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Scrum, Rugby and Teamwork

Scrum, Rugby and Teamwork

With the recent popularity of the film “Invictus” and its inclusion as an Olympic sport coming in the 2016 games, many Americans are being exposed to rugby for the first time. Those of us who engage in agile software development practices know that the term “scrum” has its origins in rugby and that Scrum, the agile software development framework, is based on principles inherent to the game. For most people, that is where the understanding of the metaphor stops.But the con...
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How to Hold an Effective Backlog Grooming Session

How to Hold an Effective Backlog Grooming Session

When I come into organizations as an Agile Coach, one of the common areas of frustration with Scrum is the Sprint Planning Meeting. “These meetings take forever!” my clients complain. An easy way to make Sprint Planning meetings both shorter and more effective is through the regular use of Product Backlog Grooming Sessions.Sometimes called StoryTime sessions, the purpose of these meetings is to make improvements to the Product Backlog. That definition is deliberately vague because th...
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How Teams Self-Manage: Lessons from the Ball Point Game

How Teams Self-Manage: Lessons from the Ball Point Game

Like many Scrum trainers, I use the Ball Point Game in my Certified ScrumMaster course. We do it fairly early on, in the first hour, before we`ve gotten know each other. I use the Ball Point Game to show teams that they in fact already know how to do Scrum, meaning they know how to use the inspect-and-adapt cycle to self-organize, set goals, and meet them. But I tell them another important reason for the exercise is to teach me something about the group that has come to my class. I look at how t...
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Finding an Agile Employer

Finding an Agile Employer

The rocky job market of the last couple years has left many people looking for a new place of employment, either by choice or as part of staff reductions. For job seekers in the software industry, this can be an opportunity to consider joining an organization that specializes in Agile software development using one of the popular Agile frameworks such as Scrum. Agile organizations, with their commitment to Scrum values of trust and transparency, understandably have more appeal than the tradition...
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