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And it’s not Scrum.

Sorry, there is nothing like perfect framework for delivering software, the ways of working depends solely on your current context — type of product, people, technical and soft skills, organizational culture. Sometimes the best approach would be to apply Kanban for product development, the other team would find Lean Rules and eXtreme Programming as the best fit for them.

To bring the most of value to you current company learn about various ways of working, software development practices, the psychology of teamwork and get experience by working in different type of products — Backend Application, Enterprise Systems, End-customer facing apps…

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How to build a self-organized team without moving into anarchy and chaos?

Self-organization is one of the main concept of modern methods of managment, unfortunately it’s very often misued and abused by teams, who think they can make whatever they want and how they want if they’re so called ‘self-organized’.

Below you can find 5 practical tips that would help you to build a healthy organizational culture and have a effectively working self-organized teams that are focus on delivering business goals.

1. Make information transparent to everyone.

Enabling easy access to information would encourage your team-members to make decisions on their own, gives them the wider perspective and remove all excuses for not acting. …

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With greater power comes great responsibility.

Being a great Senior Developer is not only about having excellent technical skills. As you progress in your career, so called ‘soft-skills’ become more and more important. Having a wider perspective on created solutions, knowing what kind of business problems your product is trying to solve and putting more focus on helping your colleagues to improve their expertise would help your team become better.

The following 3 soft skills can help you distinguish great software engineer from a good one.

1. Solving Business Problems.

Humans are tool builders, and we build tools that can dramatically amplify our innate human abilities — Steve Jobs

The…

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Practical ways to improve your risk management practices and team’s collective knowledge by estimating User Stories in Story Points.

Story Points have become a standard metric for software development teams for expressing estimates of the overall effort required to deliver features during the Sprint.

Unfortunately very often teams and business stakeholders put too much faith into the abstract number instead of directing their focus on the process of estimating.

Story Points are abstract numbers that were not invented to create quarterly based release plans, making a long-term commitments or building project plans based on team’s velocity — but to let teams be more efficient during their work in Sprints by helping them to early identify risks, improve collective knowledge

Take your Scrum Master skills to the next level.

“The Scrum Master is accountable for establishing Scrum (…) and for the Scrum Team’s effectiveness.” — Scrum.org

Here are my 9 tips on how you can improve your chances of becoming a successful Scrum Master:

1. Take full ownership for team’s effectiveness.

You’re accountable for the Scrum Team’s effectiveness. If a team is not delivering value to customer — it’s your role to help solve the problem. If a team doesn’t know how to take advantage of Scrum — it’s your role to help solve the problem.

Helping the Scrum Team focus on creating high-value Increments that meet the Definition of Done; Causing the removal of impediments

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Top 4 tips for writing good Sprint Goals.

Sprint Goals may be one of the most underestimated parts of Scrum. Preparing Product Backlog is relatively easy, but crafting well-defined Sprint Goal that could inspire the team, enable self-organization and help stakeholders better understand what they will get in the end of Sprint is hard.

The following four tips will help you create good Sprint Goals.

1. Focus on Business Impact.

Well-written Sprint Goals should be focused on the business impact that Scrum Team want to achieve during the Iteration. They should be outcome driven and provides a clear indication on how customers behaviour could change after achieving it (fully oriented on Users Experience). …

‘If You Don’t Build Team Culture, Someone Else Will’ — Pic by Pascal Swier on Unsplash

‘Team is not a group of people who work together; it is a group of people who trust, support and help each other’ — Simon Sinek

What makes a successful team? How team setup can influence team’s dynamics? What is ‘Team Culture’ and why is it so important?

We tend to underestimates our ability to influence the team dynamics. Very few team-members are intentional about their actions and impact they really have on building effective team. ‘If You Don’t Build Team Culture, Someone Else Will’.

The 4 graphics below show how much, small, insignificant things can impact the success and effectiveness of you team. You have more influence than you think.

1. Team Size vs Number of Possible Interactions

Teams of different sizes behave in different ways. Too few or too many members may…

How to build successful Scrum Teams by facilitating Sprint Retrospectives in a different way than others.

Having a high-performing, well-integrated teams is important for creating successful products and organizations. You can find below my favourite Sprint Retrospective formats that can support building a strong culture of teamwork and turn group of strangers into a team.

1. Effective Team — Retrospective.

What can you get from it? The same understanding of what makes an effective team-work; Alignment on the most important aspects of working together; Creating list of items that can help your team to work in an effective way; Sharing knowledge, examples and good practices from other companies.

Effective Team — Retrospective

The structure of the workshop consists of fours main parts:

  1. Collecting Data: Ask…

These are the 4 top books that every Product Owner, regardless of experience, should read to build comprehensive understanding of the role and learn practical methods that can be helpful to create tech-products. Authors share their practical experience from companies like Adobe, Apple, Google or Netflix.

Recommended books cover topics like: Product Ownerhsip, Business Models, Validating Learning and Impact Mapping. // Pic from unsplash.com

Below books cover topics like: Role of Product Owner in the Enterprise World, Building Roadmaps, Long-term Planning, Business Value Creation, Metrics, Stakeholders Management, Working with Techie People, Building Tech-Products, Business Models.

1. INSPIRED: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love by Marty Cagan

This book is a practical guide for building product oriented organization and explores different techniques that can help teams discover and deliver technology products. It’s a must read for everyone who is beginning their journey with product ownership, but could be also a great inspiration for more experienced Product Owners on how to deal with their daily challenges i.e. …

The article is a break-down of 10 quick improvements that every Team can easily start doing to improve their Time to Market. Depending on your current situation some of ideas could be more or less applicable, so don’t be afraid to experiment with them — if it works in your context it’s right.

Depending on your current situation some of ideas could be more or less applicable, so don’t be afraid to experiment with them.

Based on my experience with multiple teams, implementing some of below improvements may help significantly decrease Time to Market and help everyone in the team to focus on delivering more valuable Products.

1. Split the Sprint Backlog into 2 parts.

Split you Sprint Backlog into 2 parts / swim lanes:

  • The Most Important: the section consists of the most important priorities / tickets in the Sprint.
  • Everything Else: all other tickets that are not bringing as much value as items in the ‘The Most Important’ section.

Implement the rule that till all tickets are not done in ‘The Most Important’ section, Team should not pick-up any issue from…

Lukasz Krzyzek

Scrum Master | PSM III

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