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Esther Derby


President, Esther Derby Associates, Inc.

Location: Minneapolis, MN USA


Certified ScrumMaster



Esther Derby is well known for her work in helping teams grow to new levels of productivity. She helps teams and organizations make the transition to Scrum, and coaches technical people who are making the transition to management. Esther is recognized as one of the world's leaders in retrospectives, and is co-author (with Diana Larsen) of the book Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great (Pragmatic Bookshelf).

Articles I've written

Should a ScrumMaster Give Performance Appraisals?
It's sometimes difficult for managers who aren't on the Scrum team to figure out how to rate those who are. Some turn to the ScrumMaster for input. Others have the ScrumMaster do the appraisal in their stead. Is either of these solutions a workable one?

A Coaching Toolkit
As a coach, your job is not to solve or do—it’s to support other people as they develop skills and capabilities and as they solve problems on their own. When it comes to coaching, one size does not fit all. You need to have a variety o...

Are You Ready to Coach?
As a ScrumMaster, part of your job is to improve the productivity and engineering practices of the team in any way possible. One way to help the team improve is coaching. In this column, I’ll talk about one of the foundations of successful c...

Seven Ways to Revitalize Your Sprint Retrospectives
For some teams, retrospectives start to lose their punch after a few sprints have gone by. If your retrospectives feel a little stale, don't abandon them. Freshen them up instead. Seven things you can do to inject new energy.

Performance without Appraisal
In part one of a two-part follow-up to the highly debated, "Should a ScrumMaster Give Performance Appraisals," Esther Derby makes the case for eliminating performance reviews altogether.

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