manage_product_backlog

Disclaimer: If you haven't read my “Managing the product backlog for 8 teams“ post - I highly recommend you read it before continuing to read this blog

First thing is first: What the hell were you thinking when you decided that you need 50 teams for your product?! I hope you had a really good reason for it. 9 out of 10 times you have made a bad decision…

 

But here we are, having a product that has 50 teams, which means dealing with ~600 fine grained Product Backlog items at any given moment, i think we can all agree that this is definitely too much for one person to deal with (Disagree with that? Please do not stay silent and comment). So how would we go about and deal with such a big PBL?

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Self_Organizing_Birds_Flock

Here's a quick exercise to quickly demonstrate the beauty of self organization. 

All you need is a team of people. Any number between 5-30 people works very well with this exercise.

Purpose: The purpose of this exercise is to highlight the power of self organization, compared to managing people; demonstrate that the most important knowledge is within individuals, and mostly hidden from the eye.

Instructions:

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The scrum master has multiple responsibilities. Here are two of them: 

  1. Coach the team, the PO and the organization with scrum.
  2. Facilitate effective ceremonies. 

When you facilitate a great retrospective meeting does it mean you coach the team with scrum? The answer is no. Facilitating and coaching are two different things.

Coaching and facilitating are both widely-used term with various meanings. In this blog post I am focusing on those terms in a work related context. 

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Scrum_Master_Superhero

About two weeks ago I published a blogpost on facilitating better daily standups. I called the blog post “Who’s Responsible for the Daily Standup”, and got the following response from Jim Coplien, the person who inspired inventors of Scrum to have the daily standup in the first place:

The ScrumMaster owns the process. The Daily Scrum is part of the process. if the Development Team is not holding the Daily Scrum the ScrumMaster should intervene and challenge the team to do so. Whether or not the ScrumMaster does so, if the team persists in not holding the daily standup, the ScrumMaster should be fired.

— Jim Coplien (by whom the Daily Scrum came into Scrum)

So to help you choose Scrum Masters that should not be fired, here are my ten tips for your next recruit:

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Scrum_Police_Car

A Scrum Master recently asked me: What should he do if the team members don't want to do the daily standup every day? After all, he told me, the daily stand up should happen every day, shouldn’t it?

Well, first thing’s first. One thing you should know about Scrum is, that if you don’t hold the daily standup at the same time, same place each and every day, the Scrum Police will not pay a visit. There will be no embarrassing scenes of people taken, handcuffed, into the Scrum Police car, no paparazzi photographers will be there, taking mugshots of teammates for the Scrum Culprits Weekly magazine front page. None of that, guaranteed.

More important is to understand - why hold a daily standup in the first place? And why same place, same time?

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