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When Waterfall Works Better Than Scrum

When Waterfall Works Better Than Scrum

Are there ever times when a waterfall approach to managing projects is a better choice than Scrum? This might surprise you, since I am a Certified Scrum Trainer, but I actually think there are times when a waterfall approach to project management works fine.
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Five Books for ScrumMasters (That Have Nothing to Do with Scrum)

Five Books for ScrumMasters (That Have Nothing to Do with Scrum)

As ScrumMasters work to enhance their knowledge of Scrum and help their organizations move towards agile transformation, there is definitely a time and place to use Scrum-specific books to help with that. Books like mine, 30 Days to Better Agile, give specific and targeted advice about how to fix some of the most common problems that occur during…
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The Dangers of “Roll-Over” User Stories

The Dangers of “Roll-Over” User Stories

There are inevitably going to be times when a Scrum team commits to deliver a user story and they do not complete it. So what happens next? The Product Owner rejects the story. It goes back to the Product Backlog and can be prioritized wherever the PO would...
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How Can I Improve My Scrum Team’s Velocity?

How Can I Improve My Scrum Team’s Velocity?

This is a question I get all the time: how can I improve the velocity of my Scrum team? To which I say: Yikes - BE CAREFUL! You are falling into a common mistake: thinking that one of the goals of Scrum is an ever-increasing velocity.
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Which Course Should I Take: CSM or CSPO?

Which Course Should I Take: CSM or CSPO?

When first deciding to pursue Scrum training, it’s common to wonder: should I take the Certified ScrumMaster or Certified Scrum Product Owner course? The answer depends on your knowledge and experience level with Scrum, as well as your career goals.
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Online Scrum Training: As Good As In Person?

Online Scrum Training: As Good As In Person?

In 2009, I got a chance to see my beloved New Zealand All Blacks play England in Twickenham Stadium. I was thrilled at the prospect of seeing in person the players I’d watched on TV so many times. It cost a small fortune to get decent seats but I managed to do it, midfield about…
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Common Mistakes in the Daily Scrum

Common Mistakes in the Daily Scrum

Of all the Scrum meetings, the daily Scrum is the one I am most likely to see done out-and-out wrong. I think this stems from the fact that many people learned what to do in the daily Scrum, but never learned what a daily Scrum is supposed to produce. The purpose of the daily Scrum is work coordination. It is a meeting for the team to…
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The Dangers of Creating a “Proxy” Product Owner

The Dangers of Creating a “Proxy” Product Owner

Some of my clients grow frustrated with their disengaged, unskilled Product Owners. In an effort to get the work done, they create a new Scrum role called “Proxy Product Owner.” This person’s job, in a nutshell, is to do the “real” Product Owner’s job for them, particularly the…
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How to Deal with a Poorly Performing Scrum Team Member

How to Deal with a Poorly Performing Scrum Team Member

One question I receive fairly often from harried ScrumMasters is: how do I help a poorly performing Scrum team member improve? What can I do to make that person perform better? To answer this question, you must decide if you agree with a key foundational belief in Scrum: the power of…
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Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Scrum

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Scrum

My clients who are still unsure about Scrum often ask me, “What are the benefits we’ll reap from doing Scrum? What are the downsides to using it?” Oh my – I could write a book to answer this. Well… actually, I DID write a book about Scrum :) In 30 Days to Better Agile, I talk about…
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