All the scrum ceremonies are designed to implement most of Agile values and principles. However, only the retrospective ceremony is specifically mentioned as a principle in the agile manifesto.

Principle number 12: “At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly”.  

In order to keep the retrospective valuable, it requires from the facilitator (usually the scrum master) to invest time in order to prepare himself or herself for the next retro. The preparation includes observing and taking notes during the iteration, learning new activities to spark ideas and encourage participates involvement, and creativity to keep the retrospective interesting and fun.

Recently, a scrum master of a team, within one of my customers I worked with during the last 3 months, had very good, valuable, and creative retrospective. I want to share this retrospective plan with you - it might help you prepare your next retrospective. 

Some background: the team is within the “norming”stage. It has begun to be effective, and focusing on cooperation. 

The scrum master shared with me that he feels that on one story the team preforms like in the movie “The Avengers”-  the team is collaborating together, and like a super heroes, they are getting the work done. However, on another story he feels the team performs like in the movie “The never-ending story” - it is being dragged from one iteration to another. This is how we come to the idea of retrospective from the movies. 

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attention_people

*The original name of this post was “Have some focus to spare?” but since Passover is around the corner it seemed nice to use the famous statement made by Charlton Heston(Moses).

Very often when we detect a problem, we have a tendency is to shift attention to the area where the problem is in an attempt to solve it. Just ask my kids if you don't believe me…
This approach, while sometimes useful, overlooks two very important factors: We have a limited amount of focus to distribute & looking at a problem may make it worse.

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Agile_Change_Pragmatism

Prgamatism: a reasonable and logical way of doing things or of thinking about problems that is based on dealing with specific situations instead of on ideas and theories [merriam-webster Dictionary] 

In my role as an agile coach i often get to meet people and organizations that are considering embarking on their journey towards organizational agility, more often than not these people are seeking a coach that will offer them what they refer to as “pragmatic advice”, they are seeking advice and ideas that are not religious or theoretical, advice that will work it their own company with its own limitations and realities.

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I am sorry to break this to you. Even if you’ve realised this before, this blog post is for you just the same.

You will never be able to look at situations any other way - both at work and elsewhere.

You will see it in movies, and find it in books.

Speaking of books, you will read other kinds of books. You will become an avid learner. You will wish you have been such a learner earlier in life.

Yes, it will change you.

It will start as a work only thing, most probably: Having a Scrum board, figuring out what a Burndown chart can offer, get the idea behind relative estimations.

And then it will start creeping in to other aspects.

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Testers_program

Back in 2013 I published the following post, but since I know, no one actually read these links I’ve chosen to quote that post in full. Sadly enough I still get that question way to often to my liking. 

MUST TESTERS KNOW HOW TO PROGRAM? 

One of the most common question that arises when talking to testers in an Agile context is “Does testers have to possess programming skills in an agile team?” For a long time my answer to that was no, since testing includes a vast number of activities which doesn’t require programming skill there will always be room for testers who can't program.

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