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Gregory Miller: Prioritization as a Catalyst, How Prioritization Revolutionized Agile in A Scrum Team

In this episode, Greg recounts his involvement in a change process as a Business Analyst (BA). Hired for his Agile expertise, he was assigned to the manufacturing engineering section of the company, which already embraced Lean and Kaizen principles. However, in the software side, there was a lack of backlog and prioritization. Greg took initiative by introducing a clear prioritization method, emphasizing the need for a dedicated Product Owner (PO), and establishing regular meetings with managers to prioritize their work. Through his efforts, a force-ranked list of stories was created, allowing for efficient and streamlined prioritization.

Greg shares valuable tips based on his experience, including the importance of defining a simple prioritization method, fostering a collaborative mindset among managers, and ensuring stakeholder buy-in. He also highlights the significance of checking one’s ego at the door and focusing on what is best for the company’s success. Overall, this episode demonstrates the transformative impact of implementing prioritization and backlog management in an organization, even when Agile principles are already embraced in certain areas. Greg’s proactive approach and insights provide valuable guidance for achieving efficient and effective change processes.

Want to Improve Your Change Management Results? Discover the Lean Change Management Approach Today!

As Scrum Master we work with change continuously! Do you have your own change framework that provides the guidance, and queues you need when working with change? The Lean Change Management framework is a fully defined, lean-startup inspired change framework that can be used as the backbone of any change process! You can buy Lean Change Management the book at Amazon. Also available in French, Spanish, German and Portuguese.

About Gregory (Greg) Miller

Greg is an Agilist and Coach who has been working in Agile software development for more than 10 years. He hosts The Agile Within podcast with Mark Metze (a previous guest), which promotes agile behaviors and mindset. He lives in Ohio with his wife and four children, two of which are twins.

You can link with Gregory (Greg) Miller on LinkedIn and connect with Gregory (Greg) Miller on Twitter.

Jurgen Appelo: Disruptive change, gradual change, and what scaling frameworks are missing

This week Jurgen is with us to talk about his latest project: unFIX.work. Jurgen starts this episode by sharing a little known fact about his name, and his personality. We then discuss the role of “change” in Agile adoption. We discuss different types of change (Kaizen, Kaikaku) and why scaling frameworks should take into account both types. 

In this episode, we talk about Fitness Landscape, Holacracy, Systems Thinking and refer to the book The Systems Bible: The Beginner’s Guide to Systems Large and Small by John Gall.

About Jurgen Appelo

Jurgen Appelo is an entrepreneur, an author, and keynote speaker who applies Agile to his life and his businesses. He’s also prolific writer on all topics business and agile. He wrote Management 3.0, How to Change the World, Managing for Happiness and his latest book about entrepreneurship and product development: Startup, Scale up, Screw up.

You can link with Jurgen Appelo on LinkedIn and connect with Jurgen Appelo on Twitter.

BONUS: Diana Getman – How checklists make Agile teams faster and deliver with high quality, without adding more processes

In this episode, we explore the role that checklists can have in helping teams improve their process and their performance without adding more processes. 

It is a normal tendency to “add more processes” to fix a problem a team is experiencing. In this episode, we challenge that view. Checklists, we argue, are a simple, effective tool that helps you reach a similar goal, but does not require the process to grow, and become bloated. 

2 Common types of checklists that help teams improve how they work

There are several types of items we can add to a checklist. In this segment, we discuss 2 common types of checklists, and how they can help teams. We start by discussing the “process checklists”, which may include important tips on how to execute a certain process. 

The key thing to remember is that checklists don’t replace processes, but are rather a set of reminders, or items that help teams execute a process once they’ve already read and understood the process. 

The second type of checklists we discuss are those that summarize a series of requirements or pre-conditions that a team needs to follow-up on. This may include quality requirements or certain tasks that need to be completed before a certain work item is considered complete. 

The most common checklists Scrum teams use

Scrum teams have a common set of checklists that they use. We discuss the commonly used Definition of Done, and also talk about the importance of having a Definition of Ready, and how that may help teams get started on the right foot when a new Sprint is about to kick-off.

Additionally, we talk about a pre-release checklist. With a pre-release checklist, teams are able to keep a memory of what they’ve learned from the past about meeting the release requirements, and can continuously improve that critical aspect of any team’s process.

In this segment, we also tackle the usual objections that people given when asked to consider the use of checklists. Checklists may be seen as “more bureaucracy”, but instead, they are there to help teams summarize a process that already exists, provides transparency about the process execution, and ultimately it should be a time saver for the team.

How about you? How have you used Checklists in your work? Share your experience in the comments below.

About Diana Getman

Diana Getman has more than 25 years of experience as a project manager leading cross-functional teams, in both startup and non-profit organizations. Diana has held the roles of Scrum Master, Product Owner, and Agile Coach and is the current President at Ascendle, a custom software development firm in Portsmouth, NH.

You can link with Diana Getman on LinkedIn, or visit Ascendle’s blog for more on checklists.

Anton Zotin on the way to introduce new methods to teams

We can sometimes overwhelm the teams we work with by introducing too many methods. Anton explains how he likes to introduce methods to the team, by running experiments with the team to see if the method fits the team, and solves the problem they want to tackle. He also gives a critical advice on one of the most common anti-patterns for Scrum Masters: wanting to help too much.

About Anton Zotin

Anton is an Agile guy born in cold Siberia but with hot and passionate heart. He has worked in all sorts of companies and environments, and has been an agile fan since 2004. Nowadays works and lives in Berlin. And he deeply believes in people.
You can connect with Anton Zotin on LinkedIn, or find Anton Zotin on twitter. You can also ask him questions over email.

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Down-to-earth, hard-earned Scrum Masters lessons and the Tips from the Trenches e-book table of contents, delivered by email
Enter e-mail to download a clickable PO Cheat Sheet
This handy Coach Your PO cheat-sheet includes questions to help you define the problem, and links to handy, easy techniques to help you coach your Product Owner
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This handy Coach Your PO cheat-sheet includes questions to help you define the problem, and links to handy, easy techniques to help you coach your Product Owner
Enter e-mail to download a checklist to help your PO manage their time
This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
Enter e-mail to download a checklist to help your PO manage their time
This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
Internal Conference
Checklist
Internal Conference
Checklist
Download a detailed How-To to help measure success for your team
Motivate your team with the right metrics, and the right way to visualize and track them. Marcus presents a detailed How-To document based on his experience at The Bungsu Hospital
Download a detailed How-To to help measure success for your team
Read about Visualization and TRANSFORM The way your team works
A moving story of how work at the Bungsu Hospital was transformed by a simple tool that you can use to help your team.
Read about Visualization and TRANSFORM The way your team works
A Quick & Practical Guide to Agile Projects for BI
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