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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How to Use the Daily Stand-up Meeting Effectively

How to Use the Daily Stand-up Meeting Effectively

Daily stand-up meetings play an important role in the success of Scrum process-based projects. Most of us know this, and we know how they "should" be conducted. Yet, time and again, I see these meetings go astray. Here I hope to review the problem...

PURIFF: Scoping the Sprint Tests

PURIFF: Scoping the Sprint Tests

In Scrum, each sprint produces an increment, which is a partial and potentially releasable product. To be releasable, the increment must meet all acceptance criteria and pass different categories of tests. Consequently, each sprint should consider all testing activities required for a releasable product. Unfortunately, during my work on different projects, I have observed that many teams focus only on a subset of testing activities during the sprint.

Testing in Scrum with a Waterfall Interaction

Testing in Scrum with a Waterfall Interaction

Sometimes, when testing user stories in Scrum, there's a final Waterfall interaction to deal with. The scenario I present here is based on this situation: a Scrum process with an interaction of sequential phases at the end of the process to (re)test the whole developed functionality. These sequential phases are mandatory for our organization, which follows a Waterfall process for the releases of the product. So, for the moment at least, we have to deal with this — and my experience is that we aren't alone.

Applying Agile in a Mixed-Feature Development and SLA-Bound Bug-Fixing Team

Applying Agile in a Mixed-Feature Development and SLA-Bound Bug-Fixing Team

Note: This article is based on a Scrum Alliance Google groups thread called "How to apply scrum in a mixed feature development and SLA-bou[n]d bug fixing team." I have compiled most of the solutions that were provided in the thread. Not all parts ...

The Self-Appraising Team

The Self-Appraising Team

However exhaustive and meticulous your current employee appraisal process is, chances are you aren't pleased with the outcome. The primary objective of a performance appraisal is performance improvement, starting with the individual and rolling up...

Seven Things I Wish I'd Known When I Started out as a ScrumMaster

Seven Things I Wish I'd Known When I Started out as a ScrumMaster

Typically, when an organization starts using Scrum, the person chosen to play the role of ScrumMaster comes from some sort of managerial background. The organization expects that the manager, the so-called "Master," will get the Scrum project deli...

PM 101: Dealing with Team and Customer

PM 101: Dealing with Team and Customer

Agile processes are gaining in popularity, which means many project managers are following them for the first time. Based on my own experience, I've developed a sort of primer for PMs starting out on Agile projects. The key points are as follows: ...

Empowerment: The Missing Ingredient for Scrum Teams

Empowerment: The Missing Ingredient for Scrum Teams

We all understand that Scrum teams should be self-managed and self-organized. Empowered is the commonly used term, because without empowerment it's difficult for self-management and self-organization to happen. I've worked with many teams that ar...

Bring the Customer Along

Bring the Customer Along

Recently I wrote an article with a rhetorical question for a title: “Are Customers Ready for Agile?” The idea stemmed from the fact that software development organizations have followed Waterfall methodology for so long that they h've ...

Maximizing the Value of Your Stand-up

Maximizing the Value of Your Stand-up

Over the last several years, I've been both a participant and a facilitator in many different stand-ups. As we know, the true value of the stand-up lies in the team's ability to continually strive toward the "commitment" for the current sprint cycle. The stand-up isn't a status report, yet often it becomes easy for team members to slip into a pattern of providing status-related information. I've used the time-honored stand-up approach for a while now, but I've often thought that a mature team could take these 15 minutes to a different level as it continues to evolve using Agile/Scrum.

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