How we epically failed to improve productivity by measuring it

I had just got a new management position. In the first briefing, my supervisor introduced the importance of KPIs — “they’re in our DNA,” he said. We measure and evaluate everything we do against our metrics.

Roughly two years ago, the CEO had given the go-ahead for an “Agile Transformation” using Scrum. Now they wanted to know if they were getting “twice the work in half the time.”

The Executives decided to set a goal for each team member to create seven Story Points per Sprint. The picture shows each team member delivering 5.9 Story Points per iteration— in the…


Tips To Spice Up Your Remote Sprint Reviews for better outcomes

Imagine that we are back at the office and today it’s sprint review time. You look at the RSVP list. For real? 83 Participants?! How will you approach this?

This is how I like to see our Sprint Reviews. Crowded with stakeholders mixed with team members. Well attended Sprint Reviews are very valuable if organized properly.

Remote Sprint Reviews: more participants, less interaction

March 2020: a new reality is born. The world has switched to working remotely due to COVID-19. We quickly notice our digital tools are great at keeping remote teams connected and engaged! Of…


Preface

This article is targeted to the Scrum teams in a SAFe environment. However, the Scrum framework does not restrict us from adopting any best practices that benefit the team. Thus, I strongly believe the content will help any Scrum team out there in getting a brief idea about the Enablers and their relevance.

What are ENABLERS ?

An Enabler supports the activities needed to extend the Architectural Runway to provide future business functionality — © Scaled Agile, Inc.


Use Liberating Structures for workshops to overcome the 5 dysfunctions of Scrum Teams.

This is the third part of a three-part series. You should read the first article and the second one to enjoy it.

In the first article of this series, we’re talking about:

  • The description of the five dysfunctions of a team
  • The parallelism between a healthy team and the values proposed by Scrum
  • The learning methods to coach the team

In the second article of this series, we’re talking about:

  • Creating a common understanding about the five dysfunctions of a team
  • Create and facilitate a workshop for…


The purpose of this article is to provide leaders of servant leaders with some pointers on what you can do to increase the success of your servant leaders. (The definition of servant leadership is out of scope of this article, but here is a link to the 10 keys of servant leadership).

Initially, let’s remember that servant leadership is not just practiced by those with an agile job title such as Scrum Master, Agile Coach, Release Train Engineer or Product Owner. Although the word ‘servant’ is removed from Scrum Guide 2020, as the Scrum Master is now seen as a…


What you should do when starting a new journey as a Product Owner

A man in a forest puzzled by which path to take
A man in a forest puzzled by which path to take

What should you expect once you start a new job as a Product Owner? Challenges and surprises.

No matter how experienced you are, starting in a new place with the Product Owner hat is demanding. You have to learn a lot in a short time to lead the team in a successful direction. How you start your new journey is critical to your success.

I have started a new journey as a Product Owner several times. But not all of these beginnings were successful; poor onboardings led me to significant failures. The first months as a Product Owner are tough…


“Best projects for agile are those with aggressive deadlines, a high degree of complexity and uniqueness” — Mike Cohn, mountaingoatsoftware.com

When given a deadline, how often have you heard Scrum Teams quote this from the Scrum Guide?

Scrum Teams are also self-managing, meaning they internally decide who does what, when, and how.

It is easy to misinterpret this statement to mean that there shouldn’t be any deadline imposed on Scrum Teams. Scrum teams plan one Sprint at a time, and “…work gets done when it gets done…”.

Unfortunately, this is not how it works in the real world. Sure, teams…


And does it put teams against their leaders?

Scrum. Everyone knows it. Everyone uses it. But for many, Scrum doesn’t deliver what it promises. My fellow Serious Scrum writer Maarten Dalmijn states he never saw a team that nailed Scrum. I saw a few. And they were thriving. But I have seen far more teams struggling.

I believe the problem is that Scrum is very difficult to understand. On the surface, it seems straightforward. You introduce some roles, work in Sprints, dailies, reviews and retros and you do Scrum.

In reality, Scrum is disruptive. The misconception that it’s easy leads to false expectations and disappointments. …


Scrum is too easy to misinterpret — are we to blame, or is it the fault of Scrum?

I want to preface this article by saying I love working with Scrum. I am not writing this from a place of bitterness but a position of affection. I’d like there to be more openness when discussing the flaws of Scrum. I also want to stress I’ve written far more positive than negative articles about Scrum.

When I publish an article where I criticize Scrum, I keep receiving the same dogmatic rebuttals from Scrum practitioners. The time is right to address the elephant in the room: let’s stop pretending Scrum is perfect.

I’m still waiting for that moment where I…


John used to work in this dreadful, boring environment, where he felt he didn’t matter. People were numbers, being thrown around and even called “resources”. Each day felt like a drag. Every morning John woke up and with all the courage he could muster, he poured his last bit of energy into his job. Only to return home absolutely worn out. No more!

One day he came across an elite team. A thriving team nailing their goals and always supporting each other. They were like a family. “If one man fails, we all fail. We do not assign blame, we…

Serious Scrum

Content by and for Scrum Practitioners.

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