Scrum Masters should challenge the use of Scrum

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.

Image by wal_172619 from Pixabay

Scrum’s sweet spot

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…

Is Scrum still a mystery to you? Let’s unravel it step by step here..

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Do you often feel overwhelmed coordinating with a dozen parties in your project? A project can be anything like wedding planning, financial goals, or simply all the things you have to accomplish for the week.

With too many tasks and too little time, it is natural to feel that 24 hours in a day are not enough. Stress can only cause headaches. I would rather apply the basics of Scrum to have a better overview of the To-Do items and break them into achievable tasks.

“At OpenView, we’ve found that Scrum can double the production of anything — it doesn’t…

Adopting an agile mindset and beginning with Scrum can be scary and daunting. Getting started with Scrum brings many challenges and concerns. It might even be completely new to the organization. The traditional structure might be removed or reconsidered, management is worried about what their part is going to be as accountabilities move to the Scrum Teams, and team structure is set to be cross-functional.

Now imagine that you’re working in an organization with 100 people, and they want to get that started with Scrum. That’s great! Now what? Where do you start? How do you avoid falling into mechanical/zombie…

Most of the time, the Daily Scrum is run as a status meeting — what a waste of time!

Daily Scrum — an event for the Developers (source:*Wys3QqpPv3ZlAFjhUsiEGA.png)

What actually is the Daily Scrum?

Right from the Scrum Guide, I want to point out two important sentences:

“The Daily Scrum is a 15-minute event for the Developers of the Scrum Team”

“As long as their Daily Scrum focuses on progress toward the Sprint Goal and produces an actionable plan for the next day of work.”

So, what we know from this is; it's a planning session, and it’s for the developers.

Reporting your status in the morning is not creating a plan! And generally speaking, the only people who care about the status of things are Scrum Masters, Product Owners and other Stakeholders… well…

Being a Product Owner can be incredibly overwhelming; there are some things you should be aware of.

A person with a magnifier on her face
Photo by Marten Newhall on Unsplash

Since I started writing about the challenges of being a Product Owner, many people asked me one of the following questions:

  • How can I get a job as a Product Owner?
  • How can I develop myself to attract recruiters?
  • What does it take to thrive as a Product Owner?

Although all of these questions are important, I missed one question. Nobody asked me what a Product Owner really does. From my experience, being a Product Owner can be pretty stressful because this role entails high expectations and many accountabilities.

One thing is wearing the hat of a Product Owner; succeeding…

The Scrum framework comes with a few values; focus, openness, commitment, courage, and respect (FOCCR). Willem-Jan Ageling wrote a great article on those values earlier this week. Embodying these values while doing the work, bring the empirical pillars of transparency, inspection, and adaptation to life. And by that, we build trust.

Trust, as you might know, is the foundation of teamwork. We cannot truly create any value if we don’t trust each other. I personally advocate being open to feedback, in order to build trust. For one, I need feedback in order to do my job. …

Learn how to spread ideas that are easy to digest

As a Product Owner, I don’t build products.

Read that sentence again. It probably sounds wrong, but on reflection, I hope you’ll realize it is a simple and inevitable truth of the job.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto

Like an orchestra conductor who doesn’t produce any sound during a performance, I don’t build the product that is supposed to deliver value.

The Scrum Team works on our product, I’m there to support every step of the way to ensure we make the lives of our customers better and are able to capture that value for the business.

An essential part of the Product Owner's role…

Scrum has a much catchier Agile beat.

Is SAFe the Agile hit song you think it is?
Photo by Pien Muller on Unsplash

I am stunned when hear a product group is using the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) to improve their Agile game. Not only does this reveal a misunderstanding of Agile, but it shows a retreat from Agile to tools, process, and big batch planning.

Product groups often bring me in as an Agile coach to coach them on their SAFe journey. They ask me to assess and tune up Agile fundamentals. On occasion, I come into a program who is preparing for their first Program Increment (PI) Planning¹ event.

The typical course of action sends the entire program (in many cases…

#NoEstimates and Scrum

Ask any Scrum practitioner about estimation and get ready for a spirited discussion. Given this, I find it curious why the Scrum Guide doesn’t mention the words estimate or estimation at all. What happened? And what does this mean?

In this article, I will show how estimates and estimation used to have a prime role in Scrum and how it (almost) completely vanished from the Scrum Guide.

Image by Shutterbug75 from Pixabay

Estimates in the 1st Scrum Guide — focus on output

The first Scrum Guide, published in 2010, discussed estimation left, right, and centre. The rules and tips were shaky at best. …

What I learned from an executive, bulldog, and a torpedo

“Work them ’til they bleed” is a phrase that has stuck with me for a few years now. The quote is from a manager summoned to fix a crisis we had. Every day we had status meetings, endured micro-management and follow-ups against a fixed deadline approaching as fast and unstoppable as a train.

We were supposed to be Agile! How did we end up having project plans, command and control, and lack of trust?

In the end, what matters is the result. Picture fromGerd Altmann from Pixabay

Many organizations wish to implement Scrum and become Agile to earn more money or become more competitive. …

Serious Scrum

Content by and for Scrum Practitioners.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store