Gaming Velocity

TL; DR: Gaming Velocity

Imagine your team’s line manager insists that a successful team improves velocity regularly. How could you, as a team, satisfy this strange, unsuitable demand without working more? How can you make gaming velocity a reality?

I run this exercise with my students of entry-level Scrum Master and Product Owner classes to help them reflect on the tricky nature of measuring success, metrics, and, of course, Goodhart’s Law: “When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.”

For the following article, I aggregated suggestions from more than 50 classes on how to “best” game velocity.

Gaming Velocity –
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The Illusion of Velocity — The Effect of Unsuitable Practices on Agility

TL; DR: The Illusion of Velocity

In this article, I explore the pitfalls of ‘The Illusion of Velocity’ in agile contexts, peeling back the layers of traditional metrics as leadership tools. Moreover, I point to the advantages gained from leadership engaging directly with teams.

Understand why servant leadership and practices like the Gemba Walks are crucial for coping with complex, adaptive environments toward actual progress. Moreover, get an idea of how to start flipping outdated hierarchies and embrace the natural rhythm of productivity and innovation.

The Illusion of Velocity —
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Minimum Viable Library (1) — Scrum Master Edition

TL; DR: The Minimum Viable Library for Scrum Masters

The Minimum Viable Library is available! Explore a series of carefully curated collections of essential books, newsletters, podcasts, and tools to elevate your agile expertise.

Read on and learn how the recommendations for Scrum Masters cover a wide range of topics, including Scrum, servant leadership, customer value creation, coaching teams, improving team dynamics through Retrospectives, and navigating agile enterprise transformations.

Minimum Viable Library — Scrum Master Edition —
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Health Checks for Agile Teams — From Spotify to The Liberators to Self-Made

TL; DR: Health Checks for Agile Teams

Agile teams thrive on continuous improvement and adaptability. Self-assessment isn’t just a health check measuring tool but a compass guiding teams toward their potential. It enables teams to understand their strengths, identify areas of improvement, and delve deeper into work dynamics beyond mere output.

The true essence of self-assessment in Agile is fostering transparency, collaboration, and relentless improvement. It’s not an audit; it’s a mirror reflecting a better version of your Agile team.

This article comprises a few well-known self-assessment tools; use them or have them inspire you to create your own assessment.

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Useless Agile Metrics

TL; DR: Useless Agile Metrics

Ideally, a metric is a leading indicator for a pattern change, allowing your Scrum team to analyze the cause in time and take countermeasures. However, what if you picked the wrong metrics? What if these useless agile metrics lead you in the wrong direction while providing you with the illusion that you know where your team is heading?

Learn more about useless agile metrics, from individual velocity to estimation accuracy to utilization rates.

Useless Agile Metrics —
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The Agile Metrics Survey 2021

TL; DR: The Agile Metrics Survey 2021

If you value agile practices, it is crucial to know if a job offering or a prospective business partner that claims to be “agile” really keeps its promises. Unfortunately, as agility usually cannot be observed directly, and certainly not from the outside of an organization, there is no way of knowing in advance if you will enter an agile environment that serves your own working needs or if a lot of frustration lies ahead of you. Therefore, we ran an extensive survey throughout 2020 and 2021 with more than 1,000 participants from all walks of agility: the Agile Metrics Survey 2021.

With the Agile Metrics Survey 2021, we present the first results and conclude with some thoughts about possible application scenarios of our instrument as well as possible next steps in our research.

Agile Metrics Survey 2021 — Berlin Product People GmbH
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