Weekly Reads | December 21st

The most interesting development related links the team read about this week, summarized by Ralf Hafner

With Scrum you move towards your goal as a closely-knit team (in sports as in software development) — Photo by Olga Guryanova on Unsplash

Preparing the team lift-off and the first sprint planning for my new Scrum team I started to work on a presentation covering the Scrum basics for developers.

Diving deep into the topic I found an all-time classic and several helpful articles I want to share today.

  1. Agile Product Ownership in a Nutshell
    Watch the probably best introduction on what it means to work in an agile way. These 15 minutes sum it all up and are a well invested time. From Henrik Kniberg.
  2. What is Scrum?
    A summary of Scrum from a practical point of view. I found this article to be more accessible than the official Scrum Guide to get a first impression on what Scrum actually is about.
  3. The best way to establish a baseline when playing planning poker
    When you do relative estimations the big question is relative to what. So when starting to estimate your stories it’s quite helpful to pick the right stories as your baseline. Mike Cohn explains his approach using triangulating with 2 reference stories.
  4. Creating effective sprint goals
    A sprint goal describes why it’s worthwhile undertaking the sprint in the first place. And a sprint goal has several benefits. Roman Pichler tells you what these are and how to come up with a great sprint goal.
  5. Using Scrum to manage complex projects
    Our cognitive faculties are limited. That’s why Scrum is better suited for our brains to tackle complex projects. And this explains why we often fail with a comprehensive rational analysis upfront in these kind of projects.

By the way I’ve published my presentation on slides.com so if you’re interested please take a look: Scrum Basics for Development Teams

Just one last thought before we head off into the weekend. Do you think that working with Scrum can actually improve your job satisfaction? Well, I certainly do. Here‘s why.

In 2011 the American psychologist Martin Seligman (considered to be the founder of positive psychology) published his book “Flourish” in which he explains what it takes to improve well-being based on what he calls the PERMA Model. PERMA is the acronym for the five core elements of well-being: Positive emotion, Engagement, Relations, Meaning and Achievement.

I found that all five elements match nicely to how Scrum works. Let me show you.

Positive Emotion: With Scrum comes an optimistic attitude that we can learn from what we do. That we can welcome change, handle road blocks and are able to influence our situation. And when you start looking for inspiration on how to do great Sprint reviews or retros you’ll always end up with interactive setups and entertaining games. Sprint meetings can definitely be more fun.

Engagement: Engagement is all about being in a flow. Flow needs focus and challenging but not overwhelming goals. We have both in Scrum when focusing on a sprint goal which we can pick based on what we believe we can do. We aim to work at a sustainable pace. And we work on constantly improving our skills.

Relations: Scrum is all about working together as a team, about respecting each other, about collaborating closely with the stakeholders, walking in the same direction, being supportive, open and honest with each other.

Meaning: With Scrum we are not just working on unrelated tasks, we are working on something of value to the user. We actually know why we are doing what we do. And it makes sense.

Achievement: In Scrum you get things done. Every sprint you can reach your goal. You build something and get it shipped. You actually make progress and produce outcome instead of output.

With this in mind, have a nice weekend.

Happy fourth advent ️️🕯️🕯️🕯️🕯