Three reasons to stop talking about time and deadlines in Agile environments

Timelines and deadlines have always been tricky for software development. With the advent of Agile software development and Scrum, the may feel even trickier. In this post, Ziryan Salayi explores how you can move the conversation from time and deadlines to something that matters: delivering value to your customers faster.

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Ask A Professional Scrum Trainer – Martijn van Asseldonk – Answering Your Most Pressing Scrum Questions

In this episode of Ask a Professional Scrum Trainer, PST Martijn van Asseldonk answered the pressing Scrum questions from the audience. Some of these questions included.

  • How does Scrum work with virtual teams?
  • How did you become an agile coach?
  • How do you help leadership adopt the agile mindset?
  • How do you measure teams?
  • What’s the best way to do estimation?

Liberating Strategy

Liberating Strategy begins and ends with Liberating Structures (LS). They are simple rules that make it possible to include and engage every voice in shaping the future and strategy. LS can be used to not only create a different kind of strategy but also to transform the whole process of strategy-making.

Read the complete article by Keith McCandless and Johannes Schartau here:

How we do involve stakeholders?

One of the biggest challenges for Product Owners is to manage stakeholders. Often, there are many of them. And they all have different needs, requirements, and levels of involvement. How do you manage this?

The Stakeholder Map (PDF) is a simple tool that creates transparency and strategies. Print out a large version of the PDF and introduce it to your Scrum Team. Work together to identify all potential stakeholders (or groups) and write them on stickies. Distribute the stakeholders across the quadrants based on their level of influence over the product and their interest in what you are working on. Based on the distribution that emerges, you can devise strategies on how to best involve them:

  • Latents: Keep them up-to-date with frequent newsletters or videos and involve them when you need their input;
  • Apathetics: Its usually enough to keep this group up-to-date with periodic newsletters or pull-based information (like a website or page on your intranet);
  • Promoters: You want to involve this group as extensively as possible. Invite them to your Sprint Reviews, involve them during Refinement and meet with them frequently to re-order the Product Backlog;
  • Defenders: These are your biggest fans. Involve them actively by inviting them to your Sprint Reviews. Encourage the Development Team to seek out these people to validate assumptions about what you’re developing;

The stakeholders on the right are the most important at the moment, so focus the bulk of your time and energy on them. However, if you meet the needs of the stakeholders on the left, you can shift them to the right as they become more interested in your product. 

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How to introduce myself as a Scrum Master in an existing team?

Some questions you could ask yourself are:

  • Does the team know Agile, the Scrum framework?
  • What is the composition of the team?
  • What motivates the members?
  • What are the common goals of the team?
  • How about the values of the team?
  • Is there a history that we need to know before joining the team?
  • Would you start with a kick off / retrospective where the team would explain their pains and where we could discuss way of working?