Two simple heuristics that will solve (most of) the problems you face as a Scrum Master

I regularly hear about the problems Scrum Masters face. After more than 200 interviews with Scrum Masters in the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast, here are the 3 most common problems that we face in our work, in order of frequenc): As a Scrum Master, I lack support from management, and when they don’t actively fight …

Don’t plan to fail! Or how to never be late, never ever! #NoEstimates

Project management methodologies involve some kind of estimates on the content of the project (i.e. scope) and effort/duration (i.e. schedule). Simple techniques like WBS (work breakdown structure) with Gantt Charts or more complex techniques like PERT (Program Evaluation and Review Technique) involve estimating the content and ultimately the duration or effort of each of the …

A #NoEstimates tool: The slicing meeting, replacing estimation meetings while creating shared understanding

Before we start, I’d like to thank to Neil Killick and Woody  Zuill for inspiring this technique with their work. Sit down. Let’s estimate This is not a good start of a meeting for many of us. Asking for estimates may be an easy thing to do, but going through the process of estimating Stories …

How to define purpose for an Agile team? A practical guide to defining purpose and aligning with your organization’s goals

As a Scrum Master, we are often worried about what goes on with the teams we work with. We care about the people. We help the team communicate, collaborate so that they can achieve the team’s goals. However, we often don’t work on a larger goal: the goal of the organization that needs that team. …

Lean Change Management: A Truly Agile Change Management approach

“I’ve been working in this company for a long time, we’ve tried everything. We’ve tried involving the teams, we’ve tried training senior management, but nothing sticks! We say we want to be agile, but…” Many people in organizations that try to adopt agile will have said this at some point. Not every company fails to …

The Release Paradox: releasing less often makes your teams slower and decreases quality

Herman is a typical agile coach. He works with teams to help them learn how to deliver high-quality software quickly. Many teams want to focus on design, architecture, or (sometimes) even on business value. But they are usually not in a hurry to release quickly. Recently Herman conveyed a story to me that illustrates how …

How to choose the right project? Decision making frameworks for software organizations

Frameworks to choose the best projects in organizations are a dime a dozen. We have our NPV (net present value), we have our customized Criteria Matrix, we have Strategic alignment, we have Risk/Value scoring, and the list goes on and on. In every organization there will a preference for one of these or similar methods …