Our blog

  • Part 1: Eradicate these bad habits from the role of product owner

    As team leaders, we should always assume positive intent; however, I’ve recently encountered some terrible examples of product ownership run wild. And it started me thinking about the following: How fundamentally important the role of product owner is not only in Scrum, but also in agile teams. I...

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  • With all due respect

    Giving feedback is one of the aspects I like most about agile methods. There’s this thing about it though — it’s not that easy to give effective feedback. Lately, I’ve heard agile team members start their feedback with the following statements: I don’t want to rain on your parade, but I do...

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  • Do we still need Scrum Masters?

    A recruiting colleague of mine recently asked me the following question: Hey Bob, QQ–there seems to have been a huge downturn in the last year when it comes to dedicated Scrum Master positions in the area. In your opinion, do companies think that this role can be a shared responsibility now? I...

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  • Changing our language, changing our minds

    I delivered a lightning keynote at the StarEast conference in May 2019. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s formatted as a 5-minute pitch on any topic you choose. I intentionally went into it without a predetermined talk of our team’s slides. I wanted to see what might inspire me before or duri...

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  • Stop norming & performing!

    Perhaps it’s just me, but I’ve been indoctrinated into the Tuckman Model as THE view or model when it comes to team maturation and overall health. You all remember Tuckman, don’t you? He presented the following stages: Forming Storming Norming and Performing sometimes Adjourning that teams go ...

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  • Practices vs. Culture

    I saw a LinkedIn discussion thread that was initiated by Allen Holub. The initial post can be found here. What practices are best at promoting culture? A couple years back, Robert Martin and I had a somewhat public debate about whether culture or practices come first. Bob advocates the shu-ha-ri app...

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  • The Sounds of Silence

    I was never a huge Simon and Garfunkel fan but there are a few songs of theirs that really stood out for me as I was growing up. One of them is The Sounds of Silence. It’s a haunting vision of the future. And it swirled in my head as I read an article by […]...

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  • Agile Leaders…Be a Yes Man!

    Do you recall the Jim Carrey movie called Yes Man? In it he was influenced by a ‘cult’ of sorts that recommended an approach, in order to change our lives, where we have to say YES to everything – every question, every opportunity, and every inquiry. The point is somewhat captured in the agile...

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  • The Art (and Responsibility) of Truth-Telling

    A ScrumMaster asked me the other day how they should handle the situation where half their team doesn’t seem to care about the work. They don’t seem to be motivated. They seem to be slacking…a lot. And where two individuals seem to be doing all the work. And they seem to be burning out. A [&he...

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