Scrum Master

Scrum Master as Scrum Maester, a game of thrones

The Scrum Guide update video with Ken Schwaber, Jeff Sutherland, and David West made a case that I know some things. Though I am not-quite-ready to say that “I know nothing”, I acknowledge the danger across Scrum that pulls good people and good intention into a game of thrones. When I ponder Agile transformation all around me, I found Scrum has a clear point to revisit: the Scrum Master role. The Scrum Master role is an unfortunate political challenge to adopters and court jesters alike who question what is a Scrum Master master of? Likely, the thinking is that a Scrum Master knows nothing. The Scrum Master is a servant-leader for the Scrum Team. The Scrum Master helps those outside the Scrum Team understand which of their interactions with the Scrum Team are helpful and which aren’t. The Scrum Master helps everyone change these …

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Stand up to daily scrum

Successful Agile development is principles over practice. Many an Agile Coach, Scrum Master, and Agile roles assure people the difference between doing Agile with being Agile. The Scrum Team’s Daily Stand Up is a practice that many adopt, try to do, but ultimately fail to understand the principle being Agile in a daily Scrum. The most widely practiced Agile method, is Scrum. As both the focus on incremental delivery, Agile software development using Scrum methods highlights team success dynamics. Across Agile and Scrum the key: everyday calibrate, shift, plan, and validate. In the spirit of feedback and transparency Scrum co-creators Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber revised the Scrum Guide and took the opportunity to introduce many of their thoughts on the state of Scrum in an excellent video, moderated by David West. In this Scrum refresh I have a few items that …

User Story Mapping, book, Agile, design

User Story Mapping by the book

All design, whether PowerPoint deck, website, software, product, operating model, or Thanksgiving dinner, is an effort to deliver experience. Experience can range from bad to good to exceptional and where you land along that range depends on how well the designer understands their audience need. When design fails end-user need: We waste time, We waste effort, Frustration builds, and Trust is lost A User Story creates better understanding. Before development starts, a user-story and a user story map provides design a view of user journey to solution. User Story Mapping, as a software development tool, aims to focus design teams on users and user needs. But you say “I am not a software designer?” and I say, “everything we do is design, read on friend”. Any effort to improve design is a wise investment for: Trainers, Organization development, Communications, Marketing, and Beyond In short, this is …

Agile example, Scrum design, Toby Elwin, Lord Business

An Agile example of Scrum by design

From startups to corporate leviathans the business directive is be more Agile. The most often employed project method is a Scrum design, an Agile framework for projects. Without Agile management adoption the executive call to “be more Agile” really means: Get faster results, in less time, with less resources. Forbes touts Agile, The World’s Most Popular Innovation Engine, Agile expectation does not align to Agile implementation and adoption. In practice Agile is more a fragile mismanagement mindset of misplaced expectation that others do Agile while management retains control. Scrum is the most popular Agile adoption of a lean mind. Scrum, itself, unfortunately, becomes a confusion multiplier for organizations looking to adopt an Agile organization or team design, without shared understanding of Agile. Agile Example for Some What, however, is Agile? Agile works as a: Project management framework, Business management tool, Manufacturing discipline, and Cost control Yes. Agile is about lower cost and faster response. Agile gets talked about, planned, trained, and expected. Teams …

Magnificent Seven, team of me, blog, Toby Elwin

High performance team of me

Many times what looks like a team is not team. A high performance team is beyond skin deep and requires shared understanding. A collection of well-intended professionals that meet, from time-to-time, around business issues, is not a team. In What It Takes to Build a Team, John R. Anderson’s dense and rewarding read, reminds me that there is no ‘I’ in team. Identity shapes how people describe their world. The range of options that someone can identify and define their view presents little issue, until collaboration. Teams work in concert to meet common goals: Share success; Collaborate for achievement; and Willing to give up resources for the good of the collective High Performance Team Law In our world of people, process, and technology, a single item can mean multiple things. The law of identity presents a shared meaning, not mixed …

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Social Media in an Agile World

Very pleased to present at Project Management Institute New York City chapter on Agile social media. Longtime PMI volunteer, Steve Nosal, and myself presented Agile project management methods as a perfect blend to create and manage social media impact. Agile social media presented a great opportunity to formalize some thoughts from my Lean into social media post and present to a very active and engaged community. Agile Social Media Agile project management puts the customer at the center of the effort, relies on rapid prototyping, and transparency. Social media feedback, testing, and measurements are Agile project methods. User stories rely on persona methods. Many thanks to PMINYC for the invitation. You can download Adobe Acrobat or PowerPoint version just below.  To view presentation within this site, scroll past. Download my PowerPoint version to review my page notes for more detailed notes and sources. View below.  Invite me to speak at your event.

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Lean into social media

Social media stresses compression of more with less.  The more is information, the less is time.  Time to read, react, and respond drives our need to process information from wider sources and shortened news cycles. Individual and organization credibility can use a Lean approach in social media for more agile solutions to manage social media interaction. There is little patience to wait for the morning paper, the 7pm national news or even 24-hour-news broadcasts any longer. Live news streams in from all comers in all corners.  People on-the-ground, without press credentials, yes, but with on-the-ground credibility, nonetheless. Within 72 hours video of the February 15th meteor that streaked across the Russian sky had 138 million views; for some context 2011’s Super Bowl audience was 108 million.  The video was not captured by an official news outlet, the images came across …