Agile/Scrum blog

The Box of Transparency

Barry Overeem Door: Barry Overeem,  29-09-2015
Onderwerp: Scrum  values  

This blog post is about a little box. A little transparent box. The box contained only one sticky note. A sticky note with a milestone. The milestone belonged to a a large project that concerned a comprehensive organizational change with multiple Scrum teams.

This milestone was special, because it was a milestone the team failed to achieve.

Today we had the first review with all the different teams that are involved with the organizational change. The review had the structure of a "marketplace". No PowerPoint slides. Every team prepared a flip-over & market stall with the most important deliverables, ups & downs off the previous period and deliverables for the upcoming sprints. With short demo's of 12 minutes every team presented & discussed their progress with the other teams and stakeholders.

On itself the review was already great, this little box of one of the teams however made it awesome!

Daily Scrum - Tips & Tactics

Barry Overeem Door: Barry Overeem,  28-09-2015
Onderwerp: Scrum  

Although the Daily Scrum seems to be a simple and straightforward event, I still encounter a lot of teams struggling with it. In this blog post I'll share my tips & tactics. You can use it as a checklist for you own Daily Scrum, and hopefully it helps you ensure the event to become (or stay) effective, fun and inspiring.

Purpose and Outcome

The purpose of the Daily Scrum is to inspect and synchronize the team's progress towards the Sprint Goal, discuss if anything impedes the team and re-plan the team's work to achieve the Sprint Goal.

The outcome of the Daily Scrum should be:

  • An updated Sprint Backlog
  • An updated Sprint plan to achieve the Sprint Goal.

Afterwards every team member should have a clear plan for the day ahead. Possible impediments that limit them from achieving the Sprint Goal should have been identified. After the Daily Scrum the team can spent some time to discuss the impediments in more detail and find a solution.

The members of the Development Team are the primary participants of the Daily Scrum. The Scrum Master (as a facilitator) and the Product Owner (providing clarity about Product Backlog Items) can join, but their attendance isn't mandatory.

Is Your Scrum Team a Set of Pawns or Players?

Barry Overeem Door: Barry Overeem,  23-09-2015
Onderwerp: Scrum  Values  Leadership  

Update 23-9: my colleague Wiger Middelkamp gave me some feedback, this resulted in adding the third lesson learned. 

Previous week I used the Spotify Squad Health Check model to assess a teams situation and condition. One of the cards the game contained caused quite a lot of discussing during the retrospective and also gave me some thoughts afterwards, namely:

Pawns or Players

Is Your Team a Set of Players?
We are in control of our own destiny! We decide what to build and how to build it.

Or is Your Team a Set of Pawns?
We are just pawns in a game of chess with no influence over what we build or how we build it.

Most of the teams I work with want to be a 'player', but how do you become such a team? In this blog post I've shared the three most important lessons I've learned. The team I have in mind is a Scrum team. This includes the Scrum Master, Product Owner and the Development Team.

Seeding and Cultivating Agile Champions

Barry Overeem Door: Barry Overeem,  21-09-2015
Onderwerp: Agile  Management  

This morning I read the interesting article 'The Agile Manager's Practice: Seeding and Cultivating Agile Champions' by Michael Hamman. It describes how growing and cultivating Agile Champions is a key practice of designing the desired environments. Michael emphasizes that it's about cultivating conditions in which agile practices can flourish.

My intention was to share some of the highlights of this article, but as a result I almost copied it as a whole... However, please check the original article for the entire context.