TL; DR: Lipstick Agile — Happiness in the Trenches?
Have you noticed how many people in the agile field are unhappy with their work situation? A situation where an organization already struggles doing agile, not to mention ‘becoming agile?’ This is what I call lipstick Agile.
Scrum Masters and agile coaches are close to either burnout or indifference. Product Owners who “own” the product by name only, and developers questioning why “Agile” is imposed upon them and often turns out to be just another form of micromanagement.
Creating an agile community of practice helps winning hearts and minds within the organization as it provides authenticity to the agile transition — signaling that the effort is not merely another management fad.
Read more to learn how to get your agile community going even without a dedicated budget and how to make it work with distributed teams.
TL; DR: Scrum Training Classes, Liberating Structures Workshops, and Events
Age-of-Product.com’s parent company — Berlin Product People GmbH — offers Scrum training classes authorized by Scrum.org, Liberating Structures workshops, and hybrid training of Professional Scrum and Liberating Structures. The training classes are offered both in English and German.
Check out the upcoming timetable of training classes, workshops, meetups, and other events below and join your peers.
Scrum Master Interview: Demand Creates Supply and the Job Market for Agile Practitioners is No Exception
Scrum has proven time and again to be the most popular framework for software development. Given that software is eating the world, a seasoned Scrum Master is nowadays in high demand. And that demand causes the market-entry of new professionals from other project management branches, probably believing that reading one or two Scrum books will be sufficient. Which makes any Scrum Master interview a challenging task.
If you are looking to fill a position for a Scrum Master (or agile coach) in your organization, you may find the following 38+9 interview questions useful to identify the right candidate. They are derived from my thirteen years of practical experience with XP as well as Scrum, serving both as product owner and Scrum Master as well as interviewing dozens of Scrum Master candidates on behalf of my clients.
So far, this Scrum Master interview guide has been downloaded more than 16,000 times.
TL; DR: 42+5 Scrum Product Owner Interview Questions That Will Benefit Your Organization
This second publication in the Hands-on Agile Fieldnotes series provides 42+5 questions and answers for the Scrum Product Owner interview.
Co-authored with Andreea Tomoiaga, 42+5 Scrum Product Owner Interview Questions to Avoid Hiring Agile Imposters represents the most important learnings of our more than 20 years combined hands-on experience with Kanban, Scrum, XP, and several product discovery frameworks. We have worked as Scrum Product Owners, Scrum Masters, agile coaches, and developers in agile teams and organizations of all sizes and levels of maturity.
We have each participated in interviewing dozens of Scrum Product Owner candidates on behalf of our clients or employers. The questions and answers herein are what we have learned.
TL; DR: Remote Agile, Part 1: Practices & Tools for Scrum Masters, Agile Coaches, and Product Owners
Agile has always been about colocation, about direct communication, physical boards, and all the other haptic and analog moments to create value in the digital realm. As a Professional Scrum Trainer, I strive to provide training classes without using PowerPoint or digital devices. Moreover, admittedly, I love index cards. However, times are changing. So, let’s dive into the particularities of practicing remote Agile with distributed teams.
We start with basic techniques and tools and follow up with how to apply Liberating Structures in the remote realm. If you like to get a hands-on introduction, consider joining my webinar/live virtual class next Thursday.
Back in 2017, we started the Scrum Master Salary Report 2017—the first industry report that covered in-depth the educational background, working experience, industries, and organizational details of the companies Scrum Masters or agile coaches work for. For its 2019 edition—the Scrum Master Trends Report 2019—, we partnered with Scrum.org—the leading Scrum training and certification institution founded by Scrum co-founder Ken Schwaber—to improve the underlying data set.
Learn more about the state of the industry and download for free the Scrum Master Trends Report 2019. (Scroll down for the sign-up form.)
TL; DR: Successful Change, Product Centricity Lessons — Food for Agile Thought #253
Welcome to the 253rd edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 26,802 peers. This week, we delve into successful change; we explore self-organization at scale, and we revisit the mantra of the two-pizza teams.
We then listen to the story of a product leader who has to move beyond ‘Agile’ & metrics; we pick up insights from a success story on transitioning to a product-driven organization, and we come back to the adage that ideas are worth nothing, only execution is.
Lastly, we consider whether regarding transitions as products would increase the chances of a successful change.
TL; DR: Resolving Team Conflict, Ikigai & Cynefin — Food for Agile Thought #252
Welcome to the 252nd edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 26,787 peers. This week, we analyze options for resolving team conflict; we learn more about our team’s reason for being, and we think about how we are complicit in change fatigue.
We then advocate the unlearning of user stories, and we learn how to rejuvenate user growth by focusing on unlikely user groups. Moreover, we discover another five ways to tackle churn and improve retention.
Lastly, we embrace another help to get a hold on uncertainty and complexity with the Cynefin framework.
Let’s stop guessing and start crowdsourcing data and information on this critical topic: Who is using what metrics under which context to what success? Participate in the agile metrics survey now.
Update 2020-07-21: We reopened the survey! We have joined forces with empiriks.de, a German consultancy specializing in statistical analysis, and we plan to take the study to the next level. The Agile Metrics Survey already complies with academic standards. However, what we need now is more participants to improve the sample size. So far, we have 535 contributors; let’s strive for 1,000 contributions. A first article based on the preliminary findings is already in the works. I will keep you posted!
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