Bizarro Scrum

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  • Tales of the Bizarro Scrum – I’m the Product Owner and Scrum Master
    Director: “We don’t have a budget for a Scrum Master so Cathy is going to be both the Scrum Master and Product Owner.” On a Scrum Team, there are 3 accountabilities; The Product Owner is accountable for maximizing the value resulting from the work of the Scrum Team, the Developers are accountable for building and delivering a usable Product Increment […]
  • Tales of the Bizarro Scrum – Extending the Sprint
    Scrum Master: “Team, it looks like these 3 stories that we already started on are almost done. I’m going to add an extra 2 days to this Sprint so that we can finish them.” An important concept in Scrum is timeboxing. All events in Scrum are timeboxed, from the Sprint itself, to Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review, and Sprint […]
  • Tales of the Bizarro Scrum – Product Owner Missing Sprint Planning?
    Product Owner: “Team, I’m going to miss Sprint Planning again. I’m swamped with my real job and can’t make it on Wednesday.” A statement like this indicates a misunderstanding of the Product Owner role. In Scrum, the Product Owner is driving the team to successfully deliver on Sprint Goals to achieve the overall Product Goal and vision. Accountability for success […]
  • Tales of the Bizarro Scrum – Canceling the Sprint Retrospective
    ScrumMaster: “I’ve cancelled this week’s retrospective since we have all these production issues to tackle.” This one is a slippery slope. If the site is down, then the focus should be on getting it back up as quickly as possible. However, I hear the same arguments around automated testing, good design practices, and minimizing technical debt. “Team, we need to […]
  • Tales of the Bizarro Scrum – When is Sprint Planning?
    Developer: “I’m not sure when the next Sprint planning is. The ScrumMaster hasn’t scheduled it yet” Two things concern me here. First, the seemingly variability of events. Second, the reliance on the ScrumMaster. In Scrum, we work on a cadence. Once we determine the Sprint length, we mostly stick to it with a few exceptions around holidays and unforeseen events. […]
  • Tales of the Bizarro Scrum – The Sprint was a Colossal Failure
    Scrum Master: “Team, the last Sprint was a colossal failure.” So when can a Sprint be considered a failure? Let us start by defining what does failure mean in this situation? Is it about the team’s velocity being low? Is it the team not completing all the Product Backlog Items they took on in Sprint Planning? Is it the team […]
  • Tales of the Bizarro Scrum – Scrum Master Canceling the Daily Scrum
    Scrum Master: “Team, tomorrow’s daily Scrum has been canceled as I have a doctor appointment and I can’t be there to run the meeting.” A statement like this indicates a misunderstanding of the purpose of the Daily Scrum, the role of the ScrumMaster as well as the importance of sticking to a cadence. A common misconception is that the Daily […]
  • Tales of the Bizarro Scrum – I’m Responsible for Writing User Stories
    Business Analyst: “I am a BA on the Scrum team and I’m responsible for writing the user stories.” This is another common statement I usually hear from business analysts. Check out the previous post on the who of product backlog refinement that clarifies the responsibility of the business analysts and the rest of the Scrum team.
  • Tales of the Bizarro Scrum – Of Course We Are Agile!
    Executive: “Of course we are agile, everyone is using Jira now!” A tool does not make you, your team, or organization Agile. I see many organization invest in tooling without investing in proper training and coaching. Our first Agile value is about focusing on individual and interactions over processes and tools. So, any tool we do invest in should be […]
  • Tales of the Bizarro Scrum – Refining the upcoming 8 Sprints?
    Business Analyst: “I just finished refining all stories for the upcoming 8 Sprints. I marked them all as Ready.” This is a common statement I usually hear from business analysts. Here we need to look at the who/when/how much of product backlog refinement. We previously discussed the who of product backlog refinement and emphasized that refinement is not just the […]

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