Exploring the controversy around SAFe’s approach to Product Ownership

By |2023-05-08T18:22:55-04:00May 8, 2023|Agile Theater, Blog, Product Ownership, SAFe, Scrum|

Exploring SAFe’s Approach to Product Ownership What is SAFe’s perspective on the Product Owner role? How does it differ from the Scrum Guide? Why is Product Ownership split to Product Owner and Product Manager in SAFe? SAFe’s approach to Product Ownership draws quite a bit of criticism. As a Professional Scrum Trainer who’s also a SAFe Fellow/SPCT, here’s my perspective…   Product Ownership is a crucial element in improving Outcomes SAFe and Scrum both consider product ownership crucial to maximizing [...]

The Future of Agile Roles != The Future of Agility

By |2023-01-26T09:28:31-05:00January 26, 2023|Agile, Current Events, SAFe, Scrum|

The story of Capital One laying off hundreds of people in Agile roles is making the rounds. I have no direct connection to Capital One, so I can't comment about what's going on there.  What I can share is for years now, I've been coaching companies and leaders to see the Scrum Master and similar roles like the SAFe RTE as accountabilities relevant leaders take on (it can be formal managers/leaders or natural leaders from within teams that are passionate [...]

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Working towards Sustainable Pace in Scrum, SAFe and Kanban

By |2022-12-02T13:07:05-05:00December 6, 2021|kanban, SAFe, Scrum|

Aiming towards Sustainable Pace“Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.” — The Agile Manifesto Principle“programmers or software developers should not work more than 40 hour weeks, and if there is overtime one week, that the next week should not include more overtime.” — Extreme ProgrammingAn unsustainable pace is unhealthy. It contributes to burnout, quality issues, and unpredictable results.If you are an agile leader — do you know whether your teams are currently operating at [...]

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Organizing around Outcomes with OKRs and Scrum

By |2022-12-14T17:20:01-05:00November 22, 2021|Agility, Business Agility, OKRs, Scrum|

Aligning Scrum Team Topology to Strategy with OKRs and Product GoalsYeah, I know. Could I squeeze more buzzwords into the title? I guess I could include Digital Transformation, Cloud, AI, and Machine Learning for effect. But seriously, I wanted to share some insights around how to align your Scrum Teams to your strategy leveraging OKRs and Product Goals.Driving Change Using OKRsWe maintain performance by tracking the health of Key Performance Indicators(KPIs). We use Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) to drive performance change. [...]

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Fixing OKR Theater Using Scrum

By |2022-12-03T17:11:41-05:00November 22, 2021|OKRs, Scrum|

The OKR TheaterI encounter many organizations that are trying to improve the alignment between strategy and execution with the OKRs framework (Objectives and Key Results). There’s good intent there, but more often than not I see anti-patterns like:OKRs that look more like tasks than strategic objectives — especially by the time they reach working teamsOKRs used to micro-manage teams and individuals rather than empower and enable them.Too many OKRs that are set without any respect/consideration of the ability to actually deliver them in [...]

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Scrum — The Leader’s Perspective

By |2022-12-03T17:11:57-05:00November 22, 2021|Leadership, Scrum|

Are you leading Scrum Teams? Are you a leader in an organization that’s leveraging Scrum? Hopefully, you’ve read the Scrum Guide to gain an understanding of the framework your teams are using and to understand your role in it.You probably feel a bit left out though… The Scrum Guide doesn’t explicitly call out the role of the Leader but successful implementation of Scrum definitely requires leadership.The Scrum Guide describes the leadership required by the Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Developers.In [...]

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Using Scrum for Improving Operations

By |2022-12-05T08:40:45-05:00March 30, 2021|Business Agility, Scrum|

I’m encountering more and more people that are trying to solve different kind of problems with Scrum: People designing Consumer Goods Accounting professionals focused on Revenue Accounting Marketers of many kinds Healthcare professionals. I’ve been having some interesting discussions with them that I thought I might share. One of the key questions I start a conversation about Scrum with is Why — Why do we need Scrum? What problems are we looking to solve with it? Next we typically explore Where/When — Where would [...]

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Comparing Nexus and SAFe — Similarities, Differences, Ideas

By |2022-12-14T17:20:23-05:00January 14, 2021|Nexus, Scaled Agile, Scrum|

I’ve been asked several times now about Nexus and SAFe — what are the similarities, differences, etc. If you’re not familiar with either Nexus or SAFe I recommend taking a look at the Nexus Guide and the SAFe whitepaper first.Nexus and SAFe — Similar ConceptsLet’s start with similarities — There are quite a few of them as you can see:Nexus — ARTThe Nexus group of teams is very similar to the Agile Release Train (ART) construct. In both SAFe/Scrum it is a self-managing team of self-managed teams with a [...]

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Advanced Scrum Product Ownership — Riding Dinosaurs

By |2022-12-14T17:21:04-05:00July 2, 2020|Lean Startup, Product Ownership, Scrum|

What does Scrum Product Ownership have to do with Dinosaurs?We typically say that Scrum Masters get to herd cats. But Scrum Product Owners actually need to learn how to ride a Dinosaur! With the click-bate established, what does that even mean?I’ve been using a visualization that people find useful for understanding the relationship between the various Lean/Agile requirement containers. Some people call the full model a dinosaur. Others are reminded of the snake who ate an elephant from “The Little [...]

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Improving SAFe thru Professional Scrum

By |2022-12-14T17:22:38-05:00November 12, 2018|SAFe, Scaled Agile, Scrum|

SAFe includes Scrum — so how come many Scrum practitioners and thought leaders consider it unsafe?The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe™) is one of the most popular approaches to applying agile at scale out there. SAFe’s perspective is that “Nothing beats an Agile Team” and it doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel or even innovate too much when it comes to the Team level. It takes advantage of established frameworks and techniques that work well — Scrum being the first and foremost of those.Where it starts [...]

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