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Vlog 57: Start with Scrum: As simple as possible, but not simpler

How do you deploy Scrum? Can you already change it for your organization before using it, or do you use it by the book and learn from there? Personally, I am not a Scrum purist. On the other hand, I also think that you cannot deploy Scrum partly. Customizing Scrum before you have learned how it works, doesn’t work either. In this Video, I sit with Eelco Rustenburg, my fellow-author of our book: The Power of Scrum. Eelco puts it nicely: start simple, but not any simpler. Take a product, project, programme or portfolio that matches with the size of your organization and start with Scrum as it is supposed to be. Discover if it brings you anything, and helps you out in becoming more predictable, faster or more flexible. Learn how it works for you, and where it makes sense to customize to your context and where it is not possible to customize. Start small and take it from there. Basics, basics, basics.


Vlog 56: Always do offshoring Agile!

For my lecture series in Delft, I always invite industrial guest speakers to share with my students how they do distributed development (offshoring) in practice. I find it remarkable that almost every speakers starts to talk (more…)

Vlog 54: Adding distance to software engineering

What happens when you add distance to software engineering? What happens when you start developing your software on the other end of the globe? What happens when you start to offshore your software development?

Well, according to Carmel and Agarwal, this has an impact on 3 dimensions: (more…)

Vlog 53: What is the impact of distance on individuals and interactions?

During the first Prowareness Agile+ Market, I was asked to give a lecture on Agile Offshoring. I asked Frans to join me and to tape the lecture. While editing, he split the lecture in a series of chapters. In this Vlog, the first chapter of the talk is included, addressing how distance impacts interactions and refers to the Thomas Allen curve, who already many years ago showed that distances over 50 meters already have a dramatic impact, even to the extend that it does not really matter whether people are 50 meters apart, 50 kilometers or 5.000 kilometers.

The discussion Frans and I have regarding how we are going to make the Vlogs is also inlcuded. I don’t know whether that is a good idea. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the Vlog!!

Working while playing – Videoblog with Eelco Rustenburg

In this videoblog I sit with Eelco Rustenburg, my co-author of our book The Power of Scrum. Eelco is experimenting in practice with playfulness in the workforce. Trying to organize work in such a way that it becomes playing. Because, as he explains, his little son has taught him that when you play, you are focused, stress free, creative, full of energy…. Wouldn’t that be perfect when we work? After all, if work is playing and playing is fun, than work is fun!

How to improve your Daily Scrum meeting?

During the Daily Scrum, a time-boxed meeting of 15 minutes max, a Scrum team aligns their work by sharing status, signaling impediments and re-planning towards Sprint success. Most Scrum teams keep this meeting while standing; ensuring focus, energy and speed. This is why many teams also call the Daily Scrum, the Daily stand-up meeting, or just shortly: the stand-up. For software development teams that start with Scrum, the Daily Scrum is one of the most disrupting changes in their routines, and sometimes teams resist doing the Daily Scrum. This is not wise. The Daily Scrum is an important meeting for a self-steering Scrum team. The meeting ensures that things are running towards success and that deviations are addressed.

The 3 most common mistakes we encounter in practice are: (more…)

Payment inequality and unhappiness

Yesterday I was pointed (by @MartinVanGogh) to a short movie on YouTube about how US citizens, wish and think that wealth is distributed in their country. This was also compared to the actual situation.

When watching the movie, I couldn’t help thinking back to the conversation I had with Steve Denning, which was about the extend in which the bandwith in compansation impacts (un)happiness of people.

Both videos are included (more…)

How to improve Scrum Backlog Refinement?

Backlog refinement is important. During backlog refinement (usually done parallel to a sprint) a Scrum team ensures that work for the next sprints is prepared. As such it prevents that teams commit to work that they do not yet understand. Therefore, the team sits with the Product Owner and stakeholders in backlog refinement workshops. There they discuss the backlog in the near and further future and split the work in smaller portions. This ensures a continuous flow of valuable work that is sufficiently detailed and feasible.


The 3 most common mistakes we encounter in practice are: (more…)

A view into the future – using Scrum as teaching tool in high school (and prior?)

A few weeks ago I visited the Ashram College (high school) in Alphen a/d Rijn in The Netherlands. A friend pointed out that they have a teacher there, who is using Scrum with high school students. They call it eduScrum, but what’s in a name. The results are astonishing: student teams that are focused and motivated and that score a full point higher in their exams!

So, on a dreary Wednesday morning I take my car and drive to Alphen aan den Rijn, to visit this high school. I live in Zoetermeer, so it’s practically around the corner. When entering the school, I get the feeling I am making a journey in time. First I feel like going back in time, because all those swarming “children” (oops: young adults) remind me of my time in high school…. That’s long ago…. I’m getting old.

Secondly, I am seeing the future. They are really on to something here!!

Willy Wijnands is a lecturer in engineering, physics and chemistry and uses Scrum in all his classes. Willy has made a fundamental shift in teaching. Namely: he as a teacher is no longer (more…)