Category Archives: agile

Team Health Assessment

A stethoscope hangs on a mesh wall before a setting sun

Photo by Oluwaseyi Johnson

Healthy teams are effective teams that meet goals, produce high-quality work, and delight customers.

When we measure team health, we step away from these outcomes of the team – however valuable they may be – and instead look at the team itself. What environment are they working in? How do the team members feel about the work they’re doing? How do they feel about each other?

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Testing Product Hypotheses Before Implementation

We’ve described how to use product hypotheses to measure the value of what a scrum team has built. We’ve also explored how to test product hypotheses more quickly by only building a minimum viable product (MVP). Now let’s look at ways to test those product hypotheses before the scrum team builds anything, using product discovery techniques.
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Testing Product Hypotheses With A Minimal Viable Product (MVP)

Image of blocks showing the letters MVPA previous article described how a scrum team could measure the value delivered by completed product backlog items. The approach is based on creating a product hypothesis for each item, describing how the value will be measured. By implementing an item (user story) and then measuring the results, the team is conducting an experiment to validate their beliefs about the value of the item.

A minimal viable product (MVP) allows us to implement less than the full feature, and still gather data about how valuable users find it. While an MVP is often used to test an entire product idea, the approach can also be used to test new feature areas of an existing product. An MVP is a simple implementation that allows us to gather real data from our users. Read the full article…

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Measuring Value With Product Hypotheses

Photo by Hans Reniers

A scrum team’s product owner and stakeholders believe that each item in the team’s product backlog is valuable and should be built. There is evidence that suggests that these beliefs are often incorrect. According to a 2019 study, 80 percent of features in the average software product are rarely or never used.

Sadly, most teams never measure the value of what they create, and thus they continue to invest in building those aspects that aren’t delivering value. Measuring value allows the product owner to direct the team’s focus toward the 20 percent of features that hold most of the value. Read the full article…

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How To Create A User Persona

Young woman with suitcase and palm trees in the background

Photo by Tyler Nix

A user persona is a fictional character that represents a real group of product stakeholders, most often a market segment of end users or customers. A persona is generally based on user research and incorporates the needs, goals, and observed behavior patterns of the stakeholders represented by that persona. User personas can help a product owner communicate more effectively with their scrum team and the team’s stakeholders.

Here’s how to create a persona to represent a group of users, customers, or other stakeholders of your team’s product. Read the full article…

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The Evolution of Sprint Planning

Still hearing sprint planning being referred to as a two-part event? Ever been in a sprint planning where developers had to explain their plan of work to the product owner and scrum master?

What you may be dealing with are relics of sprint plannings past. To understand how sprint planning has changed, we’ll take a look at the evolution of the event throughout the years.
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Tips For Your Agile Job Search

Three people searching with telescopes.Are looking to get an agile job, such as scrum master, product owner, or developer on a scrum team? I recommend using scrum to structure your job search. A job search is complex work, full of unknown unknowns. That’s exactly the sort of work that scrum is good for. Additionally, using scrum and related agile techniques to structure your job search will grow your agile knowledge and skills. Here are a few thoughts on how to use scrum to support your agile job search.
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Strategic Planning For Scaled-Up Scrum: An Overview

Here’s an overview of one approach to doing strategic planning in a scaled-up scrum environment. We’ll use twelve weeks as our planning horizon, though the approach works fine for shorter periods as well. We’ll start by looking at how a single team could plan for such a time horizon on their own without considering the broader organizational context, and build up from there.
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