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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...
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,...
08
DEC
2017

Webinar: How to Prioritize a Backlog

The Product Backlog: It’s that ordered list of everything known to be needed in the product.  Ordering means prioritization, and the Scrum Alliance ® Collaboration at Scale webinar series will be hosting Carlton Nettleton, CST® and president of Look Forward Consulting, and Luke...
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...
28
NOV
2016

Estimating the Size of Scrum User Stories

In Scrum, the owner of the estimates is very clear.  Only the people who do the work, i.e., the Team, have the right to offer estimates for the Product Backlog and Sprint Backlog items.  However, like many things in Scrum, the framework leaves it up to each Team to decide on what...
02
MAR
2016

Differences Between Impediments & Blockers

Quick quiz for all you Scrum experts out there.  Which of these common scenarios for Scrum Team are blockers and which would be classified as impediments? The build is broken. The process to interview and onboard a new Team member takes at least six weeks. Team members do not...
18
JAN
2016

Top Ten Blog Posts for 2015

Last weekend I was reviewing the traffic on the website and here are the top ten articles that people were clicking on in 2015.  This list is really interesting, so take a moment to review the best of 2015 and enjoy!  Happy New Year! What is Teamicide? – last year I...