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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From Nojo to Mojo in the Dojo – Part 2

“When my children grow up, I want them to be…”

Thus begins the Coda in Marshall Goldsmith’s new book – Mojo. This is the question Marshall asked thousands of parents across the world. They could only respond in one word. What do you think it was?

Tweak the question…

“I want all my loved ones to be…”

How would you answer it?

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From Nojo to Mojo in the Dojo – Part 1

Last month, I attended a conference call on Marshall Goldsmith’s new book – Mojo, and decided I just had to read it! Last week I finished reading the book and wanted to share some of his inspiring thoughts with you.

Marshal defines Mojo as the state of an individual or an organization in which everything goes right and one success leads to another, kind of like being in the zone. Nojo, on the other hand, is the exact opposite – a state where there is boredom, frustration and misery. Life is too short for us to have Nojo in our Dojo 🙂 Mojo provides simple tools and techniques to measure and boost our Mojo on a daily basis.

One of the most touching chapters in the book is the one on Daily Questions…

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The Riveting Tale of Estelle Jones and Indy F Potter – Part 4

So what does all this mean?

* Is there a reason behind the differences in the way we respond to situations or do we do it just to * irritate each other?
* Is there a way for us to understand our preferred responses and adjust them if our natural first response hurts us?
* How can we understand, appreciate and capitalize on our differences instead of allowing them to obstruct our progress?

Quite like the hand we prefer to use for writing, we are all born with certain innate preferences for interacting with the world, processing information, making decisions and implementing our ideas. These preferences influence the situations in which we feel natural, relaxed and confident, and those in which we feel uncomfortable, awkward and strained.

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The Riveting Tale of Estelle Jones and Indy F Potter – Part 3

Did that story seem familiar? Is there an Estelle or Indy in your office?

Who do you think was right?

What do you think the Boss should have done next? And how would you have handled this situation?

Can you identify with either one of them? Or, maybe a little bit with both of them?

Have you reflected on the different personality types at your work place and how they affect your ability to get things done? Take a blank piece of paper and jot down answers to these questions…

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The Riveting Tale of Estelle Jones and Indy F Potter – Part 2

The decibel level in the office started rising. That meant that others had read the mail and the reactions were pouring out in the hallway. Indy started reflecting and planning a response. He brought out a pad and started jotting down the approach he would take-

Step 1: Learn about the target operating system

Step 2: Check if there were any 3rd party…

Before he could finish the sentence…

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The Riveting Tale of Estelle Jones and Indy F Potter – Part 1

That morning started like any other. Indiana F Potter, or “Indy” got to work, made himself a cup of coffee, mumbled hello to anyone he could not avoid eye contact with and headed right to his desk. Given a choice, Indy preferred to be in his inner world of concepts and ideas. Especially at the start of a day, he got his energy by reflecting inwards, rather than interacting with others. Indy started catching up on what was going on in the world, moving on next to his mail and then started to plan out his day.

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From Shawshank to Shorefront

In 1944, an aspiring model was told by the director of the Blue Book Modeling Agency that she’d “better learn secretarial work or get married”.

In 1954, after a teenager had just performed at the Grand Ole Opry, an organizer that him “to go back to drivin’ a truck”.

In 1962, a band auditioned for Decca Records and was rejected because “guitar groups were on their way out” and the band “had no future in show business”.

In each case, ‘experts’ made decisions based on their assumptions.

Lucky for us that their assumptions were incorrect. And the world got to know…

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Linked Lists and Chicken Heads…

Wikipedia defines the word ‘geek’ as

‘…a slang term, noting individuals as “a peculiar or otherwise odd person, especially one who is perceived to be overly obsessed with one or more things including those of intellectuality, electronics, etc.’

But wait, it gets better…

‘…Formerly, the term referred to a carnival performer often billed as a wild man whose act usually includes biting the head off a live chicken, bat, snake or bugs.’

Mercifully, I do not remember ever biting off or wanting to bite off ‘the head of a live chicken, bat, snake or bugs’. However, I do remember many incidents that would make me eligible for the more contemporary definition of geek.

For instance, …

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