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Photo by Elizeu Dias on Unsplash

Relaxing on a beach, lying on the warm, soft sand, listening to the meditative sounds of the ocean waves….. just thinking about that scene can begin to relax even the busiest mind.

But for the active types, there’s no time for lying around when they can be running down the beach, enjoying the ocean breeze as they take in the view. Rather than venturing into the soft sand, runners stay close to the water’s edge, even risking wet shoes caused by the occasional rogue wave. Why? …


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Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

I am the SCRUM MASTER!

Please, don’t hold your applause. In fact, I’d prefer if everyone rose from their seats each time I enter the room. It’s probably best if someone on the Development Team acts as a lookout so you’re already standing when I arrive for the Daily Scrum. An orchestral rendition of “Hail to the Chief” playing in the background would be lovely also.

Scrum Ceremony Facilitation

Notice the term “ceremony.” That’s for my benefit. I’m far too important to attend meetings with the likes of you. I exist to facilitate ceremonies — elegantly, efficiently, and without deviation from the guidelines…


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Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Let’s face it — we all have to “manage up” at times. And, with Scrum, if you don’t get the top of the company food chain onboard, you’re in for a painful implementation that will likely result in a pitiful, frustrated semi-Scrum organization.

One of the benefits realized by high-performing Scrum teams is their ability to deliver value faster. Let’s use that benefit to convince our C-level leaders of the importance of supporting and encouraging the practice of Scrum principles throughout your organization.

Position Scrum in Terms of Leadership Priorities

True for any type of influencing — you have to talk in terms of what matters to…


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Photo by Icons8 Team on Unsplash

I’m just going to say it — your boss is not your friend. I don’t care how much fun he is, how many times you go out after work together, how much he ‘has your back’ or your team’s back, even how much he praises you.

You have a job to do. And, unless you work for one of the scarce great leaders, that job is to make your boss look good.

I know. It’s popular for people to talk about how their personal goal every day is to make their boss look good. Mostly that’s an underhanded way of…


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Photo by Charles Forerunner on Unsplash

A value proposition for leaders? Is that even a thing? You’ll find the answer in each of your managers’ attrition rates.

I was inspired to look at value propositions for leadership after reading articles by Paul Myers MBA and Julia E Hubbel on the topic as it related to products.

If senior leaders and managers spent as much effort in building their leadership teams as they do building products, we might find companies where people thrive. …


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Photo by Kristina Petrick on Unsplash

Get dressed every morning for remote work? Are you kidding me? Hell, there may be days I don’t even get out of bed to go work!

Maybe it’s because I’ve spent the majority of my career working remotely, but while I appreciate people trying to be helpful, do we need to explain to mature adults how to keep doing their jobs from home? Some of the “advice” I’ve read is just silly.

Keep a Schedule. Um, I’m working remotely. I’m not braindead.

I don’t know about you, but my company didn’t change business hours simply because people are no longer going into the office.

A lot of people seem to…


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Photo by Joanna Nix on Unsplash

Working remotely is new territory for most Scrum teams, yet many of us find ourselves navigating that terrain today. While useful for providing entertainment value, building habits to help reduce embarrassing situations keeps your meetings on topic and helps your team stay focused.

“Safety” Habits for Video Conferencing and Instant Messaging

Scrum team members working remotely use video conferencing as a standard communication tool. Used for Daily Scrums and other Scrum events, especially, video conference helps teams feel connected and engaged at the team level.

  1. Put tape over your camera. If you’re anything like me, working remote means not “dressing” for work. Yep, there are days I roll…


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Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

After three months, I stopped getting value from a Slack group, so I left. As I was clicking the logoff button for the final time, I felt a little bad for not saying goodbye to anyone. But, I figured no one would notice. I was right.

Building your tribe is just the first step.

Whether you’re a Medium writer, building your brand on social media, or developing your website, building a following is crucial. But, growing your tribe is just the first step. You must nurture your following to keep growing and maintaining your audience.

Nurturing group members extends into any group you hope to build and grow…


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Photo by Bankim Desai on Unsplash

The fastest way to a poor Scrum implementation is through a leadership team that doesn’t support, or worse yet, interferes with the process of becoming agile. If you want to avoid “scrumerfall,” or “scrum-ish,” or a “company-ized” version of Scrum, get your leadership team on board first.

Set Expectations with Leadership

Change rarely happens in a neat, orderly fashion with no disruption to delivery schedules, mistakes, oversights, or general “oops” moments. Scrum is worse because it is a huge paradigm shift. …


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Photo by Matt Howard on Unsplash

“So, basically, this is just a lie,” said my coworker. My response, “Yep.”

He was building a roadmap. Complete with Epics, Stories, dates by month, and quarter — it looked like a very colorful Gantt chart.

Then I asked, “Do you have any specific product goals you’re trying to achieve the rest of this year?” “No, not really,” he said.

The “lie” he was talking about was the ridiculous effort of putting “projects” on a timeline, wholly undeveloped from a business perspective, and not vetted by the development team in terms of effort. …

Stacey Christiansen

Former leader in software dev, ecommerce. Lifelong learner. Writer of whatever moves me.

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