👋 My name is Willem-Jan Ageling. I coach teams to create high-value products in complex environments. I am the co-owner of and writer for Serious Scrum. I currently work as a Senior Agile Coach at Worldline.
✔️Together with Sjoerd Nijland, I founded the independent community Serious Scrum. With Sjoerd and Maarten Dalmijn, I saw the need to be free from constraints of the latest version of the Scrum Guide. This is why we created the Serious Scrum Playbook, which is our baseline to discuss Scrum.
As an Agile coach, I help people, teams and leaders from Worldline to create high-value…
Last week I introduced the concept of fluid Scrum Teams. It sparked quite a discussion! Many responses were very positive and I am thankful for that. Others were reserved and some people were downright hostile to the idea.
What was the idea again? Well, fluid teams organize themselves based on the work at hand. Every time new topics need to be addressed, the people of the fluid teams organize themselves to optimize the chances to succeed with their challenges. The team of 20 is stable and cohesive. They form smaller teams each Sprint to maximize their effectiveness.
To clarify the…
Scrum is a fascinating framework. It exists to create valuable products in a complex environment. It does so by providing structure with distinct accountabilities within a Scrum Team, with artifacts and with events. This all happens in Sprints that are of a fixed length.
I like Scrum, but it tends to be used in a different way than intended. To explain what I mean, I will start with a quote from the Scrum Guide:
In complex environments, what will happen is unknown. — Scrum Guide 2020
This is an important statement. In complex environments, you have assumptions that you need…
Scrum is a framework designed for specific needs. It exists to manage complexity through empiricism. Everything in Scrum revolves around this tenet. Empiricism applies to the work a team does during a Sprint, to the daily course corrections of a team. But it also applies to making projections beyond the Sprint.
But what happens when your daily work isn’t complex? What if creating product increments is fairly straightforward and devoid of major surprises? What if you can establish a predictable flow? Does Scrum then still benefit you?
I often come across this situation. Mostly, these are cases where the technology…
“You’re a chicken!”
John takes a step back and five seconds pass. “What did you say?”
“You’re a chicken. We are pigs. You can stand and watch, but you may not speak unless spoken to.”
John Williams is a member of customer services and his team is working with archaic online reporting software. But he learned that the company will build something new, which made him excited.
Adam is a software development veteran. When the company decided to adopt Scrum, he volunteered to be the Scrum Master of the teams. “I was Scrum Master some ten years ago and liked…
You may know me as a writer of many Scrum articles, mainly for Serious Scrum (which I started with Sjoerd Nijland). I may often give you the impression that I think I know everything there is to know about Scrum and that I can apply this effortlessly myself. I have a confession to make. In my primary job, I have worked as a Scrum Master. And I failed in my job with my most prestigious team. So much so that I apologised to this great bunch of people.
Here is the account of how all of this happened.
Scrum is a framework to create value in complex environments. It is founded upon the concept of empiricism: transparency — inspection and adaptation. Scrum as a framework is also subject to inspection and adaptation. It continued to have the same objectives, but the rules of the game of Scrum have evolved.
Even if you only take into account the last decade, ever since the publication of the first Scrum Guide, many things have changed. Many things got removed. Some things were added and later removed.
In this article, I will discuss 5 things that were removed from Scrum but have…
Heads-up: the latest version of the Scrum Guide (2020) changed self-organisation into self-management. I will use the term self-organisation when I use sources from before this latest Scrum Guide.
There’s a movement of Agile experts that believes teams should be able to choose their own framework to create valuable products. One of the most prominent voices is Allen Holub.
Their reasoning is that a truly self-managing/self-organising team builds its own framework. According to them, a team that’s working with a prescribed framework (usually mandated by the company) is hardly self-managing.
Any organization that standardizes on any single framework is violating…
“This is all nice in theory. And I agree. In complex environments, Scrum is a great approach to deliver value. But with real customers, it is no option.”
I have heard this so many times. I’m getting tired of this broken record — songs project management knows by heart.
The alternative to Scrum — or Agile in general — is the traditional project management approach, one fraught with the illusion of control and wishful thinking.
But should a project manager lie to their most demanding customers by creating long term detailed plans? Are they going to try to stick to…
Scrum is the most popular Agile framework in the world. It started out as an approach to creating software products. These days it is applied to many other areas where people create products or services.
The Scrum Team has a Scrum Master who is accountable for the effectiveness of the team. This includes helping the team move away from Scrum if this helps them to create higher value.
This may seem contradictory. But let me explain.
Scrum is an approach to create valuable products and services in a complex environment with a cross-functional team that can have regular conversations with…