3 Steps to Land your First Scrum Master Job

One of the most common question I get asked in my Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) class is "how do I get my first job as a Scrum Master?" So let's look at 3 steps you can take to help you land your first Scrum Master job. It's important to note that certification on its own is not…

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A Behind the Scenes Look at the Writing of the Agile Manifesto

It’s February 2021 and we are celebrating 20 years since the writing of the Agile Manifesto. Here’s a behind the scenes look of what happened back in Snowbird 2001 when 17 software development thought leaders authored the Agile Manifesto. 1990s – Before the Agile Manifesto Let’s first go back another 10 years to explore what was…

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Top 11 changes in the updated 2020 Scrum Guide

Happy Birthday Scrum! Scrum celebrates 25 years with an updated 2020 Scrum Guide. Scrum was first introduced in a paper at the 95 OOPSLA Business Object Design and Implementation Workshop by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland. In 2010 Ken and Jeff published the 1st Scrum guide and since then they have updated it every couple of…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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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.…

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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…

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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?…

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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…

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