Ask A4A: Long-running Stories

Hi Richard,

My Scrum team has been working on a particular service for over a year. It’s been 20+ Sprints. I’m concerned about the deliverables and the rate at which we deliver. I have just put together some material for my stakeholders. I am pasting those slides here for your review. Do you mind reviewing

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Making Info Visible for Better Decisions

A key part of the ScrumMaster’s or Product Owner’s job is making information visible.* Whether that’s a product backlog, taskboard, cumulative flow diagram, or a one-off visual for a specific need, good visuals lead to better decisions. Here are four principles for doing it

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Talking About Our Feelings—Potentially Awkward, Definitely Important

Last week, I described how to do the observation step of Focused Conversation without having to talk about all the details. At this point, many facilitators would naturally want to guide the group through interpreting the data. But the Focused Conversation method prescribes another step in between:

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Ask A4A: When the Observation Part of Focused Conversation Gets Boring

The Focused Conversation method asks us to start with observations before assigning labels – good, bad, effective, worthwhile, motivating, etc. In real-life facilitation, it can feel a little slow to start a retrospective with a simple “What happened this

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MMFs: What they are and why they matter

Suppose you have a headache. A bad headache. “I’ll take Tylenol to make it go away,” you think. So, you grab the Tylenol bottle and see that the directions indicate taking two pills. Would you take 20 pills in an attempt to make your headache go away 10 times faster?

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Getting Good at Story Splitting

As I’ve said before, working in thin vertical slices is the key habit in Agile software development. Many people struggle to find vertical slices, but it’s a remarkably learnable skill. Teams can go from struggling to fluently identifying slices for features and big stories in their domain with only about 2.5-3 hours of practice. Of

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Why Most People Split Workflows Wrong

Workflows are a very common element of software. But they can be hard to split well when you’re trying to work in small, vertical slices because the most obvious split turns out to be wrong. In this video from my 80/20 Product Ownership online course, I explain why the obvious approach is wrong and

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How We Use Agile at Home

Here’s a short video about how my family uses an Agile approach for homeschool and

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