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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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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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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8 Steps to Technical Excellence

Agile Engineering practices are essential for succeeding with Scrum and ensuring that teams are capable of delivering a Product Increment at the end of every Sprint. Let’s walk through an 8 step approach to guide your team to adopt these practices and make them easier to learn and apply. Some of these steps you’ll be able…

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The Most Common Misunderstanding of Agile Software Development

Many organizations believe Agile is just about development and focus solely on an iterative or incremental approach to development, ignoring other aspects like requirements, designs, tests, and deployments. Agile is not just about development. It is not about maintaining your SDLC phased approach and iterating just over the development phase and keeping a long big upfront…

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Managing Technical Debt Presentation

I presented on Managing Technical Debt at the AgileDC2018 conference held at the Kellog Conference Center at Gallaudet University in Washington DC. I'd previously presented variations of this talk at Agile2014 in Orlando, as well as the Global Scrum Gathering in Las Vegas and in Barcelona. Below is the abstract, along with the slides from the…

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9 User Story Smells and Anti-patterns

1. Thinking that everything is a user story Many mistakenly believe that if you are Agile or using Scrum, then you must use user stories and no other format is acceptable. User stories are not required in Scrum. Product Backlog Items can take any format. User stories are a recommended technique due to some benefits over…

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