Sprint Planning is a core event, defining how your customers’ lives will improve with the next Product Increment. Learn more on how to improve its effectiveness by avoiding 20 common Sprint Planning anti-patterns.
TL; DR: Product Mindset and Ownership in Scrum Teams
There is one product, one Product Owner, one Product Backlog — a simple rule. How is that supposed to scale, you might ask, isn’t that approach turning the Product Owner into the Scrum team’s bottleneck, impeding value creation rather than spearheading it? Well, cargo cult Scrum might end up in that dead-end. The trick to avoiding this fate is to start including the Development Team as early as possible in Product Backlog management which requires a product mindset.
Learn more about how to kick-off this process with an initial day-long product mindset workshop for your Scrum team.
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 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.
Join the Agile Camp Berlin and experience two energizing days with 200 agile peers focusing on community, sharing, and learning. We will practice games and exercises—from Liberating Structures to paper snowflakes and airplanes to building castles with 50 other folks you have never met in your life. We will share tips & tricks, lessons learned, war stories from the agile trenches, and enjoy the company of 200 like-minded people at a perfect venue for our purpose: the Evangelische Schule Berlin Zentrum, one of twelve organizations that Frédéric Laloux describes in his book “Reinventing Organizations.”
What event could better embody Scrum’s principle of empiricism than the Sprint Retrospective? I assume all peers agree that even the simplest retrospective—if only held regularly—is far more useful than having a fancy one once in a while, not to mention having none at all. Moreover, there is always room for improvement. Hence, learn more about 21 common Sprint Retrospective anti-patterns.
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: Agile Failure Patterns — Why Agile is Simple and Complex at the Same Time
Agile failure seems to be increasingly more prominent nowadays despite all the efforts undertaken by numerous organization embarking on their journeys to become agile.
The funny thing is: Who would disagree that the four core principles of the Agile Manifesto —
Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan
— are derived from applying common sense to a challenging problem? Moreover, the application of those principles might be suited to fix numerous organizational dysfunctions and reduce an error-prone and complex social setting to maybe just a complicated one?
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: Agile Coaching, Swarming—Food for Agile Thought #226
Welcome to the 226th edition of the Food for Agile Thought newsletter, shared with 24,842 peers. This week, we address the state of agile coaching; we learn more about swarming for teams, and we go back in time to the origins of Scrum.
We also come back to the pitfalls of achieving product/market-fit; we declare backlog bankruptcy, and we check a mental model to assess whether a group of product managers is capable of handling their job.
Lastly, we embrace some unique cognitive human traits that will distinguish us from machines for all eternity. Hopefully.
TL; DR: Probabilistic Forecasting, HiPPO Training—Food for Agile Thought #225
Food for Agile Thought’s issue #225—shared with 24,837 peers—addresses the importance of pair programming; we seek to excel at predicting the future with probabilistic forecasting, and we appreciate an outsight view on Scrum by following sticky notes.
We also point at a crucial stakeholder management competence of Product Owners and Scrum Masters; we enjoy new games and exercises for ideation purposes, and we consider making our product worse for the sake of improving it.
Lastly, we embrace the coining of decaf resistance—it is good to know that a habitual behavior in so many organizations now has a name.
TL; DR: Descaling Manifesto, Cultivating Ownership, Release Planning, 5th Product Manager Report—Food for Agile Thought #224
Food for Agile Thought’s issue #224—shared with 24,821 peers—introduces the Descaling Manifesto; we address why great teams have the habit of ‘rule-breaking,’ and we analyze why great Scrum Masters are CEO-material.
We also revisit product releases; we download the 5th Product Manager Report, and we get back to output, outcome, input, effort, and how they are all related to each other.
Lastly, we enjoy a look behind the scenes at Netflix and talk about five levels of ownership.
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