Scrum Alliance

Zero-Defect Deliveries

In 2007, when I was introduced to the concept of eXtreme Programming (XP), our team was ultimately able to achieve zero-defect deliveries. When I think about what enabled us to achieve this, I can offer the following thoughts.

Beyond Cross-Functional Teams

Have you ever wondered why some Scrum teams perform well and others don't, even though they're all cross-functional teams with motivated, T-shaped people?

Are You Mature Enough to Ditch Your Security Blanket?

Stop trying to document every single risk, issue, assumption, dependency, and task milestone that could ever impact a project, and start actively managing the main, most important risks across teams.

How to Build an Effective Scrum Team

Putting together a good Scrum team is not easy. Sometimes people aren't able to perform optimally as team members, and there are a variety of possible causes. Here are some of the most common that I have run across.

Continuous Integration

Continuous integration is an important process for protecting against build errors and code breakage. Here is how we achieved it.


Agile facilitates perfection through adaptation, and adaptation is enabled through feedback. Retrospective feedback becomes, in fact, proactive.

Using Story Points in Burn-Down Charts Instead of Hours

It's not a good idea to map each story point to working hours; it conflicts with the reason for using story points. To solve our problem, we can nonetheless do something similar. The solution is to not model the story points in detail but to define them at a higher level and in a reverse way.

How Should We Be Teaching Scrum?

I recently asked myself whether our Scrum education system is functioning well. Do we simply tell our trainees what to do in a given situation and then make them look for help the moment the situation changes?

Applying the Candle Problem to Agile

What I want for my team is to become Agile. I want us to approach problems together with all of our different backgrounds, education, and experiences. This leads me to think that I could use the Candle Problem to illustrate this initiative.

Early Warning

Small incidents in my personal life always help me improve my work with Agile teams. I recently learned lessons from an incident with my car and its warning lights.

14 Principles of Agile Actuarial Modeling

Building actuarial models is a challenge usually approached via Waterfall -- and such projects suffer from the same issues software development projects face when managed this way. Therefore, we tried implementing Scrum for a recent actuarial modeling project.

Culture Is Everything

I believe that to succeed at anything personally or professionally, leadership is required. And in most companies, to take the lead you must change the corporate culture, but culture is a tricky and difficult thing to change.

Milestone Mindset in an Agile Environment

Working in different companies, it was always difficult to convince my reporting managers, who have a strong connection to the traditional Waterfall approach, about tying the calendar dates of my delivery plan to important milestones. . . .

Death, Taxes, and Estimates

Even as an experienced Agile coach, I recognize that uncertainties surround the practice of estimating user stories by using man-hours or story points. Here I'll try to come to my own conclusion.

Scaling Agile in the Organization

To successfully scale Agile in an organization requires a balance between securing alignment from other functional areas and coordinating cross-team activities.

Can Burn-Down Charts Replace Status Reports?

Burn-down charts are one among the important metrics that help senior management gain insight into the current status of the team. Can they be used to replace status reports?