More success with Scrum – How to get it

This content is syndicated from LeanAgileTraining by Joe Little. To view the original post in full, click here.

Fernando Cuenca has an excellent blog post, here.  He discusses what he learned at Agile 2013.

I will summarize his learnings in my words.

  1. The ultimate question is: how to have a better life for yourself, your Team, and your Customers.  And then, specifically at work, using Scrum.
  2. Measure velocity. And specifically, look for increases in velocity. Otherwise known as: acceleration.  Measure velocity in Story Points.  But don’t become obsessed by a number — look at the bigger picture.
  3. Get the user stories ‘ready, ready’ before the Sprint Planning Meeting.  It will increase velocity. In part by reducing churn in the sprint.
  4. Have a clear DOD.  Definition of Done.  Being ready, ready will help you get to done, done.
  5. Do a better Daily Stand-up.  Who knew the Daily Scrum was for the Team to self-organize and self-manage?  (I am teasing all of us — not teasing Fernando at all.) I like this formulation:  ‘what did I complete yesterday that helps the Team achieve our sprint goal?’  The Team focus is important.
  6. Measure Team happiness. (See Jeff Sutherland’s Scrum Log.)  If they aren’t happier, you aren’t doing Scrum right.
  7. Focus on fixing the top impediment.  By the ScrumMaster (who is driving it), by the Team, by people outside the Team. Non-trivial work.  You have a biggest impediment until you are perfect.  And even after you win the Super Bowl, you are not perfect. (20 push-ups for imagining that your Team won the ‘Super Bowl of Scrum’ when you have never even compared your Team to a ‘best in my city’ Scrum team.)
  8. No bugs (use XP practices, etc). Ok, ‘no identified bug survives the sprint’. May seem impossible to some of you, but it is not. (Yes, some few bugs will still be identified in production.)
  9. Clean, well-refactored code base. (use XP practices, etc). Makes it almost easy to change.
  10. Develop a ‘continuous delivery’ capability. (By removing impediments over time.) Almost always, this pays tremendous dividends, even if you almost never deploy after each sprint.  At least you will be able to decide when to deploy (when you have a Minimum Marketable Feature Set) and then deploy ‘instantly’. One reason: The bad news doesn’t get better with age.

This is a great list of 10 ‘things to do.’

Fernando adds some comments about the cost of implementing the XP practices. To me, these costs seem too high and the benefits are delayed too much.  In my experience, at least.  But, he is right to say that the costs are significant. Still, the benefits are far more significant!

Hope these ideas help you, your Team, your Customers.  You can get a lot better (we all can).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

19 − seventeen =

There are 101 ways to do anything.
To find the best way, sometimes you need expert help

What People Say

“Kelly was engaged as a Program Director on a complex business and technology transformation program for Suncorp Commercial Insurance. Kelly drew on his key capabilities and depth of experience to bring together disparate parties in a harmonised way, ensuring the initiate and concept phases of the program were understood and well formulated. Excellent outcome in a very short time frame. ”


“Kelly and I worked together on a very large project trying to secure a new Insurer client. Kelly had fantastic commercial awareness as well as his technical expertise. Without him I would never had secured this client so I owe a lot to him. He is also a really great guy!”


“I worked with Kelly whilst at Thoughtworks and found him to be a most inspiring individual, his common-sense approach coupled with a deep understanding of Agile and business makes him an invaluable asset to any organisation. I can't recommend Kelly enough.”


“Kelly is an Agile heavy-weight. He came in to assess my multi-million $ Agile development program which wasn’t delivering the right throughput. He interviewed most of the team and made some key recommendations that, when implemented, showed immediate results. I couldn’t ask for more than that except he’s a really nice guy as well.”


“Kelly revolutionised the way our digital department operated. A true advocate of agile principles, he quickly improved internal communication within our teams and our internal clients by aligning our business and creating a much enhanced sense of transparency in the decisions the business was making. Kelly also introduced a higher sense of empowerment to the development teams...”


“Kelly’s a leading program director with the ability to take charge from day one and keep strong momentum at both a program and project level driving prioritisation, resourcing and budgeting agendas. Kelly operates with an easy-going style and possesses a strong facilitation skill set. From my 5 months experience working with Kelly, I would recommend Kelly to program manage large scale, complex, cross company change programs both from a business and IT perspective.”


“I worked with Kelly on many projects at IPC and I was always impressed with his approach to all of them, always ensuring the most commercially viable route was taken. He is great at managing relationships and it was always a pleasure working with him.”


“Kelly was a great colleague to work with - highly competent, trustworthy and generally a nice bloke.”


“Kelly was a brilliant CTO and a great support to me in the time we worked together. I owe Kelly a great deal in terms of direction and how to get things done under sometimes difficult circumstances. Thanks Kelly.”


“Kelly came to the department and has really made a huge impact on how the department communicates, collaborates and generally gets things done. We were already developing in an agile way, but Kelly has brought us even more into alignment with agile and scrum best practices, being eager to share information and willing to work with us to change our processes rather than dictate how things must be done. He is highly knowledgable about agile development (as his active blog proves) but his blog won't show what a friendly and knowledgeable guy he is. I highly recommend Kelly to anyone looking for a CTO or a seminar on agile/scrum practices - you won't be disappointed!”


“Kelly is an extremely talented and visionary leader. As such he manages to inspire all around him to achieve their best. He is passionate about agile and has a wealth of experience to bring to bear in this area. If you're 'lucky' he might even tell you all about his agile blog. Above all this, Kelly is great fun to work with. He is always relaxed and never gets stressed - and trust me, he had plenty of opportunity here! If you get the chance to work with Kelly, don't pass it up.”



To explore how we can help you, please get in touch