Scrum

If you're a Scrum Master, Change Agent, Agile Coach or otherwise interested in involving and tapping into the wisdom of everyone, Liberating Structures are a wonderful extension of your toolkit. In this post I explain why and offer some concrete examples. If you'd like to experience Liberating Structures first-hand, Johannes Schartau and I gladly invite you to join our workshop at Scrum Day Europe 2017. The way we communicate in groups is broken Ever been part of a status meeting where most people are checking their phones or staring into the distance? Ever been part of a brainstorm where only…

More often than not, Scrum seems like a Bad idea. At least, judging from the reasons that are often presented to me when I am asked to help a company get started with Scrum: "We want the team to take more ownership of what they're developing". "We want teams to behave more professionally". "We want to use Scrum to improve upfront estimates and stay within budget". "We want the team to work more efficiently and become more productive". "We don't have room for a project manager, so Scrum is our best option". There is nothing wrong with these goals. I'm…

Software (& product) development is never a simple endeavor. Save perhaps for projects that run a couple of days and involve only a handful of people. The vast majority of projects can easily be considered complex. By 'complex' I mean: too many variables and potential (emergent) interactions to reliably predict the (near) future. Yet, we seem to suffer from a powerful cognitive bias that makes us discount complexity with statements like 'it can't be that hard', 'we've done this before' and 'we already know pretty well what to make'. I often run into people that feel that their 'project isn't…

As a Scrum Master, I love trying out new and different Retrospectives. It prevent the monotony of always doing the same thing (like a regular ‘plus/delta’). And it offers a team a new and different perspective to evaluate the process and learn from it. The ‘Team Radar’ is one of my favorites. It strikes a nice balance between reflection as a team and as an individual. It’s also one of the best methods to make transparent where a team agrees and where it doesn’t, automatically prioritizing what needs attention. Setting up Create a large Team Radar on…

Yes, you can generalize Scrum to non-IT work, such as marketing- and content-generation. And it actually yields similar benefits; more work gets done, increased transparency, sharing of knowledge and increased motivation due to clear shared goals. In 2015 I had the opportunity to help two marketing- & content-teams at Kaarten Carrousel get started with Scrum. The teams have now broken through the 20th sprint-marker and moved into a larger, more spacious building, so this is a good opportunity to share how this came to be, what worked and what didn't. About Kaarten Carrousel If you live in the Netherlands, and…