practicing them.
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The Power of the Sprint Retrospective

May 19, 2022
​​​​​​​In my experience, it’s the Sprint Retrospective that teams are most likely to skip, berate, or otherwise bash.  When I hear teams talking about dropping it to “save time,” I want to pull a Darth Vader, shake my fist in the air, and say, “You don’t know the power of the Sprint Retrospective!” and then demand that the team meet anyway.  Alas, I am not Darth Vader.  But hear me out to consider these five reasons for never skipping a Retrospective.  
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Characteristics of a Great Product Owner

April 25, 2022
The Scrum Guide doesn't provide a complete list of the skills required for any of the accountabilities on a Scrum Team. For example, it doesn't specify that Developers must use Java or C# code. The Scrum Guide simply states that Developers need all of the skills to deliver a Done increment of product each Sprint. We intuitively know that the skills required depend on the product. 
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Part II: When will we get there? Forecasting for Scrum teams.

April 18, 2022
In Scrum, part of the Product Owner accountability is to provide a forecast that sheds light on possible answers to the when will we get there question. In my last post, we discussed three ways to size Product Backlog items (PBIs). Today, we’ll discuss ways the Product Owner can use this information to create a meaningful forecast.