GROW Your Retrospectives

Question: I have been assigned as the PO to a non-development scrum team for product marketing. After one week of work, we have delivered only 2 banner ads from a team of 10 people. The problem seems to be the process of approvals, reviews, kickoffs, briefs, tickets etc that need to happen in order to […]
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GROW Coaching Model

Agile coaches often encounter clients that are stuck. They know what they are doing isn’t working, yet they can’t find their way out of the dysfunctional cycle. At least, not alone. The coach’s job is to help their client: gain deeper understanding of their situation create a vision for a better future identify obstacles & […]
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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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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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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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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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From Component Teams To Feature Teams

I recently facilitated a software development group’s transition from component scrum teams to feature scrum teams. The new structure reduces cross-team dependencies, which had been causing significant delays in shipping new features. Over the course of a day, we dissolved the existing component teams, groomed a shared product backlog, created a shared definition of done, […]
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