Here at Serious Scrum, there are all sorts of things that bring us together. One thing above all, we are here to support professionals who use Scrum.
Serious Scrum articulated and wrote a purpose for the community some time ago. Here is an extract:
“Serious Scrum recognizes that Scrum is by and for us all. We empower people to think boldly, embrace diversity, act intentionally, share knowledge, and experience collectively, not exclusively.”
Source: About Serious Scrum
Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland have updated the Scrum Guide this year, on the 25th anniversary of the framework. …
Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland released a new version of the Scrum Guide on November 18th this year. I bet you heard already!
Here at Serious Scrum, we organised an event to help us discover changes to the guide and to learn about the changes together.
We scheduled our event for the day after the guide update was released. Willem-Jan Ageling, Maciej Jarosz and Paddy Corry organised and hosted together, and we had some really great chats and discussions.
At the time, we may have underestimated how truly international the event was, so I would like to show appreciation to everyone who overcame timezone challenges to attend: thank you! …
“The role of a Scrum Master is one of many stances and great diversity.
A great Scrum Master is aware of them and knows when and how to apply them, depending on situation and context.”
I wrote some time ago about how Scrum is an abstract class, implemented to make sense in each unique context. The stances emphasize how Scrum Masters embody this idea. …
Conference calls. Cameras on. Sharing screens. Breakout rooms.
Distributed working in times of COVID has made these practices more ‘normal’ now than ever before.
Technology like Zoom keeps us going and keeps us connected. I am massively grateful for the ability to stay productive using these platforms.
We’re still allowed to think about how to make it better! Empiricism, or the ability to look closely at something and consider how to improve it, is a foundation of the ways of working of Scrum Teams.
I invite your Scrum Team to consider their listening skills on platforms like Zoom. (If you use other tools, the ideas here will still be relevant). I hope the practical advice shared here will help your Scrum Team listen to each other more intently, and that this will help you have more effective interactions. …
Did you ever take an important exam?
Preparing for a big test demands learning and learning takes real cognitive effort. We take unknown concepts, make them familiar, and rely on our minds to store and recall this learned information.
I sometimes have a dream about an important exam. The dream is the same each time and it happens maybe once a year. I wake up very suddenly, with a palpable feeling of threat. In that moment, I am fully convinced I’m either late, under-prepared or mixed up about details of an important exam, about to happen right now!
Except the exam isn’t real of course. My unconscious mind is choosing to mess with me for reasons best known to itself! The feeling evaporates quickly too. …
“Operating a product development process near full utilization is an economic disaster.”
Here is a question for Scrum Teams out there: when you plan your Sprints, what percentage of capacity do you load into your iteration backlog: is it ‘the full monty’? If the answer is yes, I strongly encourage you to think again.
Planning Sprints fully loaded at 100% utilisation prevents flexibility in two important ways.
First, it hinders the ability to collaborate inside a team. Simply put: team members are too busy to help each other out.
Feedback. It’s marvellous, isn’t it? Let me illustrate with an example:
Hey, you’re looking well!
Feels good, right?
Well, not all feedback does! As Scrum Teams, we need to watch out for the other stuff too: the ‘what could go better’ column at the retrospective.
Scrum Masters can reframe negative feedback of course: we take it all and recycle it into ‘actions for improvement,’ hooray!
What about feedback that is both positive and negative on the same issue though? I call it ‘room too hot / room too cold’ feedback: when the action for improvement is… do nothing? Continue raising the temperature when folks are cold, and lowering it when others get too warm? …
Sometimes the change you want is not the one you get.
Have you ever contemplated how to react in a situation like that?
Take Jimmy’s example. Jimmy is experienced with Scrum and really believes LeSS is right for his organisation. Bad news though: he has just heard that his organisation is going to adopt Scrum@Scale, nooo!
Jimmy’s upset and is thinking about an appropriate reaction. He really believes LeSS is better… should he contact the leadership team and try to get the decision looked at again? What if they aren’t interested? Is he willing to resign over this decision? …
This article is a response to my friend Willem-Jan Ageling’s on the same topic. I believe his post missed some important similarities between the Scrum Master role from the Scrum Guide and the role in the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). I’d like to respond to Willem-Jan’s post here.
I’m a Scrum Master, and I’ve worked in Scrum Teams since 2007. I’m also gaining experience in a SAFe context. Currently, I’m a coach in a Lean-Agile Centre of Excellence (LACE) team. Among other things, my role involves coaching Scrum Masters, working alongside Release Train Engineers (RTEs) delivering SAFe training and facilitating program level events. I have also taken and delivered SAFe Advanced Scrum Master (SASM) training. …
The Lazy Boy recliner is a metaphor for the comfort zone. We all recognise that inviting chair as a refuge where we can switch off and relax. Spend too long in the comfort zone and we risk developing a ‘Lazy Boy’ mindset, set in our ways and out of the habits of learning and growth.
As a coach and as a Scrum Master, I am often guilty of something called ruinous empathy: that is my comfort zone. In the excellent book ‘Radical Candor’, Kim Scott¹ described ruinous empathy as caring too much and not challenging enough. …