Blog

Who is on the Team in Scrum?

20 mei 2021

The latest revision of the Scrum guide removed the Development Team role with the intention to remove the “us vs. them” dynamic. In this paper Cesario Ramos and Ahmad Fahmy discuss its possible implications. You can find the paper by Cesario Ramos and Ahmad Fahmy on InfoQ

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LeSS Days 2020 |Agile Organization Design Principle by Cesario Ramos

12 december 2020

In this talk, Cesario shares some Agile Organization Design principles. You can use these principles to have a more informed discussion in your agile transformation. See also the upcoming book Coaching Agile Organizations.

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From MeSS to LeSS |The LeSS Pattern Card Game

6 oktober 2020

This is a description of the workshop I did at the LeSS Conference in Amsterdam. You can use this workshop to have a thorough discussion about your new LeSS group or to repair an existing LeSS adoption. For a general workshop, you can use the starting situation I wrote about in my Copy Paste Scaling […]

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De-Scaling with LeSS with Cesario Ramos

15 juni 2020

There are 2 positions you can take when thinking about scaling Scrum. You consider Scrum a team level framework only, and then ask what needs to be added to Scrum to make it fit in your organization. You likely have Copy Paste Scaling and a narrow product definition. You consider Scrum a framework for your […]

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Product Definition in Large Scale Scrum (LeSS) – Part 2

2 mei 2020

This blog is part of a series of previews from my upcoming book Coaching Agile Organisations In the first part of this blog series, I explained how to identify the organizational elements to include in your product definition. In this blog, I explain how you can refine your product definition to organize into effective cross-functional teams. […]

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Scaling Sequence Q&A Kahoot

14 april 2020

You can use this Kahoot Scaling Scrum to have some fun with your team or as an energizer during a workshop or training. Enjoy.

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Multi-Functional Learning is the Heart of Agility

31 maart 2020

In this article, we shall investigate why the learning and development of multi-functional specialists in Scrum is the core of organizational Agility and value optimization. Many Development Teams are not collaborating as real teams, but as a collection of narrow specialists focused on “their” tasks (QA, Backend, iOS, Android, etc). This leads to an ever-increasing […]

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Product Definition in Large Scale Scrum (LeSS) – Part 1

27 maart 2020

In large setups, teams tend to work on just a part of the real product. The part—a narrow product definition– they are working on is often a component or a specific activity in the development process; it is not a product.

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Applying Scrum Patterns in Practice

15 januari 2020

In my first article, I explained what Scrum Patterns are and why they could be useful for you in your transformation. The second article explained how to select the Scrum Patterns from the Pattern Languages.  In this 3rd article, I build on the previous two articles and give an example of how to use the two Pattern Languages to develop […]

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Improving Sprint Retrospective with Scrum Patterns

11 januari 2020

When Scrum Teams discuss too many problems during the Retrospective they may lose focus. That results in shallow decisions that barely scratch the surface. Teams are disappointed and lose faith in the Sprint Retrospective. Let’s see how to improve the event with the Scrum Patterns. Too Many Improvements Uphold New Challenges I want to share […]

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Planning an Adoption with Scrum Patterns

11 januari 2020

How to start an Agile transformation? What are the initial steps? In this article I explain how transformations could be planned using Scrum Patterns and systems thinking. Study Organizational Context Any collaboration with an enterprise starts with an immersion in organizational context using Gemba Walks and Go See approach. Observing how teams work, collaborate and […]

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How to select Scrum Patterns

4 januari 2020

In my earlier article, I explained what Scrum Patterns are and why they could be useful for you in your transformation. In this blog, I discuss how to select and use the Scrum Patterns from the Pattern Languages. Scrum Pattern Languages The patterns in our book organized into two pattern languages that contain 94 patterns in […]

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Scrum Patterns – Putting Scrum into practice

19 december 2019

In 2017 I was talking to the head of the Agile Coach Group of a large bank. She asked me to come over to work with her and help to roll out their standard way of working across all branches in Europe. The idea was that they had invented the best way of working over […]

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Want to improve your practices?

11 december 2019

Practices are actions to deliberately get a certain result. Each practice has been developed to try to achieve a specific goal or mitigate a risk/problem, In software development, practices are used all the time. Some teams use Behavior Driven Development which helps to understand what to build, while others use Impact mapping to understand why […]

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Systems Thinking in organizational coaching

30 oktober 2019

In this article, we will be sharing an example of organizational coaching, in which we successfully applied the Systems Thinking approach. We were working with a service organization and found fundamental solutions to several chronic problems. We believe that effective organizational coaching is not possible without Systems Thinking. Why Systems Thinking Large organizations are complex […]

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LeSS adoption at a Large Dutch Bank

24 oktober 2019

This article is about how we improved on the Dutch Bank Spotify inspired model in a tribe. We work with over 20  teams on our Business Lending product. We develop our product across 3 sites, with dispersed teams. Each team contains business, IT and operations skills. In this configuration we deliver valuable product for our […]

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Cesario Ramos Agile Rocks Conference

Cesario speaks about Scrum Patterns Talk at the Agile Rocks Conference

26 september 2019

On September 21, Cesario Ramos gave a talk about Scrum Patterns at the Agile Rocks conference in Kiev. You can see the recording of this talk here. Enjoy.

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LeSS keynote Cesario Ramos

ING – Our Journey towards scaling Agile

26 september 2019

On September 12 2019, we ( Nadine, Joris, Vaishal and Cesario ) provided the keynote at the LeSS conference in Munich. We shared the story about how we improved the Spotify inspired ING model with LeSS. My friend Rowan Bunning was present at the keynote and wrote a super nice summary of the talk. You […]

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Do you believe in cross-functional teams?

30 augustus 2019

In Scrum, we strive for cross-functionality, a foundational element in teamwork. However, I experience people having different interpretations and misunderstandings of it. In this blog we’ll look into these.

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“Take responsibility! It’s your responsibility, so take it!”

30 mei 2019

I’m not happy. I’m cheerful. There’s a difference. A happy woman has no cares at all. A cheerful woman has cares but has learned how to deal with them.— Beverly Sill Hi, my name is Irina Skrypnik and I would like to introduce the topic of responsibility for us to discuss and practice. When I […]

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Scrum Patterns talk by Cesario Ramos

17 mei 2019

At Agile Days Istanbul 2019, Cesario Ramos gave a talk and small workshop on Scrum Patterns. It is based on the upcoming book A Scrum Book which I co-authored.

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A Scrum Book

A Scrum Book: The Spirit of Scrum is released

26 april 2019

After 9 years of hard work, we finally have the beta release of our book – A Scrum Book: The Spririt of the Game. Final publication will be in a few months, but the digital version is already available. In October Cesario Ramos & James Coplien will provide a special 2 day training about the […]

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Why Isn’t Your Current Approach to Scaling Agile Working?

31 maart 2019

The paper ‘Why Isn’t Your Current Approach to Scaling Agile Working?” written by Cesario Ramos co-authors with Kurt Bittner was recently published on InfoQ. Having trouble scaling your agility? You’re not alone; even organizations who have agile success in isolated pockets have trouble scaling that agility to the broader organization. The challenges express themselves in […]

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Why focus on Velocity inhibits Agility

15 februari 2019

In this article, I will discuss the dangerous dynamic that can arise when a Product Owner, Scrum Master, or the management of an organization focuses a Development Team on velocity. What does velocity refer to? The concept of velocity signifies: The speed at which a Development Team converts Product Backlog Items into a Product Increment […]

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Multi-team Backlog Refinement

11 februari 2019

In this little blog I share some tips for multi-team Product Backlog refinement. What is Product Backlog Refinement? Product Backlog Refinement (PBR) is an activity that Scrum Teams regularly do to clarify potential upcoming Product Backlog Items (PBI). In single team Scrum, typically the Scrum Team gets together for one or more workshops during a […]

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LeSS Conference New York Panel Discussion on InfoQ

12 november 2018

LeSS Trainer panel discussion at the LeSS conference New York 2018, is publisched on InfoQ. The LeSS trainers answer various questions from the audiance, and ofcourse there is a joke from Craig, I got a chance to talk about Copy Paste Scaling too 🙂

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Defining Your Product for a LeSS Adoption

29 september 2018

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 […]

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Craig Larman & Cesario Ramos LeSS Recap Day Video’s

31 juli 2018

On July 10 we had our 5th LeSS Recap Day. This time it was in Amsterdam and we had Craig Larman as special guest. We started with a talk by Cesario Ramos. Cesario talked about some LeSS Huge experiments he has been working on the in the financial industry. Craig did a 90 min Q&S […]

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From Sheep Dog to Lap Dog

3 januari 2018

Back in the early days of Scrum, the Scrum Master role was exciting. The days of the pigs & chickens, the days when being a Scrum Master was considered dangerous. In those times there was the saying a dead Scrum Master is a useless Scrum Master  And even today I still use that when selecting […]

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The LeSS Dynamics Game

23 september 2017

( a.k.a. The Waterfall Game) Goals of the game The goal of this game is to understand how organisational design using component teams leads to the waterfall and unnecessary complexity. In this game, you experience how a typical scaling approach I call “Copy Paste Scaling” results in not so good things in organisations.  Copy Paste […]

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How To Scale Scrum? …is The Wrong Question To Ask

8 juli 2017

Some companies develop 1 product with 10s to 100s of people using Scrum. And they do that without adding any roles, events or processes to Scrum. They can do this because they use an organisational design that optimises for the right goals. Design Goals An organisation has a design, just like a truck or a […]

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Business Analyst in Large Scale Scrum

4 april 2017

Over the last weeks I’ve been working on a paper about the role of a Business Analysts within Large Scale Scrum, and I thought I’d write a little post on it too, here it goes. On the website of the IIBA you can find their definition of a Business Analyst. a liaison among stakeholders in order to understand the structure, policies, and operations of […]

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Do not provide the answer before knowing the question

22 februari 2017

I was talking to a company that is implementing the Spotify model and needed some help. They wanted to know the difference between LeSS and their Spotify model. We first discussed what LeSS is. I told them that LeSS is an organisational design that optimises for shortest lead time, flexibility and learning. What single team Scrum does […]

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Designing the LeSS Conference

3 december 2016

The first ever LeSS conference was held in Amsterdam on August 30 and 31. An amazing 186 participants from Australia, Japan, the USA, Finland, Singapore, Switzerland and many more joined us for 2 days of sharing, learning and self-management.  We, the organisers, did not want it to be a commercial conference, in the sense that […]

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More With LeSS: An Interview with Cesario Ramos

3 december 2016

Patrick Kasper from ti&m interviewed Cesario Ramos on Large Scale Scrum (LeSS). In this interview Cesario answers some common questions that people have about LeSS. Like for example “The slogan of LeSS is: “more with LeSS” – what does this mean?”. The original results of this interview can be found here.  You can find a copy […]

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Agile Adoption Canvas

17 juni 2016

In this little blog I want to share a simple canvas that I use to kick-off agile adoption and answer the following questions: How to co-create an Agile adoption plan with clients? How to get started with an Agile adoption? How to ensure progress during the adoption? Where to start A way to start an adoption is […]

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Common Mistakes when Scaling Scrum

7 juni 2016

These days scaling Scrum is a hot topic. How can I use Scrum to deliver a big product with multiple teams? The most common approach I see at my customers is scaling Scrum by adding more Scrum teams with a Product Owner and Scrum Master per team. Scaling using Copy-Paste Scaling is about increasing in […]

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Scale Your Product NOT Your Scrum

9 maart 2016

Scaling Scrum & Agile has become a very popular topic over the last ten years. You can tell by the number of papers, talks, trainings and certification programs around it. Agile has become its own industry, as more and more enterprises want the benefits that Agile can promise. Over the last twenty years we have […]

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Déjà vu What is a good sprint plan?

16 januari 2016

I observed a Sprint Planning meeting the other day where people wanted to reuse the task stickies from other sprints as they claimed to be more or less the same in every sprint. It actually was a Déjà vu moment. While having lunch with a old friend he said the same issues came up in […]

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Retrospect to FAIL fast and OFTEN

16 januari 2016

Some teams steadily come to a state in which their retrospectives result in less and less improvements. They have been continuously improving in small steps and improved quite a bit since their start, but eventually they stopped learning. The thing is that you can learn from things you do right but you can also learn […]

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Coaching for personal change

11 januari 2016

Coaching works great for change. Coaching is asking the right questions. It is not about providing answers. Every time you provide an answer to a person or team you take away an opportunity for them to self-organize, grow and learn. You take away an opportunity for them to take ownership of the change and get […]

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Sprint Backlog

Multifunctional Learning & the reusable Sprint Backlog

2 oktober 2015

Have you ever seen a Sprint Backlog that can be reused across Sprints? I have! A reusable Sprint Backlog contains obvious tasks, for example tasks like ’write code’, ‘make test scripts’ , ‘execute test cases’ and so on. These tasks are too trivial to be useful and undermine one of the fundamentals of Scrum. Let […]

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Where is the value in Agile?

18 april 2015

I was coaching a number of teams and their Sprint Reviews were boring status meetings and few stakeholders attended. I see this pattern often at companies and the reason for poor stakeholder attendance is that the discussion about added value happens in other meetings. In this post I want to share a little model based […]

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The fallacy of leadership styles and traits

18 april 2015

Recently I gave a talk on the ScrumDayEurope 2014 conference. The talk was about how you can use game principles in combination with evidence based management (EBM) in your agile adoption. One of the hard points in evidence based management is that people tend to ignore evidence when that evidence clashes with their believes or […]

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