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27
OCT
2014

Create a High-Performing Team in Four Steps

Last week, I was having a conversation with a ScrumMaster about teams and the Tuckman Model came up.  From the blank look on this person’s face, it was clear that they had never heard of the Tuckman Model before which is surprising since ScrumMasters should be knowledgable...
15
SEP
2014

Drawing at Work is Not an Art Contest

Whenever I ask people to draw a diagram or explain an idea in pictures, I always sense a hint of tension.  People take a deep breath and hold it tight.  How can we not compare our meager skills to a creative genius like Claude Monet or Andy Warhol?  Let me let you in on a little...
26
JUN
2014

User Story vs. Use Case (and Why Use Cases Are Still Important)

A while back, I made the claim in one of the Agile LinkedIn groups that writing use cases was one aspect of being a professional software developer.  That naturally received a bunch of push back from people who felt use cases were too heavyweight.  Many people claimed user...
01
APR
2014

Powerful Questions – Unlock the Deeper Meaning

San Diego, CA April 1, 2014 – want to know transforms an ordinary question into a Powerful Question?  When discussing a difficult issue, often times picking the right question, or reframing an issue in the form of a question, can introduce a profound shift in the...
18
FEB
2014

Fearless Change: Patterns for Introducing New Ideas

In a recent conversation with a friend and colleague, she mentioned that while many people leave a Certified ScrumMaster course energized and eager to implement Scrum they lack the tools to be effective in supporting change.  As someone who teaches this course, I asked her what...
01
FEB
2014

Defining & Creating Consensus with Teams

Lately, I have been reading The People’s Scrum by Tobias Mayer.  It is full of short essays on Scrum dating back to 2005.  Near the end of the book, I found a very interesting essay titled “Seeking Consent” that examined the impact of how decisions are made.  In the opening of...
13
DEC
2013

Killing a Daily Scrum – Don’t Ask for Help

Want to make your Daily Scrums a total waste of people’s time?  Try having this conversation – which represents part of conversation within a Daily Scrum  of a larger Scrum Team of eight people – week after week on an important project with real deadlines.  As...
10
DEC
2013

What is it About the Daily Scrum?

Last week, I was teaching a Certified ScrumMaster class in Irvine and I had one participant who just hated Scrum.  I mean he really hated it and really hated being in the class.  From his perspective, all of Scrum seemed too heavy, not applicable to the work he does and was just...
27
NOV
2013

Where are the System Specs in Scrum?

This was a really good question in the Scrum Practitioners LinkedIn group.  What started out as a short response, became a blog post so I decided to share my ideas here as well. Scrum is silent on the topic of specifications – it neither requires them nor prohibits them.  I...
21
OCT
2013

Why Brainstorming Often Fails

Let’s start this entry with a real life example – I was once teaching a Certified Product Owner course and I gave the participants instructions to brainstorm, as a group for ten minutes, to create at least a dozen features they would like to see in their product. About...