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08
OCT
2013

Why Sprint Zero is Bad, but Lift-Off is Better

I have never been a big fan of the concept of Sprint Zero.  Recently, I heard a story from a colleague that got me thinking about Sprint Zero and I wanted to share her story with you.  She told me on the first day of working with a new client she was invited to attend their...
02
OCT
2013

Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers and Changemakers

From my personal experience and my work with clients, a key responsibility of a ScrumMaster (and Product Owner’s too) is to help people do their best thinking and unlock their creativity.  When I discuss the duties of a ScrumMaster in my Certified ScrumMaster courses, I often...
03
SEP
2013

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When the Stakes are High

Crucial Conversations is one of the most influential books on both my personal and professional life and I am so happy to share it with all of you.  Back in 2007, my mentor enrolled me in a two-day Crucial Conversations course and I was not happy.  I thought it would be a...
28
AUG
2013

What is the Purpose of a Sprint Backlog?

I came across this question\comment on the LinkedIn ScrumMasters group the other day asking about Burndown Charts and management analysis. “I send out Burndown Charts daily and have been questioned by upper managent as to why we see fluctuations, up or down to the ideal...
24
APR
2013

Is There a Daily Scrum When the ScrumMaster is not Available?

Today I received this message from a former student and will describe my response below. “I (the ScrumMaster) will be working from home for a couple of weeks, do you recommend the Team dial in so that the SM can listen in and participate via teleconference, do you think the...
15
MAR
2013

No More Bad Meetings

My friend, colleague and mentor, Tobias Mayer, has new post out today discussing a common complaint I also hear about Scrum – “too many meetings”.  I especially liked the way that he confronted the problem by asking the Team members the percentage value received...
26
FEB
2013

Working From Home Diminishes Scrum Teams

Today, I read that new CEO of Yahoo!, Marissa Mayer, has decided to curtail the number of employees who work remotely beginning in June.  You can read the story here and some interesting commentary from NPR’s blog, All Tech Considered.  I excerpted  this part from the memo...
15
OCT
2012

Interview with Jim McCarthy

Earlier this year, Agile San Diego hosted Jim McCarthy to speak about his really interesting book, Software For Your Head.  Over the past few month, Agile San Diego arranged for Jim to visit San Diego from Dec 3rd to Dec 6th to host a San Diego Bootcamp.   For those of you who...
06
MAR
2012

The Perfection Game

I recently came across an awesome and challenging book – Software for Your Head by Jim McCarthy.  There are so many interesting things about this book.  One of the key tools I discovered I can use right away while reading the book was an amazing tool to provide feedback...
07
FEB
2011

Writing Good User Stories

User stories are tool that originated from Extreme Programming and have become the de facto way Agile teams document and collect their requirements.  There is a lot written on user stories (link, link, link), so I am just going to talk about what I consider important in writing...