An Abridged History Of Scrum

I spend my working days helping companies effectively use Scrum and other agile practices to create healthier working environments and increased business value. Today, I found myself reflecting on the path that led here. Below is an abbreviated timeline of events in the evolution of Scrum. I’ve included a few bits of my journey with […]
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Agile Conference List 2020

Graduates of our workshops often ask how they can continue their journey of learning about scrum, and earn some Scrum Educational Units (SEUs). Attending conferences is a great way to accomplish these goals. Here is a list of conferences that you might consider attending in 2020. I’m sure we’ve missed some good ones, so point […]
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Daily Scrum

The daily scrum is the event where the development team inspects and adapts their work plan in order to make the most progress possible towards their sprint goal each day. It is one of the most misunderstood events in the scrum framework, and often implemented ineffectively. By understanding the purpose of the event, your team […]
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Don’t Change Estimates During Sprint Planning

I encounter scrum teams changing, or worse, creating, story estimates during their sprint planning meeting. This slows down the meeting and it undermines the whole purpose of estimation: predictability. Predictability is knowing what the business will get and when. Stakeholders might ask the team: “Can we get these features by the end of the year?” […]
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Sprint Planning

Sprint planning is the very cleverly named event (meeting) where the whole scrum team creates their plan for the sprint. The outputs from sprint planning are: the sprint goal, the forecast of which product backlog items will be delivered, and the team’s work plan. Timing Of Sprint Planning Sprint planning is held at the very […]
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Role Of Managers In Large-Scale Scrum

A client who is basing their scrum adoption on the LeSS scaling framework recently sent me the following question about the role of manager in Large-Scale Scrum. Question I’ve read that when scaling scrum with LeSS, cross-functional teams need to have one manager. The author advocated strongly for this, but in reality, I’ve seen this […]
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Sprint Planning Prep For Product Owners

Sprint planning is the first event each sprint. Doing it well will align the scrum team and set a course for success. Doing it poorly will waste time, energy, and team morale. Here’s how a product owner can prepare for a successful sprint planning meeting. Prerequisite: Well-refined product backlog items If your sprint planning is […]
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Business Value Myths

To prioritize items in a scrum team’s product backlog, the product owner needs an estimate of both value and cost for each item. This way, they can identify which items have high ROI and move them to the top of the backlog. Other concerns such as dependencies must be considered, but in general the team […]
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Defects And Done

Question The developers on our scrum team are done with a story (product backlog item). Then defects are found during QA testing. Do we count it done? What about the defects? Answer My general advice is that a story should not be considered done in the sprint if there are defects, or if the testing […]
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Daddy, Where Do Product Backlog Items Come From?

A scrum team works from a prioritized list called the product backlog. Product backlog items are often called user stories. In this article we’ll examine the lifecycle of a product backlog item. It starts with conception. You see, when a product owner and a development team love each other very much… What Is A Product […]
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