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14
AUG
2014

Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time

“No one should spend their lives on meaningless work.” This was the first sentence I underlined in the latest book by Scrum co-creator, Jeff Sutherland, Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time.  This simple sentence speaks to fundamental reason why Scrum exists in...
15
JUL
2014

Your Code Sucks!!

….is usually not an approach that works.  However, how do you start the conversation when there is an issue with somebody’s code (or work performance) that needs to be addressed that still preserves the relationship? Earlier this week in the Certified ScrumMasters...
26
JUN
2014

The Difference Between a Use Case and User Story

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...
09
JUN
2014

Who Is Responsible for Quality in Scrum?

To build a quality product we need to let go of the outdated 20th century idea that quality can be achieved through inspection alone, i.e. testing.  Instead, let us focus on constructing a framework that produces quality outcomes from the beginning and the two Lean concepts...
13
DEC
2013

Daily Scrum with Impediments: Use the “Ask for Help” Tool

Want to make your Daily Scrums a total waste of people’s time?  Take a look at the following conversation – which represents part of conversation within a Daily Scrum  of a larger Scrum Team of eight people – that occurs week after week on an important project...
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...
18
NOV
2013

No Points for Bugs

To start this post, I want to share a bit of dialogue between two characters in the 1987 movie The Princess Bride after their repeated attempts to foil the main character (in this case, after cutting a rope he was climbing).  This esoteric reference  demonstrates how completely...
18
APR
2013

How to Improve Your User Stories

Why does writing user stories have to suck so much? I recently heard from a colleague that they were looking for some ideas, tricks, tips and techniques to make user story writing more innovative so they can build a delightful product.  Definitely a good idea, but running a good...
14
MAR
2013

[DELETE] User Story

I have written on user stories before, so please understand that I love user stories.  When used thoughtfully, I feel user stories can be a very powerful way to create a collaborative dynamic between the business and product developers.  User stories have the innate ability to...
09
MAR
2013

Scrum Teams versus Working Groups

In the past few weeks, I have been putting renewed effort to wrap up the course design for  a new course entirely focused on ScrumMaster practice.  During a review with a colleague, we identified one key concept we overlooked – how we define a Team.  That reminded me of the...