Don’t Finish Your Epics! Deliver More Value Instead.

Question Product team is starting to assign business values to epics so we can, along with effort estimates, set correct priorities. However, we also have quarterly goals. Once we reach the end of a quarter, if an epic is not completely done (all stories under it), how do we get partial credit? Answer I recommend […]
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Smaller User Stories Podcast

I recently had a conversation with Dave, over at the Mastering Business Analysis podcast, about splitting big user stories down into smaller stories. The interview was a lot of fun and it’s available now. You can get it direct from the Mastering Business Analysis website, or point your podcatcher at one of these links: iTunes […]
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What Is The Role Of Project Manager In Scrum?

This question came from a client: What is the project manager’s role in scrum? In answer to your question about project managers, there is no official project manager role in scrum. The duties of a project manager gets split between the product owner, scrum master and the development team. In general the product owner who […]
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Creating Scrum Teams – Choosing Who Is On What Team

Question How should we form scrum teams as our organization adopts scrum? Answer Deciding how to form teams, and which people should be on which teams is the work of management. Of course there are many ways management might choose to do this. One of the most effective ways I’ve found to figure out roles […]
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When Can We Start Sprint 1?

Question How long should we time box the prep time before the first sprint starts – i.e. the time used to decide on a product that has a good chance of meeting the goals, make effort and business value estimates and get the top product backlog items to be sprint ready? Answer I would look […]
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Scrum Retrospectives With Cathy Simpson

Our own Cathy Simpson talks about how to do an agile retrospective with your scrum team in this video. The 5-step retrospective agenda she talks about comes from the book Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great.
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Estimating Tasks and Management’s Role in Scrum

Here’s an interesting question that just came in from a local scrum master. It’s about estimating tasks and management’s role in choosing the practices that a scrum team uses. Question Chris, The team I am working with wants to do an experiment where they will stop estimating task in hours. Their sprint burn down will […]
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Should Engineers Take Scrum Product Owner Training?

I was recently asked if engineers or other members of the scrum team would get value from a Certified Scrum Product Owner workshop. Our Certified Scrum Product Owner workshops are designed to build knowledge and skill in three main areas: How scrum works and how to use it effectively How to build shared understanding of […]
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Scrum Sprints: How Long Should They Be?

How long should our sprints be? This is a question I am frequently asked by new scrum masters and scrum teams. Here is how it showed up in my in-box recently. Question After we participated in Agile Learning Labs’ Certified Scrum Master (CSM) workshop, my colleagues and I have begun practicing scrum very seriously. We […]
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Agile in Context

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” – Charles Darwin Just about everyone agrees that being “adaptable to change” is important. At the same time, many people believe that we’re entering an age of acceleration. The […]
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