The only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself

 (Inauguration speech of Franklin D. Roosevelt, president of USA during WWII)

A short story illustrating how fear cripples estimating and how empathy can come to the rescue.

The end of the year is only two sprints away. We are in a refinement session.
 “So, would it still be feasible to deliver the ‘A+flow’ by the end of the year if we do it like this?” The PO asks the team. He is standing in front of a white board full of scribbles holding a marker in his hand. He just gave in on reducing the scope by slicing the functionality even further to a point where he will be having difficulties to explain the stakeholders what the value in this slice is. He even has difficulties explaining it to himself.

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Why you need only ONE Product Owner

Scrum prescribes one person in the role of Product Owner (PO). Not multiple people, not a committee, just one person:

“The Product Owner is the sole person responsible for managing the Product Backlog.” (Scrum guide)

And when multiple teams work on a single product, the Scrum Guide says:

“Multiple Scrum Teams often work together on the same product. One Product Backlog is used to describe the upcoming work on the product.” (Scrum guide)

I encounter many companies that fail to implement this specific Scrum guideline. Apparently, according to most companies, this is one of those things you need to tweak “to make Scrum work in your context”.

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Defining Your Product for a LeSS Adoption

In this blog I talk about how you could deal with the challenges of defining your product in a LeSS adoption.

Why do you need to define your Product?

In a LeSS adoption you need to have a product definition, because your product definition determines what organisational elements (people; components; processes and systems) will be part of the adoption. Your product definition determines:

  • Who will be the Product Owner;
  • What items are on the Product Backlog;
  • Who are the users of the Product;
  • and also which people you need to develop and run the Product.
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The Feature Team Adoption Map Explained

When talking about LeSS adoptions, the Feature Team adoption map (FTAM) is often brought up as one of its powerful tools. Although FTAM is described in the LeSS book (1), and gets a great deal of attention in most LeSS practitioner classes, it plays a less important role in LeSS and LeSS Huge adoptions than we might suspect. However, it is a valuable tool that can be used for various purposes.

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