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07
MAR
2024

What is a User Story?

A user story describes a small feature that one or two people can finish in two to five days.  I like to describe a user story as a chunk – or chunklette – of value that a Scrum Team will deliver and demonstrate to the customer by the end of a Sprint.   History of...
05
MAR
2024

Avoiding the Middle Management Diffusion Layer & Other Ideas…

How do you run an Agile team when the surrounding environment is decidedly non-Agile, i.e. the rest of the organization has not adopted the Agile Mindset and still retains the Industrial Mindset (waterfall)?  This was a topic of discussion in a recent Lean Coffee session and here...
02
NOV
2018

Agile Retrospective Framework in Five Steps

Did you know that every well-run Retrospective follows five steps?  In my experience, the best Retrospectives follow this outline first created by Diana Larsen and Esther Derby in their book, Agile Retrospectives.  Here is a summary of each stage. Set the Stage:  setting the...
27
SEP
2018

5 Steps to Better Scrum Team Agreements

Working Agreements are one of the core compacts that all good Agile teams need and use. For those of you unfamiliar with Working Agreements, they are nothing more than agreed upon protocols created by the team govern their interactions and clarify expectations. They are different...
06
SEP
2018

What is Coaching? (Cheat Sheet Provided)

Coaching is a distinct and powerful skill from the eight other essential skills of a Certified Scrum Professional (CSP).  Because coaching is an overloaded word in the English language, let me provide some guidance to describe what I mean when I am referring to coaching. For me,...
26
FEB
2018

Play with Story Cubes & Write Better User Stories at XP 2018 Porto

February 2018 Lisbon, PT – Great news for people who want more from their user stories and for people looking to have more fun at work with Serious Games.  Carlton Nettleton will be taking his insights, ideas and Story Cubes® to help Scrum practitioners, Product Owners and...
03
JAN
2018

Six Common Mistakes of a Product Owner

How do you cope with the weak Product Owner? You don’t – find a new Product Owner (PO) or stop using Scrum.  Scrum is based on the idea that an empowered, knowledgable business leader is setting direction for the product (or service) under development.  When that...
29
NOV
2017

Want More Sad People At Work?

If the Team is not committed\bought in on using Scrum, will it work? No.  However, this is going to be true of any process you might adopt – Scrum, Kanban, Extreme Programming (XP) or traditional project management.  If the your team members are not truly curious to learn...
29
APR
2017

What books do you recommend reading on scaling Scrum and Agile?

     When scaling Scrum and Agile, many software organizations experience the common struggle to coordinate and prioritize the work of multiple teams working together, aka dependency management.  Many factors contribute to the complexity of identifying, tracking, managing and...
06
MAR
2017

Best Ways to Motivate Team Scrum Members

Stop doing things that demotivate people! Seriously…there are a lot of silly things that people are expected to endure in big companies that are severely demotivating. Almost all of Peopleware is spent identifying how common practices in software management demotivates...