7 elements of a good article

Publishing a good article isn’t hard. It just takes a little time and the ability to follow a few simple guidelines:

  1. Tell your story.
  2. Stick to what you know.
  3. Find a theme that resonates.
  4. Communicate in a comfortable medium.
  5. Use a language that enables full expression.
  6. Keep it short.
  7. Keep it simple.

Tell your story

We don't need a comprehensive tome. Our readers know about Scrum and have at least a rudimentary knowledge of most Agile terms, so it's not necessary to reeducate them. What they want to hear is your story, because in your story they might recognize themselves.

Stick to what you know

You don't need to be an expert to write an article, and you shouldn't act like an expert if you're not one. But there's still plenty that you know:
  • You have experience and knowledge in Scrum or other Agile methods.
  • You've seen a few things in your day. 
  • You've run into obstacles you've had to overcome. 
  • You've had setbacks that nearly toppled your efforts. 
  • You've learned some tricks that can help projects or teams run more smoothly. 
Share your experience with our readers.

Find a theme

Most good experiential stories are built around one of these themes:
  • How I did this so that we could do that
  • The top N things I wish I'd known when doing this
  • Advice for the Agile novice from those of us who've been there
  • Our approach to Agile principles
  • How we combined Scrum and something else
  • How we made Scrum work in unusual or difficult circumstances
  • My favorite Agile trick/tip
  • A day in the life of my team
Pick a theme that gives you a familiar structure you can use to tell your story.

Communicate in a comfortable medium

Your stories can be written, videotaped, or take the form of a narrated slide show. Use the medium that best fits your style, but keep it casual. Our readers want to hear from someone just like them.

Use a language that enables full expression

If English is not your first language, consider writing the story in your native tongue. You'll reach a smaller audience, but your article will be just as valuable.

Keep it short

In a world where tweets and blogs rule the day, you'll want to make sure your articles are concise. Keep written essays under 1,200 words and videos to 5 minutes or less. If your story is longer than that, consider dividing it into two separate submissions.

Keep it simple

Short paragraphs. A variety of sentence lengths. Bullet lists. Scannable headings. Simplified language. Make digesting your article easy on your readers and they'll reward you by making it all the way through, and maybe even sharing it with a friend.