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Fred Deichler: Learning to communicate uncertainty in Agile planning and in SAFe

Fred joined an organization that had adopted a modified SAFe model. His job was to help the teams do joint planning with the PI (Program Increment) planning event approach from SAFe. He had been asked to help the teams because of them taking too much work into an increment. The first step Fred and the teams took was to spend a bit more time understanding and planning each increment (from 2 days to 1 week of planning time). However, this extra time did not help with the planning accuracy. Even if they planned for longer, the result was still that the teams failed to deliver what they had planned.

That’s when the challenge came from a Senior VP who asked them “how can we do things differently?”

Over the next PI, the teams and Fred came up with a different approach to help visualize and understand the impact of uncertainty over time, and its impact on the results of the PI. Listen in to learn about how to define and communicate planning uncertainty!

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 Fred Deichler

Always leaning on the Scrum values and Agile principles (even before he knew about them), Fred has guided numerous teams through their Agile Journeys over his 20-year career in Technology leadership. Driven by a passion for continual improvement and finding a balance between people, process, and tools. And Fred knows his own journey is just as important.

You can link with Fred Deichler on LinkedIn.

Jill Stott: Learning to work with dominant people in Scrum teams

Jill was working in a team where all the team members knew each other well, it was almost like a group of friends. However, this team was not perfect. They struggled to complete even a third of all the stories they took into the Sprint. When looking back, she can recognize the pattern of the dominant/opinionated developer who wanted to take a lot into every sprint. This left the Product Owner and Business Analyst for that team frustrated, because the unpredictability had already become a problem. Listen in to learn how that team was able to move away from the “take as much as you want” mentality into the sprint.

Featured Book of the Week: Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins

In Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins, Jill found an essential guide to her work as a Scrum Master. It was the book that helped her understand the different responsibilities of a Scrum Master, the difference between Agile Coaching and the Scrum Master role. It’s a book she still refers to even now.

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches – Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experience: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome!

About Jill Stott

Jill Stott is here to make friends! She’s worked in IT for too many years to count. She is passionate about assisting ScrumMasters to be successful and happy in their roles. Jill knows that there is no such thing as a perfect chocolate chip cookie and she isn’t afraid to use puppets.

You can link with Jill Stott on LinkedIn.

Catherine Kraus: What leads Scrum teams to be unpredictable, and unreliable!

The team had a lot of unfinished work, and sprint-to-sprint spillovers. It started to feel that the management of the work was out of control. As Catherine investigated, she found that a lot of work was being added to the Sprint after planning. All of these new items diverted the team’s focus, and they were no longer predictable, or able to finish some of the critical user stories planned. In this episode, we explore what were the reasons the team got to that point, as well as what Catherine learned that helps, still today, avoid falling into the same trap.

About Catherine Kraus

As a Scrum Master & Team Coach, Catherine Kraus inspires and galvanizes others into action with her playful and pragmatic approach. She works with organizations to build happier, healthier teams with purpose. She has over 15 years experience leading various transformation and change management projects in IT, Finance, HR & Marketing.

You can link with Catherine Kraus on LinkedIn.

BONUS: The art, and science of making prediction with #NoEstimates. With Dan Vacanti and Marcus Hammarberg

We explore a real-life project that Marcus was part of, and how the #NoEstimates methods he used helped him make predictions, even if did not estimate the work to be done.

This conversation started from an article that Marcus had posted earlier on social media. In that article Marcus explained how he had used data, as opposed to estimates to make a prediction of when the project would be finished. This approach still creates a lot of controversy on twitter, even if it has been (at the time of recording) 10+ years since the original discussion around estimates started by Woody Zuill and Vasco Duarte on twitter under the tags of #NoEstimates and #Estwaste respectively. 

As Marcus quickly found out in this project, the rate of progress could not have been predicted easily at the start (if at all). When he first started the project, the progress was swift, but at one point he faced a problem he could not solve for several days. This phenomenon is not new for any programmers in the audience, and is quite common. Also, one of the reasons why using methods like #NoEstimates (as explained in the #NoEstimates book, and in Marcus’ blog post), can help uncover information that estimation would not. 

Dealing with surprises: the information you need to share with stakeholders

Continue reading BONUS: The art, and science of making prediction with #NoEstimates. With Dan Vacanti and Marcus Hammarberg

BONUS: Enabling accountability with NoEstimates in government, with Craeg Strong

In this episode, we explore the use of NoEstimates approaches in a regulated and governmental environment. 

When Craeg and his team was called in to the Social Security administration, they were asked to help the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) assess the use of software development methods in an environment where the teams were adopting Agile methodologies, but the overall governance still followed the old school, linear (aka waterfall) methodologies. 

When the OIG is involved, it usually means that the organization being audited needs to prove that they are taking good care of public money invested in their processes. Therefore the challenge was to ensure that the teams were both following the Agile practices they said they had adopted, as well as taking the necessary actions to ensure proper use of public funds. 

Using NoEstimates to increase accountability

Continue reading BONUS: Enabling accountability with NoEstimates in government, with Craeg Strong

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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
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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
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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
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Internal Conference
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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