Member Articles

Enjoy our extensive collection of member-contributed articles to learn how other Scrum practitioners use Scrum in the workplace.

Read about the experiences and ideas of Agile colleagues around the world, and share your own thoughts here. You can also visit Spotlight, which features blogs by experts in the fields of Scrum, Agile, and the broader business world.

Opinions represent that of the author and not necessarily of Scrum Alliance. The sharing of member-contributed content on this site does not imply endorsement of specific Scrum methods or practices beyond those taught by Scrum Alliance Certified Trainers and Coaches.

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An Argument for Comprehensive User Stories

An Argument for Comprehensive User Stories

As Scrum practitioners know, a user story is a high-level requirement of a feature, provided from the perspective of a stakeholder who desires the new capability. These requirements enable the development and testing team to think about a solution...

Yes, We're Doing Scrum

Yes, We're Doing Scrum

In July 2011, the Scrum Alliance website featured an article by Alan E. Cyment entitled "Compasses, Trees and Pains." It posed the question, "Am I doing Scrum or not?" Interestingly, one reader responded, '"Yeah, we're doing Scrum, but we have thr...

Back to Basics: Daily Scrum

Back to Basics: Daily Scrum

More than a decade ago I was programming as part of enterprise software teams, fairly well protected from everything not related to our planned deliverables. I had a lot of fun. But then I moved up to become an architect and team manager, and I g...

The Role of the Product Owner in Moving a Backlog Item to Done  (or, It's Not Over Until the Fat Lady Sings)

The Role of the Product Owner in Moving a Backlog Item to Done (or, It's Not Over Until the Fat Lady Sings)

Abstract: This article explores how to achieve the productivity benefits of an up-front enabling specification, given the reality that Scrum is an empirical framework in which emergent understanding of the story under development is inherent. I l...

The Value of a Business-Oriented Team

The Value of a Business-Oriented Team

More and more companies and organizations are enthusiastically adopting Agile, defining roles for each project, learning the practices, and entering the world of backlogs and burn-down charts.However, the theoretical simplicity of Scrum is often difficult to apply in real projects. Several organizational factors (assimilation of the methodology, resistance to change, organizational culture) can turn the trip into a nightmare. Luckily, there are ways to mitigate this problem.

Organizing a Scrum Conference When You're the Only Black Belt in Town

Organizing a Scrum Conference When You're the Only Black Belt in Town

For disclosure, I'll start by saying that even though I've practiced several martial arts, I've never achieved a black belt in any. However, I've trained in different Japanese martial arts with black belts who moved to my hometown for various reasons. They all wanted to continue practicing and teaching their martial arts; some of them found dojos to join while others needed to start from zero, attracting students and finding resources and a place to train.

"I Have No Impediments"

"I Have No Impediments"

"I have no impediments." It's the most common sign-off for every team member in the daily Scrum. It's also a lie. We've all been there. Standing in a little circle of people, listening to the carousel of "This is what I did yesterday, this is wh...

Running the Scrum-of-Scrums: Agile Program Management

Running the Scrum-of-Scrums: Agile Program Management

Scrum scales so that large, multidimensional projects that cross departments, teams, and traditional boundary lines can be managed using the same protocols and logic of a fundamental, small-team project. The key to this scalable element is the Scr...

Agile Performance Appraisals

Agile Performance Appraisals

We all do the crazy exercise of rating team members every year. And, looking back at a software development industry that's almost 50 years old, we know certain things for sure: Software is built by teams, not individuals. Moreoever, each individu...

Look Before You Leap

Look Before You Leap

Team members inexperienced in Agile often resist adopting this framework for a project. Maybe they've heard about some Agile practices, vaguely, and they've jumped to conclusions of their own. And the more strongly we insist on the practice, the more resistance we come up against.This generally happens when we try to introduce this (or any) practice without providing time for the team to understand the principles behind it. A project manager who is interested in Agile wants his next project to adopt Agile, just like that. The common approach is to...

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