Should we invest in a better Product Owner?

I won’t bore you with the calculation, but if you assume that a better Product Owner can: increase the value of Product Backlog items (stories) in the ‘project’ by 20% on average identify the Pareto curve partially in the Product Backlog, so that an 85-33 rule applies And if we assume that the team costs […]

The great persuader is you

Last night I was speaking to the Metrolina PMI chapter. Good discussion; lots of interest in Agile. My topic was: Winning With Scrum. So, on that quickly. My experience and my hypothesis is that Scrum can be more fun and can enable your team(s) to be much more productive. It is designed to allow you […]

Productivity Now

The economy is in a bit of a tailspin now. We can help ourselves. If you wait for the Wizards of Washington to help, you might wait for the wrong team. How do we get ourselves out of this jam? We need a simple way, a simple feedback loop, for telling if we are productive, […]

Business Value Engineering

Business Value Engineering? What is that? Well, we mean all the practices and work-methods around assuring that more and more Business Value is being delivered to the customer, and the firm satisfies all its constraints (e.g., good return to shareholders). This is based on a key Lean idea. We are trying to optimize the end-to-end flow of […]

What to do first?

I just got an email from someone who recently went to one of our Scrum courses. (Note: This is a long but, I think, interesting post. Bear with it if you can.) QUESTION: Hi, Let’s say one is going to work as a team lead for a software project in an organization that currently does […]

The Nokia Test (6): Estimates created by the team

Another installment on the Nokia Test. Before we begin, a quick mention that Jeff Sutherland has done an improved scoring on the Nokia Test. See here. So, the next item on the test says: “The Product Backlog has estimates created by the team.” Why is this important and what does it mean? Meaning first: So, […]

Agile Portfolio Management — 2

OK, so we got started earlier. This continues an earlier post. What next? Ummm. One of the goals of Agile Portfolio Management is making sure the most important things are done first. And that all of us are only working on the highest priority things. And Agile Portfolio Management should try to achieve that goal […]

Agile Portfolio Management – 1

A few people have been asking about “Agile Portfolio Management,” or at least, “How do we manage this stuff?” What they mean is what I call Agile Portfolio Management. Agile Portfolio Management is of course distinct from Scrum, but for simplicity, I have assumed a Scrum context. First, Scrum is relatively silent on this subject, […]

Reading List CSM Sutherland/Little course

We recently led a course in Atlanta, Georgia. Suggested reading included the following: Note: I believe the Amazon images do not show up well if you use an ad blocker or https. ______________________ “The New New Product Development Game” by Takeuchi and Nonaka “The Contradictions That Drive Toyota’s Success” by Takeuchi “The Concept of ‘Ba’” […]

Scrum Certification Test

The Scrum Alliance has recently announced a Scrum Certification Test (a.k.a. CSM Test). Two cheers. This is a minor good thing. It is an opportunity to say what makes someone good at Scrum. Hint: High scores on the Scrum Test probably have very little to do with it. First, Scrum is a team sport, so […]