The 2013 Scrum Guide changes

During my three weeks recently in the US I caught up with Scrum creators Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland. Following this I thought I would pull together a post about the key changes to the 2013 Scrum Guide. … [Continue reading]

How to make a social contract and build better teams

In post one and two in this series, we discovered how emotions and behaviours are contagious and can have a dramatic impact on a team. Let’s now explore some approaches that help encourage positive behaviour and help us manage when things get … [Continue reading]

Emotions are contagious: how yours impact others around you

You know how when you see someone smile, you smile too? Or when you see someone crying, you feel their sadness. Well that’s because of an incredible phenomenon called mirror neurons. Understanding mirror neurons is a critical aspect of  team … [Continue reading]

Does your team have a bad apple?

A fascinating recent study has shown that a single, toxic team member can create group team wide dysfunction and breakdown. We have all worked in teams where there is one “difficult” person.  They seem to take up a disproportionate amount of the … [Continue reading]

Behaviour dynamics in agile teams: The Agile Teams Series

One of my passions is teams - working with them, helping them improve and figuring out what makes a good one.  In his book Software for your Head, Jim and Michele McCarthy made a simple statement that resonates with me: Team= Product. That is, a good … [Continue reading]

Agile Testing: from linear to cyclical thinking

One of the patterns I have often witnessed in agile projects is testers really struggling to shift their mind-sets away from relay race thinking. The common problem goes something like this: “Scrum wastes our time. Us testers don’t have anything to … [Continue reading]

How values and behaviors impact teams

The best way to learn something is to teach it. Today, while teaching a Scrum class, I learned something important: the truth hurts and requires a commitment to values. The Scrum values are respect, openness, courage, focus and commitment.  As a … [Continue reading]

Who stole all my Scrum benefits?

You've seen the statistics - Jeff Sutherland’s group consistently achieving 500-750% increases in productivity, organisations tripling their productivity in a matter of months etc. You've implemented Scrum so how come you aren't reaping these sorts … [Continue reading]

It sucks to be you

I remember when I first starting teaching Scrum. I would get really panicky when the odd attendee would go out of their way to find fault with everything I said. “What about architecture?”, “how do we manage legacy code?”, “that won’t work in our … [Continue reading]

Three reasons to choose Kanban over Scrum

Scrum is a powerful tool. Kanban is a powerful tool. Use them appropriately.  … [Continue reading]