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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...
03
MAR
2018

A Developer Can’t Be the Product Owner

The Product Owner on my team is also a developer on the team. Do you have any advice on using Scrum in such a scenario? SHORT ANSWER:  Yeah – stop doing it! LONG ANSWER:  In a healthy Scrum Team, each person fills only one Scrum role at a time.  Having someone be both a...
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...
12
DEC
2016

Yesterday’s Weather: An Extreme Programming Planning Technique Using Story Points

Yesterday’s Weather is an Extreme Programming planning technique used to estimate the capacity of a Team based on their past performance. Yesterday’s Weather is a guide to help Teams neither under commit nor overcommit to a set of Product Backlog items during Sprint...
11
JUL
2016

Scrum Summary in Five Sentences

Alistair Cockburn has been sharing this distillation of Scrum in a recent talk called “Returning to the Heart of Agile”.  I really like the simplicity of this description since it recalls that Scrum is a simple framework. Deliver (or demo) each Sprint, with a...
03
MAY
2016

Yes…We Really Do Need a Full-time ScrumMaster

I live in the City of San Diego and we have an estimated 1.4 million people living within the city limits.  Could you ever imagine someone asking the Mayor, or the City Council, “Do we really need so many fulltime fire fighters?”  Yet, a variation of this topic comes...
10
MAR
2016

Four Common Scrum Impediments and Mistakes

“Scrum will highlight every deficiency and impediment that the enterprise has so the enterprise can fix them and change into [the best product development] organization [in its market].”  Ken Schwaber As teams and businesses adopt Scrum and Agile to their enterprise, they will...