Todd A. Jacobs
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Is Scrum a status report meeting or a developer meeting?
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70 votes

Dissecting a Status Pull No, what is happening in your meetings is not a Scrum stand-up meeting, it's a status pull. In fact, it's probably worth dissecting this particular status pull to see why ...

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Should I cancel the daily scrum if the team has only minor issues to discuss?
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47 votes

If You Aren't Planning Together, You Aren't Working Together The Daily Scrum is not for addressing "issues," minor or not. It's a just-in-time planning meeting for the Developers to ...

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How can I manage team distractions like chit-chat?
42 votes

Conversation is Not Inherently Disruptive I work with a team of developers who are talented but often distract each other with chit-chat. You say they are "talented but distracted." What makes you ...

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How do you schedule delivery dates in Scrum?
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34 votes

TL; DR Agile release planning is based on fixed-length, normed-capacity cycles that operate on dynamically-planned and dynamically-scoped features. In Scrum, fixed-date release planning must be ...

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Why do Scrum user stories only use the Fibonacci series?
32 votes

No Fibonacci Required While many agile practitioners have embraced a modified or unmodified Fibonacci sequence for story-point estimation, neither story points nor user stories are actually ...

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What are developers expected to do during testing in the latter half of each Sprint?
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28 votes

TL; DR Your question embeds some false assumptions about the linear nature of testing within an agile process. A mature agile team with cross-functional skill sets treats development and testing as ...

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Is the Product Owner allowed to be at the Daily Scrum event?
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26 votes

Product Owners Are Silent Observers in Daily Stand-Ups In the quoted description, the word participate has the connotation of "taking an active part." The Product Owner should attend, but should not ...

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Difference between grooming and refinement
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25 votes

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, ...

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Sprint Backlog vs Product Backlog
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25 votes

Backlog Ownership The Product Owner owns the Product Backlog, and prioritizes it on behalf of the stakeholders. The Sprint Backlog is the property of the Team, and they are the sole arbiters of its ...

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How many projects can a PM manage at the same time?
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23 votes

TL;DR What is industry standard of how many projects one PM should manage at the same time? There's no such thing; individual projects vary greatly in the level of effort required to manage the ...

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How can developers and testers agree on story point estimates?
23 votes

TL; DR Story points represent consensus within the team. The goal of estimating story points is not to provide the largest or smallest estimate, but to accurately reflect the effort required by the ...

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How should a team handle disagreements about story-point estimates in Scrum?
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23 votes

TL;DR Much of Scrum's value to an organization is in creating transparency. 100% agreement isn't the real point of planning poker; the goal is actually to narrow the cone of uncertainty around ...

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How do you name Sprints in Scrum?
22 votes

TL;DR I was wondering if it's a good idea to name Sprints with user-friendly names instead of using numerals like Sprint 1, Sprint 2, etc. No, it's not a good idea. A sprint is a container where ...

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Should velocity increase with time?
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21 votes

TL;DR Should velocity increase with time? The simplistic answer is that a project's velocity should only increase until the team has developed a stable, predictable cadence that can be maintained ...

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How can a new PM manage a failing project in a few hours per week?
20 votes

TL;DR If your question is truly about how you can manage a project like this in less than two hours per week, the answer is that you can't. At best, you might manage some minimal status reporting. ...

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Should a Scrum team formally track daily commitments?
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19 votes

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 ...

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Should there be testing-only user stories?
19 votes

TL;DR Neither of your stated options are truly agile. You are misusing points in an attempt to represent progress or to "hold people accountable." Neither is appropriate within the Scrum framework. ...

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What if developers don't want to spend their time on manual testing?
18 votes

Hiring and Personnel Management are Organizational Problems Testing is a Design and Programming Concern Modern TDD and BDD are architectural and programming concerns. In fact, I'd go so far as to say ...

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

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:...

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What are "Consumed Story Points" in Trello?
18 votes

Consumed Story Points: An Agile Anti-Pattern "Consumed points" are a sort of burn-down metric that some practitioners use to track progress of a story against its original estimates. It's intended to ...

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How can I track the work done by a remote team of coders?
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18 votes

TL;DR You can use tools like gitk, GitStats, or the GitHub graphs tab for a visual representation of repository activity. However, this is usually a bad idea from a project management perspective. ...

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Why does Pivotal Tracker discourage estimating points for bugs and chores?
18 votes

"Feature Velocity" vs. Capacity-Based Scheduling Pivotal Labs is making a marketing decision with this design choice. By addressing themselves to "business value" as the key metric, they are ...

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Kanban - spending time on somebody else's work
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17 votes

TL;DR Your question strongly implies management metrics tied to individual utilization rather than flow or cycle time. The 100% utilization fallacy is antithetical to Kanban, and to agile systems in ...

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Handling bugs in the Scrum process?
17 votes

Where Does Technical Debt Belong? Should these issues be grouped under user stories / child tech tasks and be accounted for within the sprint process? No. Oh, there are some cases where some small ...

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What SMART goals can I set for myself as a new Scrum Master?
17 votes

Deconstruction of the Project Manager Goal As a project manager, I could say something like "I will lead and execute X projects on time and in full with 95% satisfaction." Setting aside whether ...

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

Long-Lived Feature Branches and Infrequent Merging are Anti-Patterns Which is better large feature branches or merging frequently? Which is better small work items vs large work items? This question ...

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How can we register the technical debt in Scrum?
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16 votes

Scrum Exposes Technical Debt Through Forecasts & Estimates As a general rule, technical debt increases the cost of future work on the product. So, even if you don't explicitly keep track of the ...

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Should Daily Scrum meetings be held in the morning or the afternoon?
16 votes

TL;DR What is the best part of the day to have the Daily Scrum meetings, in the morning or afternoon? There cannot be a single, canonical answer to this question that will be true for all teams ...

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In Scrum, how to estimate research stories?
16 votes

TL; DR Should we assign a time box (so many hours) for research stories or a regular point estimate? You should do both. A spike (or "spiked story") requires both a time-box and a level-of-effort ...

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Is the 15-minute daily stand-up meeting mandatory for a successful Scrum project?
Accepted answer
16 votes

What the Stand-Up Meeting is For The Stand-Up Meeting (a.k.a. the daily scrum) is designed to accomplish two main things: Coordinate task dependencies within the team. Identify process or resource ...

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