16 votes
Accepted

Sprint vs milestone vs release

Sprint In the Scrum Framework all activities needed for the implementation of entries from the Scrum Product Backlog are performed within Sprints (also called 'Iterations'). Sprints are always short: ...
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  • 549
14 votes

Sprint is 2 week and 40-stories

If you are following Scrum as defined in the Scrum Guide, the Product Owner cannot simply add stories to the Sprint Backlog. The Sprint Backlog, which is created as Sprint Planning as a negotiation ...
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  • 17.3k
14 votes
Accepted

How to measure if Scrum Master is making a difference and when to give up

The key to team improvement is good retrospectives. When I started running retrospectives, I found they often just degenerated into whingeing sessions that didn't achieve much, other than giving the ...
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11 votes

What's expected from different career levels for a Scrum Master?

I think the different levels can relate to the Agile Onion as described by Simon Powers. Entry level: Can implement the tools and processes, but doesn't have a good understanding why the processes, ...
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11 votes

How to fill my day as a Scrum Master?

This is a common question. One helpful resource as a starting point is the Scrummaster Checklist. It's not meant to be literally a checklist of things to do each day, but rather a list of things that ...
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  • 16.7k
9 votes
Accepted

Split up scrum master tasks

In the talk "The land that Scrum forgot" of Robert C. Martin (one of founders of the Agile Manifesto) says: A Scrum Master was a coach. A Scrum Master was not a manager. The Scrum Master was ...
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9 votes
Accepted

Non-Committal Team Member

TL;DR A coach is not a manager, and is not even formally a member of the team in any agile framework that I'm familiar with. Your job is to help the team be self-actualizing, empower them through ...
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  • 47.4k
9 votes

Conflict between senior and junior members

This may seem pedantic, but you don't solve this. They can solve it, but you can't make them. There are two approaches that come to mind on working through this: actual conflict mediation team ...
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  • 16.7k
9 votes

When "taking it to the team" should we seek consensus?

When “taking it to the team” should we seek consensus? The simple answer is "yes". When people all agree on a decision or an action, they will stand behind that decision or will make efforts to ...
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  • 13.6k
8 votes

Big 4 scrum consultant giving bad advice - correct or let fail?

I have been in a similar situation (in a retail bank), with consultants offering what they call 'enterprise Agile'. The result was waterfall and highly problematic. The consultancies are typically ...
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8 votes

In which skills a Agile Coach differs from a Scrum Master?

The skillsets are exactly the same. It's the focus that is different. The Scrum master is a coaching and facilitating role. However, the scrum master is usually focused on and around their team. The ...
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  • 16.7k
8 votes
Accepted

How to run an effective agile team within a rules based organisation

I think I can provide a better answer if I rephrase your questions a bit. Q. First, is it necessary or beneficial to have rules that apply across multiple (or all) teams? A. Yes. While consistency ...
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  • 16.7k
7 votes

What do Scrum Masters do all day?

I've worked as a project manager for 15 years and have been working as a scrum master part-time (of the 15 years of PM work) for 3 years and full-time as a scrum master for 3 years. Here is what I ...
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7 votes

Workshops/methods for increasing team autonomy?

Helping a team to be more autonomous is one of the most difficult things to do because you achieve it by doing less rather than doing more. As a Scrum Master, I sometimes: Attend a ceremony/meeting ...
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6 votes
Accepted

Meeting format for defining our definition of done

One of the approaches I've used in the past that works pretty well, especially with multiple teams: Set up a flip chart for each team and put a dotted line about 1/3 of the way up (so the top section ...
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  • 16.7k
6 votes

Big 4 scrum consultant giving bad advice - correct or let fail?

There is nothing agile about the consultant's approach and certainly not use of the Scrum framework. That is waterfall with some modern software development terms being misused. Allowing an internal ...
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  • 1,614
6 votes

How to measure if Scrum Master is making a difference and when to give up

There are many things you can do, but the first thing I would start with is a coaching agreement. I've seen very simple and very complex coaching agreements, but all of them hit a few key points: How ...
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  • 16.7k
6 votes

When "taking it to the team" should we seek consensus?

When we as Agile Coaches and Scrum Masters servant lead teams and help them make decisions, do we need to seek consensus? Yes... and remember that consensus is not the same as unanimity. This is a ...
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6 votes

Under what circumstances should outsiders attend a scrum team’s ceremonies?

It depends on the event. People from outside the Scrum Team should, generally speaking, attend an event when they have something valuable to contribute to the team within the context of the event. The ...
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  • 17.3k
6 votes
Accepted

Under what circumstances should outsiders attend a scrum team’s ceremonies?

I also don’t feel it’s of any benefit for my team. You think there is no benefit in a coach? What are you, perfect? "Inspect and adapt" is the core of Scrum and you are flat out rejecting ...
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  • 7,550
6 votes

How to coach a domineering PO to let go and allow a team to become self-managing

TL;DR Nope, nope, nope. Just "no." The question is based on the faulty assumption that you can force change on other people (hint: you can't), and is wishing what seems likely to be poor ...
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  • 47.4k
5 votes

Split up scrum master tasks

Just making sure I understand your situation... Once your full-time Scrum Masters feel that they are 'done/ready', they want to graduate to 'Agile Coach', and nominate a developer as a part-time ...
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  • 14.7k
5 votes

How to fill my day as a Scrum Master?

As a Scrum Master I totally sympathise with your question. The Scrum Master role is very peaky and troughy. The worst thing you can do is create meetings or other distractions for the team just to ...
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5 votes
Accepted

How to fill my day as a Scrum Master?

Now, it could be that you have worked to create a hyper-performing team and there is no further room for improvement. A measure of this is that velocity (or similar metric) has increased by an order ...
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5 votes
Accepted

What to do with a PO who manages, directs and controls the team

Here are some suggestions. Using retrospectives which cause the team to call out the lack of acceptance criteria The behaviours you have mentioned are all valid topics for retrospectives, not just ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Managers pulling up team members individually

I would add one step to your process. Just to make sure we are thinking about the same, these are the 3 steps I have in mind: Do the internal retro with your team Agree on a process with the ...
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5 votes

How to run an effective agile team within a rules based organisation

I guess what I am trying to figure out is how can a team be autonomous if you are telling them where to work and when to work. Autonomous always means "autonomous within constraints". Agile doesn't ...
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5 votes

Non-Committal Team Member

Regardless of what kind of effort is missing, I'd talk with the team member first. You need to figure out his motivation. Why is he non-committing? A fishbone-diagram or the Five-Whys-technique are ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Large group retrospective format

You can define the topics to be discussed up front, based on data collected and affinity diagrams as you suggest. That would make it easier for participants to prepare. But you can also have the ...
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5 votes

The roles understanding in the agile development / Is the PO always right?

As long as the PO is responsible enough to take the blame if the product fails, it should not be a concern. The project team will be concerned if the PO shoves all the blame on the development and the ...
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  • 231

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