The Retrospective and uncovering the best impediments

I chuckle when I say ‘best’ impediments.  Because, by its nature, an impediment is something that is slowing the team down.  It is ‘bad.’ But, to get better, the Team must focus on the most important things first.  And this is true for impediments.  We must fix the most important impediment first. It is human […]

Agile Reading for Executives

A recent email I sent, slightly edited. ____________________________________ Dear Mike and Mark, You asked for something to give the executives and managers. I might send them “The New New Product Development Game” article (see below), with a short explanation. And then, offer these other things to review. Other options: “Software in 30 Days” by Ken […]

Retrospectives and the role of the SM

A very bright and quick class attendee asked: Why don’t you talk in the class more about Retrospectives? And why so much about the PO? Why do you focus on the basics so much?  I want more advanced materials. *** First, I actually think we do these things, as explained below. We do talk about […]

Courses We Offer

We offer many courses and workshops: Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) course – This is the basic course, which I recommend for everyone and for teams. We now almost always include a 1-Day workshop (on Agile Release Planning). I strongly recommend this. Occasionally, I offer a 2-Day workshop as well. Intermediate Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) course […]

ScrumButt Test (6): Estimates created by the Team

Another installment on the ScrumButt Test. So, the next item on the test says: “The Product Backlog has estimates created by the Team.” Why is this important and what does it mean?  Let’s consider the meaning first. So, normally in Scrum estimates mean estimates of relative size/complexity in Story Points. See Mike Cohn’s book: Each […]

What does it mean to be ‘Ready’?

Jeffry Hesse wrote this blog post. [Link now broken.  Sorry!] It inspired me to write the post below. The new Scrum Guide says that PBIs (product backlog items) must be well-understood and granular enough for Sprint Planning. PB Refinement is the process we use to get them to Ready. Those are not quotes, but that […]

Impediment List – Charlotte Class Nov 2013

Here are the impediments the Charlotte class identified.  Each impediment may be useful to you. Too little transparency No finalized requirements No communication SME Availability Missing Required Technology Resistance to a common goal Unrealistic expectations Outside pressures Vague requirements Lack of resources Lack of money Bad estimates Hiding problems Not crying wolf soon enough!! Conflict […]

Impediment List – Montreal Class

Here are the top impediments identified by the recent Montreal class.  There may be some similarities, (a different person might be trying to say essentially the same thing, but for his team).  Maybe your Team will recognize some good things to work on: Team too small Under-staffed Loss of communication (with) customer, stakeholders Not dedicated […]

Scaling, Part 2

Here are some additional patterns to consider when Scaling. For now, consider that I am using a narrow definition of scaling, to mean, collocated teams working together on one product in a fairly tight way. 1. Upfront Work. To over-simplify, if we create any product, we plan, we build, we release.  That is the simplest […]

Scrum Values

All of you should be aware of the Agile Manifesto and the Agile Principles. To me, they are not perfect, but they are an excellent expression of many key ideas behind Agile.  And we should be thinking about them every day.  They require thought and common sense to consider how they should be applied on […]