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scrum

Scrum team member taking a card from the product backlog The Difference between Priority and Order in Your Agile Work

The Scrum Guide talks about an ordered backlog, not a prioritized one. While order and priority are related, they are not the same, and understanding the difference and why people focus on one over the other can help your team be more effective at delivering business value.

Steve Berczuk's picture
Steve Berczuk
Scrum team's technical lead sitting at a laptop Do’s and Don’ts for Having a Technical Lead on a Scrum Team

Technical leads can be useful, both within the dev team and as a go-between. But is that a good idea on a Scrum team, which should be self-organizing? There is nothing wrong with having a technical lead on your team, as long as the role doesn’t impede the team. Here's where a tech lead can help or hurt a Scrum team.

Steve Berczuk's picture
Steve Berczuk
Agile team members refining the product backlog Refine Your Product Backlog Continuously to Improve Flow

One way to address poorly defined product backlog items is to spend time refining the items as you go. Refining the backlog continuously helps the team deliver consistently and can lead to shorter planning meetings at the start of the sprint. It can even help improve reliability, velocity, and the quality of work.

Steve Berczuk's picture
Steve Berczuk
Bright light bulb 2 Good Practices Agile Says You Don’t Need

There are lots of good practices that people will tell you aren’t agile. Usually this comes from people who read a book on Scrum or Extreme Programming and took it literally. But agile is not methods and tools associated with a particular methodology; as long as you follow the agile principles, anything is fair game.

Jeffery Payne's picture
Jeffery Payne
Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid Learn Agile Principles Indirectly through Practice

One of the primary questions for agile teams adopting a new approach such as Scrum is whether to start with principles or practices. Sometimes the best way to learn principles is indirectly, through practice. Experiences are a great way to learn, and sometimes they even teach you skills without your realizing it.

Steve Berczuk's picture
Steve Berczuk
Person about to slip on a banana peel 3 Mistakes Teams Make When Choosing a ScrumMaster

One cause of agile project failure is choosing the wrong person as your ScrumMaster. While a bad ScrumMaster is a problem for any team, it is particularly bad for teams new to agile, as the team won’t know they are being led down the wrong path. Here are three mistakes organizations make when choosing a ScrumMaster.

Jeffery Payne's picture
Jeffery Payne
Many brightly colored sticky notes and markers on a table, photo by Frans Van Heerden Refining Your Scrum Planning Meetings

Scrum events are meant to be productive opportunities for collaboration that replace more tedious, wasteful meetings. If you find your planning meetings becoming passive events where no one is asking questions or actively seeking to understand the backlog, the problem might be in the execution or the preparation.

Steve Berczuk's picture
Steve Berczuk
Two men sitting opposite each other, working on their laptops Is Your Agile Team Taking Every Opportunity for Communication?

Scrum events are well-defined points where team members communicate, but they shouldn't be the only times. If you’re not considering coding, tests, and the delivery process as opportunities for a conversation, you are missing an important chance to leverage individuals and interactions, as the Agile Manifesto states.

Steve Berczuk's picture
Steve Berczuk