Mitch Lacey's Scrum and Agile Blog
Experience success in managing Scrum and Agile projects with my blog, featuring informative content, actionable advice, and practical tips. Boost your team’s performance with expert guidance and proven strategies.
Take the first step towards achieving your project goals by implementing effective Scrum practices and agile frameworks.
Scrum vs Agile: Which is Right for Your Project?
Feb 28, 2024
Agile is a vast umbrella that encompasses various frameworks including Scrum, Kanban, Lean, and Extreme Programming (XP), each with its own unique qualities and benefits. These approaches all align with the values and principles of Agile but provide specific processes and tactics to guide teams to the Agile mindset.
Effective Sprint Backlog Management
Feb 25, 2024
The Sprint Backlog is a Scrum artifact, or a tool, at the heart of a Sprint. It is an artifact that when mismanaged or ignored, often leads to Scrum teams to be in a whirlwind of disorganization. What is this artifact that holds such importance? Let’s dive into Sprint Backlog, understanding its core definition, its ownership, and who is responsible for its management.
The Agile Paradox: Estimation, Commitment, and Sustainable Pace
Feb 20, 2024
Agile and Scrum have transformed project management in the tech industry and beyond. With their emphasis on collaboration, iterative development, and adaptability, these approaches have revolutionized how teams work together to deliver high-quality products. For agile practitioners, from Scrum team members to senior leadership, understanding the difference between estimating and committing is pivotal. Let’s explore not just the conceptual differences of the two, but how forecasting work versus committing to work blindly can influence the dynamics of an agile team.
The Art of Product Ownership: Navigating the Agile Seas
Feb 10, 2024
As the sun rises over the digital landscape, Product Owners find themselves at the helm of a dynamic ship—their vessel, the product, charting a course through ever-changing waters. In this voyage, they encounter storms of stakeholder expectations, whirlpools of conflicting priorities, and the siren call of rapid release cycles. Fear not, fellow navigators! Let us unfurl the sails and explore the art of Product Ownership.
How to Improve Technical Interviewing Skills - Things You’re Likely Doing Wrong and How To Fix Them.
Jan 26, 2024
Are you good at technical interviewing? If not, you are not alone. Due to the long and incomplete feedback loop for interviewers, many people in the industry are following bad practices without realizing it. However, there is a way to break this cycle and improve your skills.
Harnessing the Power of Accountability: How Having a Product Owner at Your Daily Scrum Can Lead to Better Results
Jan 11, 2023
Having a Product Owner participate at Daily Scrum meetings can be an invaluable tool for ensuring Scrum team accountability. However, there are also some drawbacks associated which must be taken into consideration before deciding whether or not it’s worth it. In this article we will explore how having a Product Owner attend Daily Scrums can provide benefits as well as examine any potential drawbacks associated with their presence.
Top Five Tips for Successful Agile/Scrum Transformation, and How I Learned Them
Jan 20, 2021
What’s the easiest way to screw up a Scrum or agile adoption at a company? Simple. Tell people “we’re agile”, give them a one-hour overview of how things work, and then let them loose. This post discussed my first agile project, and the five steps I’ve implemented at multiple companies to ensure a successful Scrum transformation.
Kano Model of Customer Satisfaction
Jul 14, 2020
The Kano Model of Customer Satisfaction is a questionnaire-based approach and is a powerful way of visualizing product characteristics and stimulating debate between the delivery team and stakeholders.
Adding a 4th Question to your Daily Scrum to Identify Risks
Jul 13, 2020
The fourth question in Scrum is used for helping identify early risks in new teams that may not surface through more traditional approaches.
Buy a Feature to Figure Out what Customers Really Want!
Jul 1, 2020
Which feature will entice customers to purchase your product? Which feature will cause customers to upgrade? Which feature will make customers so happy that they’ll ignore or tolerate the features that they wish you would fix or remove?
Prune the Product Tree to Build a Strong Product Backlog
Jun 1, 2020
Gardeners prune trees to control their growth. Sometimes the pruning is artistic, and we end up with shrubs shaped like animals or interesting abstract shapes. Much of the time the pruning is designed to build a balanced tree that yields high quality fruit. The process isn’t about “cutting” – it is about “shaping.” Use this metaphor to help create the product your customers desire.
Using Relative Weighting to Determine Product Backlog Priority
May 15, 2020
An excellent method for prioritization is Relative Weighting, which Karl Weigers introduced in 1999. This method not only provides a mechanism for prioritizing requirements based on user input and feedback but also includes the expert judgment of the team. Like other prioritization techniques, Relative Weighting allows the Product Owner to better gauge which features to implement and in what priority order.
4 Secrets to a Successful Daily Scrum
Dec 3, 2019
One of the most essential Scrum meetings is the daily scrum, also known as the daily standup. It is intended as a quick meeting to synchronize the efforts of the team members to ensure that every team member is aware of how the team as a whole is tracking towards its sprint goal. This post discusses 4 ways you can ensure that your daily scrums are productive.
A Day in the Life of a ScrumMaster
Feb 1, 2019
The job of ScrumMaster is real. It can have a big impact on costs saving the company money. But what does a ScrumMaster do all day to justify a full-time role? The following list encompasses most, but not all, of the day-to-day tasks.
Make Your Remote Daily Scrums More Productive
Mar 6, 2016
I recently wrote about 4 secrets to a successfully daily scrum, which covered the basics for ensuring a productive daily scrum meeting. However, what do you do if your team is distributed?
Managing Bugs in Scrum and Agile Projects
Jan 2, 2016
As I was revising and writing new content for The Scrum Field Guide, 2nd edition, I emailed my friend Bill Hanlon at Microsoft to get his feedback on my existing chapter on bugs. Bill and I worked together years ago and I often value Bill’s opinion more than I value my own. The guy constantly innovates on things that others would say are good enough. Things are never good enough for Bill, and he’s constantly experimenting and trying new things.
The Scrum Field Guide, 2nd Edition Sample Chapter
Jan 1, 2016
We’ve all heard the common myth, Agile means no documentation. While other agile fallacies exist, this is a big one, and it could not be farther from the truth. Good agile teams are disciplined about their documentation but are also deliberate about how much they do and when.
How to do Effective Sprint Planning for a Scrum Team
Feb 5, 2015
Sprint planning does not need to be challenging. It is often fun and a time for the entire Scrum team to build camaraderie by working together to answer the question of “What can we commit to?” Here I provide examples and strategies for keeping sprint planning focused and effective, and detail potential solutions to common problems teams encounter when planning a sprint.
Five Things I Wish I Knew When Adopting Scrum
Sep 3, 2014
As I coach more and more teams, people keep saying what they wish they had when they started their agile adoption. Not surprising, there is a pattern here. I looked back at my notes from almost 10 years ago when I first adopted Scrum and XP and, oddly enough, many of the things I hear today are on my list from years ago. Lets dive in.
Why Rework in Agile Projects is Key to Success
Feb 13, 2014
How to integrate rework into your everyday life while building software and why it’s key to success.