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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...
14
NOV
2017

Business People Make Business Decisions . . .

Is the Product Owner part of the business or part of IT? Scrum works best when the Product Owner (PO) is someone from the business rather than IT.  When I think about the role of the PO, I envision an inspiring business leader with the responsibility to maximize the business...
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...
26
MAY
2016

My Team is Special – Do We Need a Fulltime ScrumMaster?

No…as long as the Team meets ALL of the following three preconditions listed below, a full-time ScrumMaster is most likely unnecessary. The Team is learning from their mistakes and refining their performance as they go. The Team is learning and adapting to the...
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...
08
APR
2016

Scrum Mastery: From Good to Great Servant Leadership

“Scrum has been a big disappointment; a failed experiment that hasn’t delivered anywhere near the positive impact that management was hoping for.” Not the most uplifting quote, but Geoff Watts (@geoffcwatts) starts his book, Scrum Mastery: From Good to Great...
16
MAR
2016

Organize For Complexity

“The only ‘thing’ capable of dealing with complexity is human beings” This is the central thesis of Niels Pflaeging’s book, Organize For Complexity: How to Get Life Back into Work to Build the High-Performance Organization, and speaks to the...