Scrum Is A Blank Check

“Scrum Is A Blank Check For Developers!” – 7 Ways To Stop Them From Emptying Your Bank Account!

True story - happened in one of my recent Professional Scrum Master workshops. I think had just mentioned that there is no "Sprint Commitment" in Scrum, only a "Sprint Forecast". The eyes of one of my students lit up with glee. Uh-Oh, I thought. This is going to be...
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Soccer Ball on Road

Machine Learning & Scrum – 9 Months, 6 Minutes & 1 Niggling Thought…

NINE MONTHS Like many old, boring people, my favorite radio channel in the car is National Public Radio. Since I live in Dallas, TX, my local channel is KERA. Of all the shows in KERA, my favorite is a show called Think With Krys Boyd. Almost each show I listen to...
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13 Stances of a Highly Effective Product Owner

14 Stances of Highly Effective Product Owners

The role of the Scrum Product Owner is probably the most misunderstood of the three Scrum Roles. As I look back at the different incarnations and interpretations I have seen of Product Ownership, I thought it was time to articulate the different stances I thought an...
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I’m Not Calling Your Baby Ugly – Two Ways and 25 Dimensions to Compare Agile Scaling Frameworks

True Story... Many times, clients ask Agile Coaches like me to come in and share our "expertise" with them. But sometimes they really don't want our "Expertise". What they really want is someone with lots of TLA's to come and tell them that there pre-existing opinions...
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Sleepless In Cxo-Land

SLEEPLESS IN CXO LAND: HOW SMART CXO’S BEAT STRESS WITH STRATEGIC SCRUM

THE (MIXED) BLESSING OF NEXTGEN REWRITES  About 10 years ago, I experienced the mixed blessing of being part of yet another nextgen rewrite project. I was guiding a team of about 25 really smart team members, part of a much larger team of about 150+ people. Our team...
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My Experiments with Entrepreneurship – Chapter 7: Waiting for Seeker-Man!

Surgeon General’s Warning: This is a long and convoluted blog with many unexpected twists and turns. Readers are advised to get cozy under a soft, warm blanky (snuggy would be ideal, though not mandatory), with a hot cup of cider, tea or hot chocolate before commencing the journey.

I am going to start this blog with a very hard question – one that has baffled mankind through the ages and will continue to do so in the centuries to come…What is your most memorable Steve Martin moment? There are probably too many to choose from. Is it the scene from ‘L.A. Story’ where he is hugging the talking freeway billboard? Maybe a scene from ‘Father of the Bride’ where he is battling Martin Short? Clouseau trying to pronounce Hamburger in ‘Pink Panther’? Watching Alec Baldwin on Meryl Streep’s laptop in ‘It’s Complicated’? Or it could be something from ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’, which I am ashamed to admit I have not yet seen.

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My Experiments with Entrepreneurship – Chapter 6: Sunrise at Haleaakalā

So how would you pack for a week long trip to Maui in May? Especially if you are not flying South West and don’t want to dip into your (rapidly diminishing) retirement savings? The answer is lightly.

That’s what my wife and I tried to remember, as we packed for our Memorial Day vacation earlier this year…

One of us packed the obligatory backpack full of hard cover books that would never be read and the other took an electronic reading device. The other packed a light-weight, technological advanced reading device

(My wife is behind the curve and refused to make use of the latest technological advances. She is still on the Kindle and WILL NOT upgrade to the iPad. I read books the way God meant us to read them – on paper!)

As usual, for some strange reason, I insisted on…

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My Experiments with Entrepreneurship – Chapter 5: The Archetypal Blue-Print

I realized four things about myself after reading Carols Pearson’s book – Awakening the Heroes Within –

I am passionate about supporting and inspiring my team
I love to seek out new approaches to solve problems
I get energized by sharing what I learn to help others
I am most fulfilled when I can see a vision realized
This mapped to four Archetypes-
Caregiver – Makes a difference to others
Seeker – Searches for a unique identity, path, or solution
Sage – Shares wisdom with the world
Magician – Uses intuition and insight to catalyze change

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My Experiments with Entrepreneurship – Chapter 4: The Undiscovered Country

Let’s pick up our conversation where we paused last time-

Why are you on this planet? What is the mission of your life?
How will this world be a better place after you are gone?
What special gift must you share with the world before you leave?
What profound lesson must you learn before you find your gift?
What unique journey must you undertake before you learn your lesson?
Why does any of this really matter?

Let me tackle the last question first – ‘Why does any of this really matter?’

Three reasons – financial, emotional and spiritual…

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My Experiments with Entrepreneurship – Chapter 3: The Hero’s Quest

iAm very happy with my iPhone. But iAm disappointed with my carrier – it doesn’t give me any bars when iMost need them. And sometimes, iAm dissatisfied with my iPhone battery – it runs out of juice just when iNeed it. And now, iThink iShould discontinue this mixed case bloggin because iMight iRritate and iLose you 🙂

OK, back to normal English now. So what do you do if your phone is low on juice? Maybe you can turn off 3G, or disable Bluetooth. Or just plug the dang thing back into the power outlet. If you’re super-cool, you may have one of those wireless charger thingies where you can just place your phone on a mat to charge it.

And what if the bars on your cell-phone disappear? You could apply the “Jobs Solution” and hold it the “right” way. If that is not the problem, you could either wait for iPhones to become available on Verizon, or ditch Apple & AT&T altogether for some other smart phone.

And now the real question…

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My Experiments with Entrepreneurship – Chapter 2: Games People Play

Have you ever had a dream that you always wanted to pursue, but you couldn’t because… I’ve had a few of those dreams myself – my bucket-list. Things that I always wanted to but couldn’t because… # 1 on the list for a long time was the dream of being an Entrepreneur. But there were too many obstacles blocking my dream. Until a magical series of events helped me break out of the prison of my constraints. This blog is about my escape from my prison, in case it helps you break out of yours…

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My Experiments with Entrepreneurship – Chapter 1: At the Cross-Road…

Have you ever been at a major cross-road in life and experienced some kind of inner conflict about which road you should choose? Maybe there was a difference between what you feel you would love to do, what you remember being taught you should do and what you have learned from experience is probably the right thing to do? What do you do when this happens? How do you separate these thoughts and what is the best way to reconcile the different ideas contained in them? I learned a way to do this from a most unexpected source and wanted to share it with you. Here is my story…

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Upcoming SmoothApps Events…

SmoothApps Online Workshop: Leveraging Personality Type with the MBTI When: Session 1: January 14th 2010, 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM US Central Time Session 2: January 21st 2010, 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM US Central Time Where: Online Cost: $349 ( payable by check or PayPal )...

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Getting Naked With Jack Bauer – A Cautionary Tale!

Warning: This blog contains material that may be offensive to those with delicate sensibilities or a deep appreciation for Jack Bauer. Reader discretion is advised.

Let me clarify right at the outset that I am no fan of Jack Bauer. I have probably watched the series 24 for a total of 24 minutes, if not less. I get motion sickness from the way the camera and the story lurches from one crisis to another. It reminds me of my life. Which I try to escape by watching TV.

So, it is perfectly reasonable for you to ask what I was doing, Getting Naked with Jack Bauer. While eating. In public. And you may not be surprised or sympathetic to learn that he almost made me choke on my food and cough it up on the ladies at the next table.

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From Nojo to Mojo in the Dojo – Part 3

Yes, baseball season has finally started. And many of us gluttons for punishment will now have a new source for our daily dose of pain. For me personally, the preferred sources of pain are the (mis)fortunes of the Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Cowboys. They generally keep me well supplied from September to around June or a Mavs play-off exit (whichever comes first) each year. However, after the Mavs season ends and before the Cowboys season begins, there is a certain emptiness in my life each year. I have considered diversifying my couch potato portfolio of pain by subscribing to the miseries of the Texas Rangers, but it is too radical a lifestyle change for me to make all of a sudden.

But perhaps I digress, my friends.

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