In Scrum, the product owner and the ScrumMaster are supposed to drive sustainable development. But there's a third force missing from the formula: the health of the code itself. We often forget that our code is also a member of our team, and we have to be concerned about its health and well-being as much as any other team member. That means using practices to develop good code from the beginning.
Daily standup meetings can turn into a perfunctory chore, with everyone simply going through the motions. It’s the ScrumMaster’s job to make sure that doesn’t happen and the meetings remain useful for everyone. With these five ideas, the ScrumMaster can actively help daily scrums be effective and encourage communication, transparency, and efficient delivery of value.
Scrum works well for collocated teams, but working with distributed teams brings its own different challenges. There should be some controls in order to prevent instability, ambiguity, and tension from turning into chaos. As the ScrumMaster is the servant leader of the team, here are four important initiatives the ScrumMaster can take to guide their teams—the four C’s of managing distributed agile teams.
The business analyst (BA) has played a key role in software development. But within a modern agile context, the role of the BA is less clear, and there is some confusion as to whether the product owner role subsumes that of the traditional BA. Let’s look at the roles the BA can play with agile teams and how to fully leverage their expertise to supplement or augment that of the product owner.
Unfortunately, many retrospectives are not productive. It may be that the discussions are unfocused, not enough data was gathered to be helpful for analysis, or the team concentrates too much on issues they can’t control. Retrospectives should be a key part of an agile process for helping the team improve. Here are five tips that will help you have more valuable retrospectives.
Agile software development is mainstream by now, but people are still finding ways to experiment with agile. Measuring agile success with metrics, the debate over whether to use estimates, and improving predictability in Scrum were all hot topics last year. The rise of DevOps has given even more material for people curious to adopt the practice, so automation and "continuous everything" were also popular subjects.
Agile story estimation gives the team insight into the level of effort for each work item, allows the team to assess each requirement’s relative priority, and lets the team refine and clarify story items. But there are even more benefits that can be gained from the estimation process. Try to take advantage of these five opportunities for growth when your team is estimating stories.
Discussing the work to be done as a group, building in short iterations, getting feedback, and looking for ways to improve are not just practices for development teams—it is an effective way to achieve any goal. Here, Ben Kopel details his experience of working with other agile coaches in a sprint to hire a new ScrumMaster.
There's something ironic about starting an agile transformation by spending six months creating a detailed transformation plan. We have to move away from a prescriptive playbook and toward a more responsive transformation model. Why not use the agile transformation as your first opportunity to be agile?
Using the iterative and incremental agile development framework Scrum should help manage product development, but some teams still have difficulty delivering features in a predictable manner. This organization decided to address the mismatch between what was being committed and what was accomplished by doing an experiment in work transparency.