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53 votes
Accepted

Task estimation for PMs who are not developers

If at all possible, they don't. They ask developers to estimate it. Estimates should always be made by the people who will perform the work being estimated. If this is not done, then you run the ...
Sarov's user avatar
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50 votes
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How can a Scrum team work with a Waterfall team

Pretend the Waterfall team is an outside contractor Since you're interfacing with the Waterfall team's code solely via an API, just pretend you're hiring an outside contractor to create that code for ...
Monty Harder's user avatar
33 votes

How should a Scrum master handle disagreements about story-point estimates in Scrum?

With that much variation in the estimate, it seems like the work as it's currently defined is not ready for estimation yet. Based on that wide spread in estimates, I would say that the team doesn't ...
Thomas Owens's user avatar
  • 19.3k
33 votes

Senior developers 'reject' agile. What now?

As a Product Owner or product manager, you shouldn't be too concerned with the details of how the development teams are working on a day-to-day basis. If you believe that certain aspects of the way of ...
Thomas Owens's user avatar
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30 votes
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Difference between grooming and refinement

The phrase "backlog grooming" was officially replaced with "backlog refinement" in the Scrum Guide back in 2013. The change was largely done for: Clarity of semantics. Arguably, ...
Todd A. Jacobs's user avatar
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28 votes
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QA is at capacity, Development has room

It seems to me that you are trying to fill each sprint to capacity, and keep everyone fully utilized. Planning for 100% resource utilization is a bad idea. You will only end up with busy people and ...
Bogdan's user avatar
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28 votes

Which is better: large feature branches or merging frequently? Which is better small work items vs large work items?

There is a lot to unpack in your question, but from what I read I see two main issues: the old guard (as you name it) doesn't want to change their way of working. What they did might have worked ...
Bogdan's user avatar
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26 votes
Accepted

The contradictions between agile approach and the growth of individual team member

Let's unpack this a bit: For example, a software engineer can be assigned to UX design tasks in the name of agility. Agility is something people want to achieve because they can respond faster to ...
Bogdan's user avatar
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25 votes
Accepted

What can a Scrum Master do in a team that has mastered scrum?

I don't think there is a simple answer to this question. Instead, I think there are a number of different scenarios: A team is very experienced in Scrum and rotates the Scrum Master role. They have ...
Barnaby Golden's user avatar
25 votes

Agile Principles: What does "sustainable development" mean?

Agile processes promote sustainable development. The explanation is right in the next sentence: The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely. It means ...
nvoigt's user avatar
  • 8,480
24 votes

Hot swapping people in a scrum team

The situation you describe is Scrum Zombie, not Scrum. My answer will try to organize a few of the aspects you mentioned. Software developers are not resources business needs the resource and cannot ...
Piotr Uryga's user avatar
  • 1,107
23 votes

How should a Scrum master handle disagreements about story-point estimates in Scrum?

The first thing you should do is encourage the team to bring concrete arguments. "Things are more complicated than they seem" or "I don't think those complications are valid" are ...
hamena314's user avatar
  • 508
23 votes

Agile: in a sprint retro can I bring up a negative which isn't affecting me personally but I know another team member has a problem with it?

I don't see any problems with raising concerns that you are aware of yet don't directly impact you. There may be ramifications to your relationship with coworkers if they see that as breaking some ...
Thomas Owens's user avatar
  • 19.3k
23 votes

Agile in a reactive organisation?

You ask: What is the best way to implement agile in these circumstances? Before thinking about this question you should think about how to bring in some common sense into the situation. Having ...
Bogdan's user avatar
  • 15.2k
22 votes

Help - Technical team does not want to work in agile way

You don't make any mention of a Scrum Master in your Question, so I'm going to assume that either s/he doesn't exist or isn't helpful. If not, make sure you involve the Scrum Master! It's his/her job ...
Sarov's user avatar
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22 votes
Accepted

In Scrum what are the benefits of self-managing?

This is the sort of things people write books about, so this is just going to touch on a few things at an incredibly superficial level. Autonomy leads to motivation: Research has shown that autonomy ...
Daniel's user avatar
  • 16.9k
21 votes

How to motivate offshore teams and trust them to deliver?

when pushed to do 60, they will deliver 60. This is a pretty meaningless measure in these circumstances. A team could drop quality to deliver more points or simply game the estimation of stories. ...
Barnaby Golden's user avatar
21 votes
Accepted

Are self-organizing teams subject to self-blocking, when there's a disagreement?

If the team is truly self-organizing, then the members would recognize that they have an issue that needs outside assistance and would, among themselves, find a way to resolve it. One option would be ...
Thomas Owens's user avatar
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20 votes
Accepted

How to manage story points when several developers work on 1 story?

When estimating user stories, everyone should be estimating the complete effort it will take the team to get the story to Done. So, the back-end dev should not just estimate the effort it will take ...
Bart van Ingen Schenau's user avatar
20 votes
Accepted

When does a Scrum Team assign story points to the stories in the Scrum methodology?

The only certain answer is: sometime before the story is added into the sprint. After that the story point estimate doesn't add much value. Common times that Scrum teams estimate stories: Backlog ...
Daniel's user avatar
  • 16.9k
20 votes
Accepted

Should PO define execution order of stories in a Sprint?

No, the Product Owner shouldn't be defining the execution of work during a Sprint. At the Sprint Planning event, the Product Owner and Developers collaborate to craft a Sprint Goal, select Product ...
Thomas Owens's user avatar
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19 votes
Accepted

Should a Scrum team formally track daily commitments?

Coordination/Collaboration, Not Formal Task-Tracking While the Scrum Guide used to refer to the stand-up as a commitment meeting, it currently says: The Daily Scrum is a 15-minute time-boxed event ...
Todd A. Jacobs's user avatar
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19 votes
Accepted

Planning a sprint after reduced team strength

If you reduce a team from 7 to 4, especially if the reason is something outside the team, the best course of action is probably to treat this as a completely new team. People will need to change into ...
Erik's user avatar
  • 1,299
19 votes

How can a Scrum team work with a Waterfall team

First of all, make it known to your stakeholders that there is a project risk in your project. The waterfall team is asking for things (final, unchanging requirements) that you don't have at the start ...
Bart van Ingen Schenau's user avatar
19 votes
Accepted

Who Owns Backlog Prioritization?

Mark, you are absolutely correct that the PO has final say on the backlog and execution is owned by the development team. This doesn't mean that the development team doesn't have input or say. They ...
Daniel's user avatar
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19 votes
Accepted

Developer keeps underestimating tasks time

Hat tip to Nvoigt, Nvogel & D. Espina - all good answers, with particular emphasis on D. Espina's "sometimes, knowing one of your team is overly optimistic, you simply add your own margins ...
MCW's user avatar
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18 votes
Accepted

What is the difference between acceptance criteria and the definition of done?

The acceptance criteria you have listed are really a mixture of stories and tasks. Given your example story: As a user I want to register and log in so that I can register on the application and ...
Barnaby Golden's user avatar
18 votes
Accepted

How much project management is a software developer supposed to do?

Responsible vs. Accountable Roles in a Pull-Queue System The question you're asking is really an X/Y problem. You have a couple of other problems that you haven't actually called out in your question:...
Todd A. Jacobs's user avatar
  • 50.2k
18 votes

Designing for the future in an agile environment

Really good question. Really hard to answer. Here is my two cents contribution. Agile showed up as a response to the practices of the late nineties for building software, practices that assumed you ...
Bogdan's user avatar
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18 votes
Accepted

What is the purpose of the daily Scrum standup meeting?

There's a difference between a Daily Scrum and a standup meeting. The Daily Scrum is one of the Scrum events and is defined in the Scrum Guide. It is a 15 minute event for the Developers of the Scrum ...
Thomas Owens's user avatar
  • 19.3k

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