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Blog Post

Why is my Daily Scrum taking more than 15 minutes?

August 18, 2022
Daily Scrum events are filled with 3 questions and meandering discussions about tickets that are in progress. Too many topics and not enough time is the typical opinion. So, how about that Sprint Goal? Likely it’s missing or it’s the token “get all the work done” goal. Stop dividing and conquering. Create a legitimate Sprint Goal and collectively measure progress. When you have a good Sprint Goal, 15 minutes is plenty of time to make a collective plan for the day.
Blog Post

What do the Developers do in the last week of the Sprint?

June 27, 2022
But when you have scrum, for example, you need to deliver an increment every single sprint and that increment needs to be done. So the team needs to have a thing called a Definition of Done and done does not mean met the acceptance criteria. Doesn’t just mean that, there should be other considerations as well. So there’s the definition of done. I don’t want to really call it the checklist for how we do things around here, because that might be a bit too process-oriented and maybe a bit too detailed. There’s a nice balance between trust and being clear what we need to do, but as such the team would know what they need to do for something to be called on at the end of the sprint so they can show something at the end of the sprint. That’s all fine. But what do the developers do in the last week of the sprint? It feels like a loaded question because the assumption that I’m reading from the question is that the developers, in your case, write the code, and then they hand it off to some people who do some testing.
Blog Post

Meaning of Purpose

June 15, 2022
Scrum Guide 2020 mentions Sprint Goal and Product Goal because Scrum teams must have a Share Goal. The Share Goal is always essential, even though the Scrum Guide didn't say it before. Basically, the Common Goal helps the Scrum Team become consciously Autonomous. Because Autonomy will lead to chaos if the group doesn't have a Share Goal. (See picture below) In this article, I would like to share the problems the Scrum Team usually faces when setting their goals and making plans not to be unified or linked to achieving a Common Goal. Thereby, I share with everyone a compact tool that makes it easier for you to define the valuable Share Goals.
Blog Post

Sprint Goals: Do you need whiskey?

January 18, 2022
Does whiskey really help with Sprint Goals? Well, maybe not, but it sure would have helped my nerves creating this simple video about them. The basic idea is that Sprint Goals come first, and they will help the team focus.
Webcast

Establishing a "Common Language" on a Scrum Team

January 6, 2022
Words matter, especially when working in any team setting. Words that are spoken or written by one person can have different meanings when read or heard by another. Scrum Teams have multiple members, which means the interpretation of words used in the team setting increases with each member. The chances of misinterpretation also increases. Shared understanding among members is needed to reduce complexity and provide greater clarity. So the need for a "common language" becomes critical to produce value every Sprint. Create your own playbook to help your teams and organization develop their "common language". In this Scrum Pulse webinar, Professional Scrum Trainer John Riley  demonstrates some theory and components behind a "common language". Words and phrases become less about jargon and more about shared understanding. You will also see some techniques to use in developing a team's common language, and how this language helps a team create artifacts. Some of these artifacts include Product Goals, team agreements, and Product Backlog Items.
Webcast

5 Ways to Improve Your Scrum Team's Process

November 3, 2021
There is a lot going on when it comes to delivering complex products in an uncertain and constantly changing world. In this webinar, Scrum.org Professional Scrum Trainer Stephanie Ockerman breaks it down to 5 ways Scrum Teams can discover their opportunities to improve the many different aspects of their process.
Webcast

Using Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) in Scrum

September 1, 2021
Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) act as goal-setting framework for defining and tracking objectives and their outcomes. OKRs are often misunderstood and are a powerful practice to create razor sharp organisational focus. Isn’t Scrum about goals and focus as well? There is the Vision, the Product Goal, the Sprint Goal as well as the Sprint Review. These elements of Scrum can be very well combined with OKRs. Actually, you might want to turn it around, start with OKRs and map your Scrum implementation to them. In this Scrum Pulse webinar Professional Scrum Trainer Ralph Jocham with Agile Actors #learning  gives a quick intro to OKRs, and you then you will learn how Scrum can benefit from using OKRs to create a network of responsibility from the vision down to individual Sprint Goals. This responsibility network offers a transparency most corporations long for.
Blog Post

The Importance of Clear Accountability in Scrum 

July 25, 2021
A Scrum team consists of three clear accountabilities: one Scrum Master, one Product Owner, and Developers.  Often, when working with a Scrum team struggling with excessive conflict or a lack of trust, I find the culprit is a lack of clarity around each of these accountabilities.  Even with the best intentions, the Product Owner can become too focused on the upcoming Sprint and not focused enough on the bigger picture.  The Scrum Master can become overly protective of the team, and the Developers - wishing only to please - can take on too much work, jeopardizing the Sprint Goal.     
Blog Post

Some Helpful Tips for Choosing Metrics

May 23, 2021
In an agile context, we use metrics to set performance goals, measure current conditions, define small improvement experiments and measure the effectiveness of the experiments in order to inspect and adapt goals and determine the next steps.
Webcast

Goals, Measures, and other Mysteries - How Evidence-Based Management Helps Focus and Improve What Matters

April 8, 2021
In this discussion, Ralph Jocham, Don McGreal, and Patricia Kong discuss how to improve goals by adding specific measures to know when goals are achieved, how to seek toward goals using empiricism, and how to choose measures to help inform improvements. They will talk about Evidence-Based Management, a framework developed by Scrum.org to help organizations use empiricism to set goals and make progress toward those goals. 
Blog Post

A Home for Product Goal, Definition of Done, and Sprint Goal

November 19, 2020
In the 2020 Version of the Scrum Guide, the commitments were introduced for each artifact. These then became an element of Scrum; in that they need to be used to gain the maximum value that the Scrum Framework offers. They were always part of a Professional Scrum approach, now there is a clear connection of these commitments to the artifacts. They increase transparency, and the focussed delivery of Value. Each of the commitments now clearly support and sustain an artifact.
Guide

The Scrum Guide

November 18, 2020
Scrum is defined completely in the Scrum Guide by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland, the originators of Scrum.  The Scrum Guide is maintained independently of any company or vendor and therefore lives on a brand neutral site.  The Scrum Guide is translated and available in over 30 languages.
Blog Post

Scrum Master tactics: Waste Charting by burning cars

June 8, 2020
The Scrum Master tactics series are a series of articles in which I write about and explore contemporary techniques that will aid you in your journey as a Scrum Master. The tactics explained stem from my personal experience as a Scrum Master which I accumulated over the years in working with many different teams and contexts.