42 Tasks for a Scrum Master’s Job

Questions like the following are coming up quite often when I do Scrum training or coaching:

Why should the Scrum Master and Project Manager roles be filled different people? (Quora)

Will a scrum master for a team of 10 be a full time position or can a programmer fill this position if highly trained in agile planning? (Quora)

Behind those questions is the assumption that the Scrum Master is not a full time role. The askers of those questions conjecture that you save money by merging two roles or by placing the duty of the two roles on a single person. Continue reading

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Kaizen and Kaikaku Regardless of Scrum and Kanban


Kanji character for change (part of both, Kaizen and Kaikaku)

Every now and then I hear the following being said when one compares Kanban and Scrum: Kanban is Kaizen, with continuous improvement and soft and smooth changes, and whereas Scrum is Kaikaku, with disruptiv improvement and hard and rough changes. I disagree, and I’d like to explain why. Continue reading

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3 Metrics for Reporting an Agile Pilot to Top Management

During the introduction of Scrum in an enterprise, e.g. via an Agile pilot, the question of how to report to the upper or top management comes up. I’d suggest to use these three metrics as a starting point:

  1. customer feedback
  2. release burnup
  3. happy index

Here are the details and the reasons for my choice: Continue reading

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How to Track the Team’s Mood with a Niko-niko Calendar


Example of a Niko-niko Calendar for Teams

You can track a lot of stuff in Agile projects, like lead time, velocity, bugs and so on. Tracking those metrics helps the team to identify problems early and without them it’s harder to improve.

The faster you can get those numbers, the faster you can analyse them, look ahead and steer the project in a better direction. This is all about tightening the feedback loop. The faster you get feedback, the faster you can react.

Feelings are the fastest feedback I know. Continue reading

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7 Steps to Build a Kanban Board for a Scrum Team’s Impediments


A Kanban board for impediments and actions

According to the Scrum Guide, “Daily Scrums … identify and remove impediments to development …“. They also advise that this is a service for the Development Team offered by the Scrum Master. Often an impediment backlog is used for this purpose. I’d advise the Scrum Master to use a Kanban board for handling the Development Team’s impediments. Continue reading

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Pecha Kucha “My Agile Suitcase” at Agile 2011

Last week at the Agile 2011 in Salt Lake City, Martin Heider and I hosted another session in the Pecha Kucha format. After WJAX 2009 and 2010 in Munich and XP Conference 2010 in Trondheim, this was the fourth event of that kind.

This session was half a workshop and half a session format in Pecha Kucha style. Martin and I alternated between those two formats: a Pecha Kucha (audience is in record mode), then a few minutes interaction (audience is in play mode), then again a Pecha Kucha, then interaction, and so on. 90 minutes can be very quick. Continue reading

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