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Posts from the ‘Scrum’ Category

Train your teams in Scrum

Often companies get someone to train their team when they adopt Scrum, but a few months or years later, new staff have joined, others have left, and very few people remain who have received formal Scrum training. As a result companies suffer because people understand the mechanics of Scrum but not the principles and values behind it. This prevents them from effectively inspecting and adapting.

It’s not always feasible to get an external trainer to train your teams on an ongoing basis. I have a solution! Train them yourself 🙂 Before you tell me you can’t, take a look at this book: Growing Agile: A Coach’s Guide to Training Scrum. It contains everything you need to run a Scrum training session from 1 hour to 2 days. Workbooks, slides, simulation, the works!


Scrum Masters in Black

I’ve been asked a lot about how to recruit good Scrum Masters. There is a shortage of experienced  Scrum Masters in South Africa and as a result many companies are looking to hire people without experience but who are a good fit for the role. The tricky part is identifying what those people look like. Then I rewatched Men in Black… Read more

To Certify or Not to Certify

A new certification has appeared in the agile space: the Project Management Institute’s Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP). I thought it would be both pleasing to my overachiever genes and a bit of research on behalf of the community, to apply for the certification myself. I wrote the exam on Thursday and passed. Here’s my review of both the process and the certification in general.

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Test Plans in Agile

Talking to a test manager recently he mentioned that he often gets asked, “When do you do test plans in agile, if ever”. Since it is a common question I thought a blog post would be useful.

First let me clear up a common misconception. Agile does not mean NO documentation, the agile manifesto says “while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.” So documentation is valuable, but working software is more valuable. But you also have to ask what goal the documentation is serving. Read more

Why Scrum Masters can’t be responsible for delivery

Someone recently asked me if I could point them to some reading about whether Scrum Masters should be responsible for delivery or not. I strongly believe Scrum Masters should not be directly responsible for delivery, but after hunting online I can’t really find anything that talks specifically to this point. So I thought a blog post was in order. Read more

Fixing Bugs in Scrum

The following post is inspired by an email I sent to our teams recently due to some confusion about when to fix bugs in Scrum.

It generated 2 responses:

1) Complete support from some (senior developer, architect and CTO) and

2) Debate and disagreement from others (Product Owners)

I will leave it to you to decide what you think. Keen to hear comments from either side. Warning: no one has swayed me in the other direction yet!

The email below….

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We do Agile, but not Scrum

I often hear people saw “we follow the Agile Methodology”, or “we don’t do Scrum but we do Agile”. As if it is a thing I should know about. If you have done this then please note, there is no such thing as the Agile Methodology. My husband describes it best. Agile is an abstract super class. It has no specific instantiation. For those of you who aren’t OO geeks, that means Agile is just a word which groups a number of approaches together, it is not a methodology in itself. Read more

How To Organise A Scrum Gathering

I recently stumbled across this in my blog drafts folder, and thought it was about time to finish it, since we are contemplating a new event this year.

As one of the organisers of the first South Africa Scrum Gathering in September 2010, I decided to blog about the experience. Hopefully fellow User Groups around the world who are considering a Gathering can learn from this. Read more

Open Space

What is Open Space? You can think of it as a self organising conference. People decide what they want to talk about, and when and where they will do so.

We’ve held a few at SUGSA meetings in Cape Town. But at the Orlando Scrum Gathering, I attended a full day of Open Space facilitated by Harrison Owen. It was a different experience for me, and I think I’m starting to get what this open space thing is about. Hopefully this blog post can help to spread the idea, because more open space is a good thing in my book. Read more

Improve your Scrum implementation in one week

As a coach I have the benefit of observing multiple teams doing Scrum. I’ve noticed some basic things they often don’t seem to get right, which I think would massively improve things for them. Often the feeling is that it takes too much effort to get these things right, and they will ‘get around to them’ but they never do. I was inspired to write a post with some concrete steps teams could take to fix some of these things. Below are 5 things you can do to improve how you Scrum. You can do them all in 1 week, and none of them should take you more than 2 hours each. Read more