Category Archives: Scrum

Shock Therapy

Back in September, Jeff Sutherland spoke at the Googleplex in NYC. The talk includes a section on shock therapy. The video is called “Self-Organization: The secret sauce for improving your Scrum team.” It’s about 90 minutes long. Recommended. One key point: Shock therapy is a technique for a special and experienced coach to work with […]

Scrum Certification Test

The Scrum Alliance has recently announced a Scrum Certification Test (a.k.a. CSM Test). Two cheers. This is a minor good thing. It is an opportunity to say what makes someone good at Scrum. Hint: High scores on the Scrum Test probably have very little to do with it. First, Scrum is a team sport, so […]

Hyperproductive Distributed Scrum

Back on July 21, 2008, Jeff Sutherland gave a talk on Hyperproductive Distributed Scrum at the Googleplex in NYC. Here is the video.

What’s a team?

Let’s review what is a team in Agile or Scrum. A small group — seven plus or minus two — motivated by the vision of one person that will realize good Business Value; dedicated (usually 100%… certainly a lot), with almost all the skills needed to realize the vision; that works together daily. A team […]

The importance of Velocity

I had an interesting conversation about Agile metrics yesterday, and wanted to share one insight. Why is Velocity so important? Well, first, we should say that in many ways it is not. Honestly. Velocity can be unmeasured, used badly, up, down, sideways, misunderstood. Whatever. As long as the team produces some more Business Value (e.g., […]

What is a ScrumMaster worth? (2)

Based on comments, I made a few changes to the original post, here. The specific numbers used in the post are not that important. The approach to logically identifying the value of a better ScrumMaster is. Take the approach, and fill in your own numbers. Help the right people think it through, using their own […]

The Nokia Test (4): You know who the Product Owner Is

In this series, we are going over each question in the Nokia Test. The first section of the Nokia Test is a quick determination: are you doing incremental development? Then second section is: are you doing Scrum? We are now up to the first question in the second section is: Do you know who your […]

Two cheers for the Nokia Test (2)

A comment by Kelly Waters and a discussion yesterday with Peter Smith prompts me to comment. Some are attempted to come up with a long list of all the practices involved with Scrum (or Scrum plus other parts of Agile), and then score each team. I don’t think the long list replaces the simple short […]

Two cheers for the Nokia Test

I am an advocate of the Nokia Test, up to a point. Why do I like it? I think it is a simple way to set some sort of lower boundary on Agile (Scrum) and it tends to make two problems more visible: Cowboy Agile on one side and Agilefall (aka Wagile) on the other […]

How do I start an Agile project?

I have been teaching Agile courses for a while now. One of the persistent questions is: “Enjoyed the course, but I want more help on actually doing an Agile (Scrum) project?” In part this question arises from a wish to have a “cookbook.” This cookbook notion is something most of the smart people (at least […]