Author Archives: John Cavalieri

Zombie Scrum Pitfalls & How to Avoid Them

What is Zombie Scrum? Example #1: Zombie Scrum Standup (Standup Led by the ScrumZombie) Example #2: Scrum Zombie and the Lack of Sprint Goals Example #3: Sprint Review and Retrospective Zombies That’s a Scrum Zombie Wrap! Once again, I have the pleasure of welcoming October. Soon it will be cooler and more colorful here in North Carolina. The holidays are coming, and many of my neighbors have already decorated for Halloween. I have been pondering what sort of ghoulish surprise I could...

Agile Project Management Methodologies

There is some confusion around what agile is versus what agile methodologies are, and often people lump them together. Agile is a mindset (not a methodology) that encompasses a set of values and principles that were compiled by a group of software gurus in 2001. These values focus on customer collaboration, flexibility, a short iterative cycle, value delivery, people centricity, sustainability and simplicity, among other things. These values and principles are not to be confused with...

What Do ScrumMasters Do Besides Facilitate Meetings?

When I first received my ScrumMaster certification, I regularly asked the senior ScrumMasters I worked with what I was supposed to do, besides facilitate Scrum events, enforce Scrum rules, and remove impediments. I tried to be a good ScrumMaster and worked with multiple teams, so I stayed busy, but I had heard that great ScrumMasters could only handle one team at a time. I didn’t understand what could take up that much time. As I gained more experience as a ScrumMaster I began reviewing...

Scrum Sprint for Quality: The Hare and the Agile Tortoise

The Hare and the Tortoise (or The Tortoise and the Hare, since that is what people told me it was called when I was young) is a fable attributed to Aesop, an ancient Greek storyteller. For those of you who are not familiar with it, a hare challenges a tortoise to a race. The hare, in his overconfidence, decides to take a nap when he gets close to the finish line. The tortoise plods along, eventually passing the hare, and wins the race. The moral of the story is: slow and steady wins the...

Spring Cleaning: Agile Backlog Grooming

Spring Cleaning?  Now is the perfect time for agile backlog grooming. The sun is shining; the birds are singing. The tree leaves are back, along with people’s allergies, easily confused with COVID-19. Speaking of COVID-19, millions of people have been forced to stay home over the last few months, and many have started attacking home projects with a vengeance, because they have no place to go except for their local hardware store. Garages have been organized, along with closets,...

4 Ingredients to Working in Agile Remote Teams

As an Agile Coach, I often try to simplify things and refer people (and myself) to the Manifesto for Agile Software Development. Almost all agilists can remember at least the first core value, “Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.” Though the introverts might cringe about it, most are also familiar with the principle, “The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.” In order to help...

Team Level Agile Value: Is It Worth It?

Agile Value in the Journey Agile Value in Agility Agile Value in Team Transparency   What if the enterprise won’t change? Is it worth it to have Agile teams? I have long felt that certain parties in the Agile community are too quick to judge teams as not being agile because they are forced to function under less than ideal organizational structures.  The mantra I was taught (and often repeated myself) was, “The leader is the limit.”  Agile transformations will only be effective as far...