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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6 Tips for Effective Product Backlog Refinement

The Scrum Guide defines Product Backlog Refinement as the act of breaking down and further defining Product Backlog items into smaller more precise items. This is an ongoing activity to add details, such as a description, order, and size. Product Backlog Refinement is a key activity in Scrum that is often overlooked. If a team finds…

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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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The Definition of Done Canvas

Use the Definition of Done Canvas as a template to help you and your team create an effective Definition of Done. In Scrum, the output of every Sprint is a Product Increment. This Product Increment should be of high enough quality to be potentially shippable should the Product Owner so see fit. Many teams struggle with…

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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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The Sprint Retrospective Canvas

Use the Sprint Retrospective as a template to help you and your team run effective Sprint Retrospective events. There are many ways to facilitate a retrospective. This template can help you get started until you are comfortable with the various other types of retrospectives. The Scrum Guide defines the Sprint Retrospective as an event to plan…

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the training Dilemma

Scrum is easy to understand but difficult to master. For a team to be successful with Scrum, developers have to learn new ways of working as well as adopt Agile Engineering practices. Building things iteratively and incrementality differs from traditional SDLC phased development. In addition, developers must apply new technical skills and techniques in to be…

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The Sprint Review Canvas

Use the Sprint Review Canvas as a template to help you and your team run effective Sprint Review events. The Scrum Guide defines the Sprint Review as a working session … where the Scrum Team presents the results of their work to key stakeholders and progress toward the Product Goal is discussed…The Scrum Team and stakeholders…

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The Daily Scrum canvas

Use the Daily Scrum Canvas as a template to help you and your team run effective Daily Scrum events. The Scrum Guide defines the Daily Scrum as a 15-minute event for the Developers of the Scrum Team… The purpose of the Daily Scrum is to inspect progress toward the Sprint Goal and adapt the Sprint Backlog…

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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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The Sprint Planning Canvas

Use the Sprint Planning Canvas as a template to help you and your team run effective Sprint Planning events. The Scrum Guide defines Sprint Planning as the event that initiates the Sprint by laying out the work to be performed for the Sprint. This resulting plan is created by the collaborative work of the entire Scrum…

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The product backlog refinement canvas

Use the Product Backlog Refinement Canvas as a template to help you and your team run effective refinement sessions. The Scrum Guide defines Product Backlog Refinement as the act of breaking down and further defining Product Backlog items into smaller more precise items. This is an ongoing activity to add details, such as a description, order,…

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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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How Developers Manage Their time in Scrum

Developers on Scrum teams split their time across 3 main areas each and every Sprint. Building the Product Increment During the Sprint, Developers work on Product Backlog Items that help accomplish the Sprint Goal and deliver a Product Increment. Developers on a Scrum team build the Product Increment. That is their main accountability. This involves all…

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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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