Imagine this scenario.

You are a developer sitting at your desk, at home, connecting to your regular Sprint Planning meeting on a Monday afternoon. Another Zoom meeting filling up your day.

People are joining a bit late after another slightly extended lunch.

You just want to get this over with.

You just want to get this meeting out of the way so that you can get back to building something again.

Why are you you in so many meetings these days anyway? What happened?

The Product Owner gets things started.

We’ve carried over a few stories again, so we re-estimate…

Over the last month or so, I’ve been considering whether the workflow dictated by my team’s Scrum board is indeed a mini-waterfall within the Scrum framework.

In this article we look at how you can simplify your workflow and unleash the power of sub-tasks to supercharge your team performance.

Current Situation

Here’s what my teams Scrum board currently looks like:

Time for Review

The purpose of Sprint Review is to get feedback on the Increment of functionality you’ve built each sprint. This feedback goes directly into the product backlog, ready for the start of your next sprint.

Sprint Review brings to life the 3 pillars of Scrum; Inspect (the Increment), Adapt (your plans) and Transparency (showing what worked and what didn’t).

In this article, I’ll show you how you can structure your Sprint Review to help achieve the feedback you need to succeed.

Key Facts

  • The second to last Scrum ritual, held at the end of a each Sprint
  • Time-boxed for a maximum of 4…

I’d like to introduce you to the purpose of Agile Batman. The reason I write, what you can expect to see in my future stories and how I can help you improve and be a better Scrum Master.

Agile Batman

This is not about training, it’s about everyday, real-life examples of what I experience as a Scrum Master. I don’t know what’s going to happen next — but I will take you on that journey with me.

I believe that there are people out there who could benefit from a helping hand, to improve their day to day working lives. …

If you’re completely new to using story points in Scrum, then this worked example of using story points, and team velocity in sprints should help you understand how they can be useful.

Recap: What are story points?

Before we get started, a quick refresher on what story points are:

story points are a measure of complexity, effort, and doubt (uncertainty/risk).

If you’re completely new to this, have a read of this first.

The task

Imagine you are part of a team of painters working for a fictional company called “Paint by Points Ltd”.

  • Some of you are good at choosing the correct paint to use
  • Some of…

Learn how to get started estimating with story points and why you shouldn’t use time-based estimates.

The word estimate written on a wall and underlined
The word estimate written on a wall and underlined

Getting Started

If you are just starting out with Scrum, you are probably used to estimating in units of time (hours, days, weeks, months, years etc…). This is fine to start with, but estimating using units of time comes with a few problems:

  1. Who is doing the estimation? Some people work faster than others, e.g. if they have more experience. If an inexperienced person and an experienced person both provide different estimates; who is right?
  2. Does your estimate account for ‘other’ pieces of work being done…

People working in a company with different roles
People working in a company with different roles

Are you bored of the same old work every day? Do the people you work with not seem to care anymore? Do you want to do something about it?

Well you can — you can start up a guild, and today I’ll show you the first steps.

It might completely fail, you need to be prepared for that. You also need to be prepared for the huge upside; the potential success it could have.

I’m going to share with you the sort of challenges I’ve come across, what’s working well and what’s not.

Together we’ll use guilds to build a…

A Scrum Team performing Sprint Planning

I have to admit, as a Scrum Master, I struggled with this for a while, so I’m hoping it helps other Scrum Masters and teams out there get started.

If you are just starting out in Scrum and are not sure how to start running this meeting at all, or would like to update the way you are running it based on the November 2020 Scrum guide updates, then take a look on how you can have an effective Sprint Planning session.

Key Facts

  • Time-boxed to 8 hours (for a month long sprint) — adapt to suit your Sprint length
  • It must…

A typewriter with a piece of paper that read “UPDATE”. Image by Pexels: Marcus Winkler
A typewriter with a piece of paper that read “UPDATE”. Image by Pexels: Marcus Winkler

It was Scrum’s 25th birthday on the 18th November 2020 and I managed to grab a spot on the Scrum Guide 2020 update webinar! We heard from speakers Jeff Sutherland, Ken Schwaber, J.J Sutherland, Dave West, Avi Schneier and Don McGreal. Here’s a brief overview of what’s changed.

1. Addition of the Product Goal

For me, the biggest change was the addition of the Product Goal. The Product Owner is accountable for making sure a Product Goal exists.

The Scrum guide has been updated to focus more on the why behind what we are doing; streamlining the communication channels between who is asking for something and…

Developers at a Daily Scrum

If you’re just starting out with Scrum, or you’ve been having Daily Scrum meetings for a while now and you just want to improve and see how other people do it, then read on… This article is for you!

We’ll look at “in-person” Daily Scrums and my experience with the more recent “remote” Daily Scrums.

Note — Some people also call this the Daily Standup (I used to be one of them), but in the Scrum guide it’s called the Daily Scrum, so I’m going with that from now on. That and the fact that a lot of us are…

Stephen Waring

I’m an energetic and enthusiastic Scrum master who loves music, cars, computers and helping other people succeed!

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store