Agile Mindset

Webinar: The Five Pitfalls of the Sprint Planning Event

Every professional Scrum Master knows that the way Sprint planning events are handled has a significant impact on the effectiveness of the team in achieving the Sprint’s goal.
In this Webinar, Oded Tamir, PST and Lead Coach at AgileSparks, talked about five common pitfalls that hinder your Scrum teams’ performance.

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Using Scrum for Improving Operations

I’m encountering more and more people that are trying to solve different kinds of problems with Scrum:

People designing Consumer Goods
Accounting professionals focused on Revenue Accounting
Marketers of many kinds
Healthcare professionals.

I’ve been having some interesting discussions with them that I thought I might share.

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Guidelines for Common sense ☺

Recently in retrospectives of one of the scrum teams, one team member had some strong opinions about guidelines that were defined for code reviews. Besides what to review and how to review, the guidelines also had some instructions on who should review which features/stories’ code. He strongly felt that the reviewers for his stories didn’t add much value, the code reviews waited longer for feedback, and the reviewer didn’t seem to have much context, so didn’t add much value. He felt that his design reviewers or his colleagues working on the same story should have been the peer reviewers!

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Feature teams

Team Storming and Compost

A team I am working with is in the storming stage of its development.


It’s been some time that they have been forming, carefully learning each other, sometimes from afar. Each person was doing their own stuff, limiting their interaction to consultations. Every person to their own.

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Agile Mindset

Estimating – Do You Trust Your Ability To Execute?

Sometimes you need to pack a suitcase.

One way of doing it would be to have a list of how many socks, shirts etc. can the suitcase hold, then prepare these items and pack them into the suitcase. This should work, I think, but there are a few problems. First, you need to have this list ready for each suitcase. Second, well, it would be difficult to prepare such a list due to the unstable nature of clothes: wrinkling, moving, and in general the tendency of not having a steady shape.

However, the main problem with this method is that it takes a lot of time. You need to constantly check the number of items against the list, write down how many you have etc.

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Agile Mindset

Seize The Improvement Opportunity!

Sometimes it is right there before us and all we need to do is to reach out and take it. Improvement opportunities are there – all we need to do is learn how to identify them and invest the minimal time to turn the opportunity into something real.

A good indication of an improvement opportunity hanging around is when something really good or really bad happens.

For example, I am working with a client where seven development teams are struggling for some time to better work together. One of the problems we were having was that features didn’t complete – didn’t move to Done. This week we had a deadline and the teams worked very hard and managed to get the important things done. They worked hard but you saw the spark in their eyes – They were very happy and proud about it.

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Agile Mindset

When Scrum Events Are Burdening

At the beginning of a Scrum implementation y, you usually finds two main types of team behaviors. Those who embrace the scrum events (Planning, daily, etc.) and try to better understand them to represent one type. There are many issues and many required adjustments and the team is working on them with the coach.

Other teams view Scrum events as a total waste of time. They do them reluctantly and don’t see any value in it. What do you do? We’ve had several such cases and we wanted to better understand what’s going on there. After a deeper look into the dynamics of these teams, we reached some conclusions that let us sleep better at night.

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Agile Leadership

Experiencing Self-Selection of feature teams

Lately I had the opportunity and pleasure to facilitate a process of designing cross-functional feature teams in a self-selection process. Self-selection is a facilitated way to let people choose which team to work in. It is surprising how rare this practice is sometimes even considered eccentric while practically it is a simple and fast and produces such great results – well-formed teams with more involved and engaged people.

Why teams self-selection?

It’s a fast engaging process that creates the best conditions for a team to reach high performance.

It’s based on the assumption that with the appropriate context, people will choose to work in a team that they feel will make them be most productive, taking into account the personal relationships with the other team members, the complementary skills they bring and their aspirations for personal and professional development.

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