Category Archives: Basic Scrum

10 things to drive your Product Owner crazy

Crazy
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It’s about time to nag the product owner, isn’t it. Fortunately, there are plenty ways to do this. To help you in your quest to do so I created a list of 10 proofed ways to drive your Product Owner crazy:

  1. Five minutes before the Sprint Review is the right time to tell your Product Owner that your team wasn’t able to finish anything. It is even more fun, if this was a planned release. Transparency is for milquetoasts.
  2. Don’t invite the Product Owner to any Scrum meeting. He is a chicken and you are the pigs, right.

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10 more things a Scrum Master can do to drive the team crazy

Aaahhh!Now that the team is armed with new weapons, it is time to help the Scrum Master to fight back. If you didn’t read my first post on this topic have a look at the 10 things a Scrum Master can do to drive the team crazy blog post I wrote two years ago. Here we go:

  1. Get you own office, if possible in a different city or even country. Working at the same location as your team could be harmful.
  2. Count the number of finished tasks per team member and confront those lazy buggers with the obvious low performance.

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Ready For Sprint?

Ready for Sprint?
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Have you ever been sitting in a sprint planning and heard the following sentences:

  • “Can we split this user story and at least start with the GUI?”
  • “I’m not sure if the hardware will be available on time to integrate this story but we could use an emulator instead.”
  • “There are no wire frames yet, but we could start with the back-end.”
  • “The acceptance criteria are still quite vague, but I think I know what the customer needs.”
  • etc.

Does some of these sentences sound familiar? I observed these conversations several times in the past. All of these quotes are based on the same problem: The user story is simply not ready for the next sprint.

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11 Hints to Improve Your Scrum Meetings

I saw a lot of Scrum meetings out there, that are not more than a skeleton. Everybody is attending but nobody is participating. To improve such situations I collected 11 hints to improve your Scrum Meetings.

Daily Scrum

1 – Walk the Board

Instead of answering the “three questions”, which leads in most teams to answering only the first two questions, walk the board. This means, use your Sprint Backlog to talk about what is currently in progress and what is planned for today. That way you’re concentrating on the really important things, instead of talking about the past.

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Watermelon Reporting

This is what Wikipedia writes about the watermelon:

The Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.), family Cucurbitaceae) can be both the fruit and the plant of a vine-like (scrambler and trailer) plant originally from southern Africa, and is one of the most common types of melon. […] The watermelon fruit, loosely considered a type of melon (although not in the genus Cucumis), has a smooth exterior rind (green, yellow and sometimes white) and a juicy, sweet interior flesh (usually pink, but sometimes orange, yellow, red and sometimes green if not ripe).

Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.), family Cucurbitaceae) can be both the fruit and the plant of a vine-like (scrambler and trailer) plant originally from southern Africa, and is one of the most common types of melon. This flowering plant produces a special type of fruit known by botanists as a pepo, a berry which has a thick rind (exocarp) and fleshy center (mesocarp and endocarp); pepos are derived from an inferior ovary, and are characteristic of the Cucurbitaceae. The watermelon fruit, loosely considered a type of melon (although not in the genus Cucumis), has a smooth exterior rind (green, yellow and sometimes white) and a juicy, sweet interior flesh (usually pink, but sometimes orange, yellow, red and sometimes green if not ripe).

For my metaphor, I’ll use the one with red flesh but orange and yellow would work too. I think most of us experienced the phenomenon when the project status is red but is getting greener and greener when climbing the management ladder. The project’s core is red but for the management it has a nice green paring, so it looks like a watermelon. This is why I call this phenomenon Watermelon Reporting. But why are we creating such reports and how can we avoid it?

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