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Scrum is simple to understand but difficult to master(?)

According to the Scrum Guide, "Scrum is...Simple to understand, Difficult to master."


I have never agreed with this statement. Scrum is easy. I can explain it in 5 or 6 sentences. If you agree with the basic principles and design decisions, Scrum makes sense and is very easy to follow.

However, most organizations are not structured around these principles. Scrum therefore implies changes in how people work, and those changes are really hard for most organizations:
Deliver something of value at least once per month. Many developers and teams are not capable of doing this, and have to learn a lot of new skills. Their organizations are structured around not doing this. Changing this is hard.A team solves the whole problem (from idea to done). This implies feature-teams, but most organizations are organized as component teams, so this implies a reorganization. This is hard.One voice speaks for the customer. The means decision-making about the product is delegated into the team. …
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Lowest prices for Scrum Training

Why do you want to teach your team Scrum? From a company's perspective,  one answer dominates: better results, faster. I spent much of last year talking to my customers about this goal, why it is so hard to achieve, and how can I better help my customers achieve this goal.

Watch my Lightning Talk: 10 Things Your Management Needs to Know About Scrum and Agile
I have designed new services and new price options to better support you on your Agile voyage, including what I believe is the lowest published price for a 3 day Certified Scrum Master Training in Switzerland.

How can I help you to achieve these goals:
Get Stuff Done: Certified Scrum MasterGet the Right Stuff Done: Certified Scrum Product OwnerCreate Alignment: Personal Agility / Leadership AgilityCultivate the Agile Mindset: Achieving Performance through Agility You can get help and support from me and other practitioners through my online mentoring program: Achieving Performance Through Agility ("APA"): Group Mentor…

A concrete alternative to estimating story points in Scrum

Estimating is such a pain. I remember when I first read about Scrum and saw that the team was responsible for estimates, not the Scrum Master. I was sold!

But... estimates are controversial. Without estimates many stakeholders are unwilling to fund development efforts. The upside is that the process of discussing the stories in the team helps everyone understand what the feature is about. It's about the conversation, not the number. OTOH, estimates do not produce value for the user, so they are potential waste, and may be used to beat up the team if the estimates are not correct, which is even more counterproductive.

Story points are particularly controversial, because they are vague and fragile. Using real or hypothetical hours has other disadvantages. (What do I do when my customer only wants to pay the hypothetical hours, not reals ones?!)

I believe you can base estimates on something more concrete and measurable: Acceptance tests.

This satisfies the need to estimate larger pro…

How to become a Scrum Alliance Certified Scrum Trainer

What does it take to become a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST)? The bar is known to be very high. In this one hour webinar I held for the Discuss Agile group, I talk about the challenges of becoming a CST, tell my story, present the requirements for becoming a CST and discuss the challenges of finding a good mentor.

P.S. You can check out my CST Mentoring Program at https://saat-network.ch/cst

The 6 Powerful Questions of The Personal Agility System

The Personal Agility System is the simple framework I have been working on, to help people do more of what matters.

What really matters? That's a great question! Does the answer just roll off your tongue? For many people it doesn't. But if you don't know what matters, what difference does it make what you do? How can you be satisfied with your life and your impact on the people important to you?

At its heart, Personal Agility is a coaching framework to help you figure out and focus on the things that really matter to you. Personal Agility is based not on performing tasks but on asking yourself Powerful Questions.  A powerful question invites you to think and reflect. You know what is the right thing to do.

These core questions help you figure out and focus on what really matters. There are a total of six questions, five to ask yourself routinely and one to help you get unstuck:
What really matters? -- This provides context for answering the other questions.What did I get d…

10 Things to tell Management about Scrum and Agile

I was recently asked, "what does management need to know about Scrum?" Here is my answer, in 10 bullet points:
Market forces are driving shifts in how leadership leadsScrum is a simple, team-based, “Agile” framework for solving complex problemsYou can probably get twice the value in half the time through ScrumChanging for better performance seems obvious but requires a huge shift in your culture Only apply Scrum if you are prepared to make the necessary changes to get better performanceAgile is a mindset not a toolset, nor a religionThe transition to Agile is an investmentShared goals and the ability to agree on priorities are key success factorsStart with a concrete project and follow quickly with your leadership teamYou can do all the stuff you did before, like budgeting and scheduling, just differently (and probably better).
Edit: updated to reflect that Agile is neither a toolset nor a religion.

Agile is spreading, and management will be the last to know

A few months ago, I watch a stunning video about how bacteria overcome antibiotics. It's stunning how fast the adaptation can occur! I believe agility is transforming the world of work in a similar way. I believe top management is most resistant.

It is stunning how quickly bacteria overwhelm the antibiotics. In just 12 days, E. Coli bacteria can adapt to survive in an environment that has 1000x the concentration of antibiotics which would kill the bacteria at the beginning of the process. The bacteria adapt constantly - they are agile! Antibiotics adapt very slowly - in this case, not at all. So I guess that makes them waterfall if the agile counterpart is fast enough.
How bacteria overcome antibiotics
Jurgen Apello recently assembled a list of Agile Models, Methods and Movements. As I write this, there are 150 entries in the list. At least 25, and perhaps as many as 50 of them are not about software. There are methods for Product Innovation, Building Cars, Education and Schools,…