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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Scaling Scrum With Scrum

One of our clients recently reached out to us asking for advice about how to manage their organization’s scaled scrum adoption. They wanted to know if they could use scrum to manage the adoption of scrum in the organization. The short answer is yes. Guiding an organization’s adoption of scrum is a big project. It’s […]
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World Café – Scaling Highly Interactive Meetings

World Café is a fun, flexible, and scalable technique for group conversations that leads to creative solutions to complex problems. World Café has some similarities to Open Space Technology: both techniques work for groups ranging from a few people to a few thousand; and both are frameworks that support individuals and interactions. World Café is […]
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A Scrum Master Is A Teacher, Mentor, Coach, And Facilitator

A scrum master wears many hats including: teacher, mentor, coach, and facilitator. Part of the art of being an excellent scrum master is being able to flow between these roles fluidly, depending on the situation at hand and the needs of the people involved. Teacher This is the act of showing or explaining something to […]
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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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