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.

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Blogging in Barcelona!

Blogging in Barcelona!

Couldn't make it to Scrum Gathering Barcelona 2012? Read about what CSM Elinor Buxton Slomba has to say about attending our sold-out event.

Product Backlog Ordering (Not Prioritization)

Product Backlog Ordering (Not Prioritization)

Traditionally, most systems used to track defects and work items on a development or maintenance program include the concept of priority. James O. Coplien addresses the topic of priority in his 2011 article "It's Ordered — Not Prioritized!"I agree with Mr. Coplien that the product backlog should be ordered, not prioritized — and here I present slightly different reasoning to support the same conclusion.

Technical Debt for PMs

Technical Debt for PMs

Technical debt describes the cumulative consequences of cutting corners in software development, but it escapes the attention of many project managers as they focus on scope and schedule. That’s a mistake because it impacts both. Here are questions to help you ascertain the real state of technical affairs.

The Scrum Team Scorecard

The Scrum Team Scorecard

Transitioning toward Scrum practices isn't easy for every team. I've used a visual image that I call the Scrum team scorecard to help. It's a one-page "snapshot" of the level of transformation of a project team into a Scrum team. An independent o...

What Agile Is — And What It Isn’t

What Agile Is — And What It Isn’t

There’s going to be a lot more talk about Agile now that the Project Management Institute has introduced a new certification program for Agile Project Practitioners. Let’s clear up some initial confusion and look at what Agile is and is not, and why you should care.

Why Are We Doing Agile?

Why Are We Doing Agile?

Organizations and teams must come to understand why they need agile before choosing a methodology or tool to implement it. A mandate alone will not work. It is the overarching goals, values and principles of Agile that must ultimately guide teams in the adoption and adaptation of its practices.

Total Quality and Scrum

Total Quality and Scrum

In the software industry, professionals hold different views on processes. Some say processes are bureaucratic and rigid, making their lives difficult. "Why in the world does a simple software installation have to go through X number of approvals when I have such an urgent task at hand?" Others (mostly members of organizational process groups) relentlessly endorse standardized processes and talk about how the organization could be benefited by the data collected from following those processes. Project teams, though, are often unconvinced, since what the data says and what the customer says can differ.

The Big Lever

The Big Lever

Projects, projects, projects! You know you don't like them, but do you know why? Is there a better approach? In this article, I'll outline why we've chosen to be project oriented in the past and why pulling "the Big Lever" toward release orientation is so important in making the move toward Agile solution delivery a real success.

Working with Component Teams: How to Navigate the Complexity

Working with Component Teams: How to Navigate the Complexity

Scrum and other Agile methodologies rely heavily on a set team structure to succeed. In Scrum, you have a team, a ScrumMaster, and a product owner. These teams work on features that are iteratively developed. As explained by Mike Cohn, the teams are commonly called "feature teams." However, quite frequently...

Searching for Wings

Searching for Wings

When I set out to practice and preach Agile methods, the world looked rosy to me. A team built on qualities that are human made much more sense than a team kept together by command and control. A team where everybody valued each other's individuality and uniqueness yet functioned toward one goal in an orderly manner seemed possible.But at the runway, I realized I didn't have any wings. Why? Because stakeholders were yet to come out of the comfort zone of spreadsheets, where command and control made a lot of sense.

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