In this third post of the Remote Agile series, we address the tool at the heart of working with a distributed team as a Scrum Master, Agile Coach, or Product Owner: Zoom. While Zoom is an excellent video conference application—particularly for larger groups of twelve or more attendees—by all standards, its killer feature is breakout rooms. Turning a more or less passive audience into engaged collaborators where everyone is included and has a voice makes the difference between a successful facilitator and someone who fails to adapt to a new situation. Let’s have a look at what mastering Zoom is all about.
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.
Last week, we addressed basic practices and tools of remote agile with distributed teams. Based on that article, I also ran a live virtual class, the recording of which will be made available soon on the Age-of-Product’s Youtube channel. This follow-up post now delves into virtual Liberating Structures, answering the question of how we can make use of the powerful toolbox of inclusive and collaborative practices in a remote setting.
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.
After covering the Scrum Master and the Product Owner, this article addresses Development Team anti-patterns, covering all Scrum Events as well as the Product Backlog artifact. Learn more about what to look out for if you want to support your fellow teammates.
Learn how individual incentives and outdated organizational structures — fostering personal agendas and local optimization efforts — manifest themselves in Scrum stakeholder anti-patterns which easily can impede any agile transition.
If you are working as a Product Owner, there is—very likely—room for improvement. This list of some of the most common Product Owner anti-patterns might be a starting point. Hence, if you recognize some anti-patterns in your daily work, why don’t you ask the rest of the Scrum Team for support? The Product Owner anti-patterns list is a good starting point for a retrospective.
Scrum Master anti-patterns: The reasons why Scrum Masters violate the spirit of the Scrum Guide are multi-faceted. They run from ill-suited personal traits and the pursuit of individual agendas to frustration with the team itself.
Read on and learn in this post on Scrum anti-patterns how you can identify if your Scrum Master needs support from the team.
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 15,000 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.
The Scrum Guide Reordered is based on about 90 percent of the text of the 2017 Scrum Guide, extending its original structure by adding additional categories. For example, you will find all quotes that can be attributed to the role of the Scrum Master in one place. While the Scrum Guide is mainly focused on the three roles, five events, and three artifacts, I aggregated quotes on specific topics as well, for example, on self-organization, finance or technical debt.
The Scrum Guide–Reordered allows you to get a first understanding of Scrum-related questions quickly. For example, it is good at relating a specific topis — say “stakeholder” — with Scrum first principles such as Scrum Values, or empiricism.
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: 28 Product Backlog and Refinement Anti-Patterns
Scrum is a practical framework to build products, provided you identify in advance what to build. But even after a successful product discovery phase, you may struggle to make the right thing in the right way if your product backlog is not up to the job. Garbage in, garbage out – as the saying goes. The following article points at 28 of the most common product backlog anti-patterns – including the product backlog refinement process – that limit your Scrum team’s success.
TL; DR: Future Remote Work, Cynefin 2020—Food for Agile Thought #235
Welcome to the 235th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 25,918 peers. This week, we delve into future remote work; we check the latest Cynefin iteration, and we go myth-busting regarding #NoEstimates.
We also learn how to improve our career opportunities as a product mensch; John Cutler shows us the way to escape from the fate of a feature factory worker, and we have a look at the dark side of the management consulting complex.
Lastly, we explore how to apply ‘Agile’ to homeschooling; guess what: You cannot turn your family into a Scrum team.
TL; DR: The Distributed Agile Team, Remote Agile—Food for Agile Thought #234
Welcome to the 234th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 25,852 peers. This week, we gain insight into what drives the performance of a distributed agile team; we address disagreement in the time of remote work, and we identify seven ways to improve the level of psychological safety.
We also dare to see an advantage in a downturn; we embrace the magic of conflict for the benefit of the customers, and we download a free, 100-page preview of Mr. Business Model Canvas’ latest book.
Lastly, we explore three key leadership disciplines for distributed agile organizations.
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