I haven’t been posting on Medium in a while but I want to share with you, my followers, some of the posts I recently-ish have posted on my blog.

My favourite online meeting tools? A sharpie and a pad of sticky notes

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Online collaboration tools are great but sometimes simpler is better.

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12 remotely useful tips for those being part of a partially distributed team


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A while back, I wrote down a list of pointers to consider when picking which actions to go ahead with in a retrospective.

It went a bit like this:

  1. Remember that not every problem needs solving right now. Focus on the ones that do.
  2. Ask the “5 Whys” to find the root cause of the problem you are trying to solve. Just tackling the symptoms won’t help much.
  3. You can’t “decide” what the solution to a problem is. Pick an action and decide how you know whether it worked or not. Then try it and see what happens.
  4. Don’t wait for the perfect solution to come along. Small, incremental changes are easier and will make a big difference if you keep making them every sprint. …

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At a glance, the job as a Scrum Master may seem like a role mainly suited for extroverts. Constant interaction with people is part of the bargain. Large amounts of talking to people is kind of unavoidable when you’re trying to help them improve their communication and collaboration. Be the change you want to see, and all that.

So, how could an introvert, a person who can get exhausted from social interaction and has a need to spend time alone, possibly be successful as a Scrum Master?

Having spent eleven years as a Scrum Master (time flies!), I’ve concluded that being an introvert actually doesn’t need to be a disadvantage at all. Quite the contrary, there are in fact several benefits to being an introverted Scrum Master! …


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As so many have pointed out, Scrum is simple but not easy. Unfortunately, many teams fail to get the benefits they were hoping for. In many cases, they end up blaming Scrum itself but the actual cause is often more down to the implementation of it.

Here are a few signs that what you are doing may not actually be Scrum at all:

1. Delivering according to the original specification. If nothing changes during your project, you have missed out on the opportunities to build a better product. …


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This short blog post is the last one of three this week in which I explore methods for determining which features are valuable.

In the previous parts, we covered the following:

  • Value Poker — a technique for estimating the relative value between features
  • Impact Mapping — a visual planning technique that helps us prioritise based on how each feature contributes to our objective

Arguably, both these techniques are largely subjective. We make assumptions based on intuition, saying “this is more valuable than that”. Hopefully, we then validate these assumptions as early as possible during the build.

In this part, we’ll be looking at how to quantify the value more objectively: the Cost of Delay. …


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This short blog post is the second of three this week where I describe methods for determining the value of features.

In the previous part, we looked at value poker, a method for working out the relative value of features.

In this part, we’ll be looking at impact mapping.

What is impact mapping?

Impact mapping is a visual method that helps us take a step back from the features and think about what we’re actually trying to achieve. Starting from the big goal, we create what is effectively a mind map of roles (users and others) and what they can do to help us (or prevent us!) reaching the goal. …


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The product owner is responsible for making sure the product backlog is ordered in a way that maximises value. The goal is to enable the team to deliver as much value as possible, as early as possible.

However, this can be easier said than done. How do we determine what is more valuable than something else? Often, we will be comparing apples and pears. What is more important: simplifying the checkout process or adding the possibility to subscribe to newsletters?

This week, in three short blog post, I will be looking at different ways to try to determine this value.

Still, after 10 years as a Scrum Master, I know of no perfect way of doing this. Nevertheless, it is incredibly important that we give it our best shot. …

About

Magnus Dahlgren

Agile team coach based in London, posting experiences, thoughts and ideas around Agile. https://magnusd.cc

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