Category Archives: Key problems

7 Actionable Ideas Now

This is my outline for a talk with Agile Columbia –  Sept 2018. I made some choices.  You might make different choices.  It certainly does not stand on its own, but I hope you can fill in the blanks pretty well.  Or ask. Start: Here are 7 ideas you can act on today.   Do […]

Velocity: How is it useful?

So, apparently people are doing Scrum and not tracking their Velocity.  Why? One key reason: they do not see how useful it is. Here are some explanations. Helps the SM focus The Velocity is the key metric for the ScrumMaster (SM). The SM should increase the Velocity 100% in the first 6 months.  Which means […]

Velocity: Some preliminaries

It is important to know the Velocity of the team. What is velocity? Each team has a DOD (definition of done).  The Team has small stories at the top of the product backlog. When each small story, which has story points that estimate the relative effort, …when each story is “done-done” per the DOD, then […]

Why not?

Rijon Erickson (sounds like “Ryan”) has an excellent post in LinkedIn. See here: His (currently) latest posts asks for a DOR (definition of ready) and then a DOD (definition of done) (visually, he uses post-its).  The next post-it says “Simple (but) Not Easy”. To me, he is saying: We should be able to use […]

Waterfall is done. Where is the debate now?

It is important to note that waterfall is over. Dr. Royce defined waterfall in 1970.  See his paper here. His son, Walker Royce, said that waterfall was over, and said we are on to iterative and incremental now.  He said this before we started calling it agile (before the Agile Manifesto was written).  See his […]

Scrum – Observations from Sutherland’s book

Alisha Parry recently read Jeff Sutherland’s book, “Scrum: The art of doing twice work in half the time.” Here are some of her observations that she shared with a work colleague. 1. Bugs take 24x as long after you wait to work on them. We have seen this even on Kronos, as we have previously […]

Real Scrum vs Easy Scrum

In the first course (almost always the CSM course), I have people wanting, in simple terms, one of two things. With little compromise between. One: Real Scrum. By this I mean everything in the Scrum Guide plus all the better patterns around that. Two: Easy Scrum (aka Half-baked Scrum) This is Scrum compromised quite a […]

Games People Play: Courage, Psychological Safety and the SM

Some years ago there was a book called Games People Play, by Eric Berne. The older I get the less certain I am of how people work, and what they really are.  But that people play games (and games they do not explicitly discuss or even consciously are aware of) seems probably true. It is […]

The ScrumButt Test – Update

Next week I will be speaking to Agile Midlands about the ScrumButt Test.  And the following day, I will be doing a Webinar on ScrumButt. In part, this is because to me the ScrumButt Test is fun. Here are some key statements: The test enables you to get a reading on a Team quickly It […]

More on the Dedicated Agile Champion role

In 2011 I wrote a blog post about the Dedicated Agile Champion.  This title is a pattern in Manns/Rising’s book: Fearless Change. Bob Lieberman sent in a comment that I should discuss this more.  That the job can be complex in larger organizations. And I completely agree.  In fact, I discussed that complexity in the […]