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working together Harvesting Stakeholder Perspectives to Organize Your Backlog

When Mary Gorman and Ellen Gottesdiener facilitated a game called The Backlog Is in the Eye of the Beholder for the Boston chapter of the International Institute of Business Analysis, both the players and the facilitators learned some important lessons in organizing a project requirements backlog. In this article, they describe the game and what it revealed, including the value of truly knowing your stakeholders.

The Shape of Change on Agile Teams

Many times, Scrum Masters and agile coaches are confronted with the need to change a team that seems to be stuck in its own behavior. And though team members may be willing to change, they just can’t seem to get out of their current situation. The author sheds a new light on this difficult problem and proposes to change the environment instead of the team.

Jurgen Appelo's picture Jurgen Appelo
Thoughts from Mid-Project

My team is in the middle of one of the hardest projects—we call them "themes"—we’ve ever tackled. We’re a high-functioning agile team that has helped our company grow and succeed over several years now—we “went agile” in 2003. Here’s one thing I know for sure: No matter how many problems you solve, new challenges will pop up.

Lisa Crispin's picture Lisa Crispin
How to Resolve Disputes So Everyone Wins

It's a special skill to be able to terminate disputes amicably. In this week's column, Naomi Karten offers suggestions for how to resolve disputes so that none of the parties suffers from black eyes or bruised egos.

Naomi Karten's picture Naomi Karten
Four Frequent Feedback-Gathering Flaws

Giving your customers the opportunity to provide feedback is great, but only if you don't fall into one of the four traps that Naomi Karten describes in this article. Let your customers know that not only do you want their feedback, but that you'll actually use the important info they give you.

Naomi Karten's picture Naomi Karten
How to Align Your Team with the Scrum Model

A successful Scrum implementation requires proper understanding of Scrum processes within team and within all project stakeholders. Even after proper training and certification (CSM/CSPO) it’s really tough to achieve the success as intended. There is one common and important problem which has always been overlooked: the alignment of current team with Scrum the model. Because, vanilla-Scrum only describe what the role does in the process.

Vinay Krishna's picture Vinay Krishna
Warning: No News is Not Always Good News

When your customers aren't complaining about the services you provide, it's easy to assume you have happy customers. But that could be a serious mistake. In this week's column, Naomi Karten describes what happened in two organizations that misinterpreted the absence of customer complaints.

Naomi Karten's picture Naomi Karten
Releasability status Ready to Ship?

On the surface, a Broadway musical, a newspaper, and software may not seem to have much—if anything—in common, but they have one common thread. All are delivered on a fixed schedule. But of the three, software tends to stray the most from the fixed schedule. In this week's column, Jeff Patton says that by focusing on the readiness of the entire product—as done in theatrical performances and when publishing a newspaper—and not just on the completion of the planned bits of work, you can produce software on a fixed schedule that you know is ready to ship.

Jeff Patton's picture Jeff Patton
My Manager Thinks I'm Holding Her Hostage

You don't need to look any further than to your coworkers to see how many different personalities and work styles are in effect. Despite the differences, certain predictable behaviors occur between staff and management when personalities clash. Jonathan Kohl defines a few managerial behavioral anti-patterns that could undermine your project. He also sets the ground work for ways to improve the relationship between staff and management.

Jonathan Kohl's picture Jonathan Kohl
Building Team Trust, Front to Back

Trust is more than a feeling. In a project, it is something that can be grown from careful planning and development of good requirements. Ellen Gottesdiener describes three types of trust which can be built from good requirements and team management.

Ellen Gottesdiener's picture Ellen Gottesdiener

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