A user's guide to practical Scrum

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“Responding to Change Over Following a Plan” This is the phrase from the Agile Manifesto that causes confusion.  The next part of the Agile Manifesto, of course, states “That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.”  It doesn’t say we don’t care about […]

It’s important that we keep close track of our PBIs and bugs, and that we have estimated the effort on each. It’s also important – especially when the Development Team is swarming around work – that items have been broken down into easily digested tasks. Is it important that we estimate those tasks, though? My […]

I am a big believer in games, and any way to make an activity fun is always a winner for me.  If I can use a game to teach a concept, or to facilitate a discussion, I do so. My previous life as a Cub Scout leader taught me the power of a good game, […]

At its core, the Scrum framework is simple, and held up by the 3-5-3 structure: 3 Roles, 5 Events, 3 Artifacts.  You need all of these elements to be doing Scrum, nothing in there is optional. Leaving out any of the parts means you are not doing Scrum. Ken Schwaber once likened Scrum to chess, […]

Working Agreements are important.  One of the earliest things we can do to come together as a Scrum Team is to discuss what our working agreements are as a team.  This is our contract with ourselves on how we are going to work – and succeed – together. It’s not vital that every team establish […]

I admit to mixed feelings about Sprint burn-downs.  I recognize I might be in the minority on this. In theory, they are useful.  A good burn-down provides a quick at-a-glance view of how the team is progressing within a Sprint toward their goal, and shows where things might be tracking behind and adjustments might need […]

Let me just say this up front: I love Sprint Retrospectives. The Retrospective is easily my favorite event in Scrum, and it’s not even close.  It’s also the hardest one to get just exactly perfect.  I make no claim to having done this – there is always room to improve, after all – but I […]