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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,...
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...
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...
28
AUG
2017

How to manage documents? Should that be a new story?

Continuing with our discussion of documentation, I wanted to address how we actually build these documents within our Sprints (or iterations).  Remember our key Agile principles related to documentation: “working software is the primary measure of progress” and...
03
JUL
2017

How does the traditional functional and technical documentation work in Agile?

In Scrum and Agile, there is not much guidance given on functional and technical documentation.  The Agile Manifesto states that Agile teams value “working software over comprehensive documentation.”  That provides clear guidance on what is the focus of an Agile team,...
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...