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How would you influence or encourage product stakeholders to attend daily scrums?

How would you influence or encourage product stakeholders to attend daily scrums? Welcome to part 18…

Who writes user stories and what would you advise them to write in those stories?

Who writes user stories and what would you advise them to write in those stories? Welcome to part 17…

Why aren’t user stories estimated in hours or days?

Why aren’t user stories estimated in hours or days? Because, in complex environments, it simply does…

How would you help the team identify and select the most valuable backlog items for the upcoming sprint?

How would you help the team identify and select the most valuable backlog items for the upcoming spr…

What kind of information would you ask the product owner for to give the scrum team an update on the product and market situation?

What kind of information would you ask the product owner for to give the scrum team an update on the…

Do scrum team members need to wait until the next daily stand up to ask for help in resolving impediments or obstacles?

Do scrum team members need to wait until the next daily stand up to ask for help in resolving impedi…

A member of the scrum team does not want to participate in planning. How do you deal with that?

A member of the scrum team does not want to participate in planning. How do you deal with that? Welc…

How do you help pick good user stories for the scrum team to include in sprint planning?

How do you help pick good user stories for the scrum team to include in sprint planning? Welcome to …

Should the scrum team be involved in the product discovery process. If so, why?

Should the scrum team be involved in the product discovery process. If so, why? Welcome to part 10 i…

How would you determine the success of agile within your organization?

How would you determine the success of agile within your organization? Welcome to part 9 in our scru…

A product owner assigns specific user stories to specific team members. How do you react?

A product owner assigns specific user stories to specific team members. How do you react? Welcome to…

How much capacity would you consider to refactor, fix important bugs, explore new technologies and ideas?

How much capacity would you consider to refactor, fix important bugs, explore new technologies and i…

Your product owner has pushed to include a user story in the upcoming sprint, but the design is not yet finalised. How do you react?

Your product owner has pushed to include a user story in the upcoming sprint, but the design is not …

What is a definition of ready?

What is a definition of ready? Welcome to part 5 of our scrum master interview questions series wher…

Is velocity a good proxy for productivity?

Is velocity a good proxy for productivity? Welcome to part 4 in our scrum master interview questions…

The product backlog has over 200 items. Is this acceptable?

The product backlog has over 200 items. Is this acceptable? Welcome to part 3 in our scrum master in…

What are the most common reasons for a scrum team failing to meet their commitments?

What are the most common reasons for a scrum team failing to meet their commitments? Welcome to part…

What do you consider to be the most important scrum event and why?

What do you consider to be the most important scrum event and why? Welcome to part 1 of our scrum ma…

What is a spike?

What is a spike? Welcome to part 18 in our Agile coach interview questions series where John McFadye…

What is sprint zero?

What is sprint zero? Welcome to part 17 in our agile coach interview questions series where John McF…

What is ScrumBan and why is it a popular option for agile teams?

What is ScrumBan and why is it a popular option for agile teams? Welcome to part 16 of our agile coa…

How does an Agile coach help create a highly motivated, self-organising team?

How does an Agile coach help create a highly motivated, self-organising team? Welcome to part 15 in …

What are the differences between coaching and mentoring?

What are the differences between coaching and mentoring? Welcome to part 14 of our agile coach inter…

What is Agile coaching?

What is Agile coaching? Welcome to part 13 in our Agile coach interview questions series where John …

Why do organizations and teams need an agile coach?

Why do organizations and teams need an agile coach? Welcome to part 12 of our agile coach interview …

What role does management play during the Agile transition?

What role does management play during the Agile transition? Welcome to part 11 in our agile coach in…

What types of strategies have worked well for Agile transformations?

What types of strategies have worked well for an Agile transformation? Welcome to part 10 of our Agi…

What are the top 5 challenges when transitioning to Agile?

What are the top 5 challenges when transitioning to Agile? Welcome to part 9 of our agile coach inte…

Why should an organization adopt an agile way of working?

Why should an organization adopt an agile way of working? Welcome to part 8 of our agile coach inter…

How would you, as an Agile coach, manage overlapping iterations?

How would you, as an Agile coach, manage overlapping iterations? Welcome to part 7 in our agile coac…

How would you assist a team member exposed to Agile for the first time?

How would you assist a team member exposed to Agile for the first time? Welcome to part 6 in our Agi…

How would you deal with a team that resist the Agile methodology?

How would you deal with a team that resist the Agile methodology? Welcome to part 5 in our agile coa…

What is the hardest part of managing an Agile transformation?

What is the hardest part of managing an Agile transformation? Welcome to part 4 of our agile coach i…

What do you do if your scrum team hate retrospectives and devolve into blaming one another?

What do you do if your scrum team hate retrospectives and devolve into blaming one another? Welcome …

How does an Agile coach manage changing requirements in the middle of product development?

How does an Agile coach manage changing requirements in the middle of product development? As part o…

Which agile processes have you used in the past and which ones do you find most effective?

Which agile processes have you used in the past and which ones do you find most effective? This is a…

How does an Agile coach go about choosing the length of a sprint?

How does an Agile coach go about choosing the length of a sprint? They don’t. It isn’t their job. Th…

What exercise do you recommend scrum teams to run in a sprint review?

What exercise do you recommend scrum teams to run in a sprint review? I don’t recommend that they ru…

How much of a role should an Agile coach play in a sprint review?

How much of a role should an Agile coach play in a sprint review? It depends. I would start by first…

What are the common mistakes you see in sprint reviews?

What are the common mistakes you see in sprint reviews? The sprint review is a great opportunity for…

How do you help your team improve their sprint review presentation?

How do you help your team improve their sprint review presentation? In my opinion, you should get ri…

What do you do when your sprint review has negative feedback from stakeholders?

What do you do when your sprint review has negative feedback from stakeholders? What do you mean by …

How does an Agile coach approach sprint review planning?

How does an Agile coach approach sprint review planning? Does the Agile coach need to be there? I wo…

What is your biggest regret as an agile coach?

What is your biggest regret as an agile coach? I’m not somebody that believes in regret. Professiona…

How do you earn trust from a new team when you are a contract agile coach?

How do you earn trust from a new team when you are a contract agile coach? So, the contract element …

What is the ‘go to’ exercise for a sprint retrospective?

What is the ‘go to’ exercise for a sprint retrospective? It used to be ‘Mad | Sad | Glad’. Many moon…

What are the 3 things that trip you up as an Agile coach?

What are the 3 things that generally trip you up as an Agile coach? This is an interesting one. Ther…

How do you sell a concept to a team and a client as an Agile coach?

How do you sell a concept to a team and a client as an Agile coach? Your first step is to stop think…

What is the one thing you must do before starting any engagement as an agile coach?

What is the one thing you must do before starting any engagement as an agile coach? It’s contract. I…

One thing I know now, as an Agile coach, that I wish I knew when I started out.

One thing I know now, as an Agile coach, that I wish I knew when I started out. That is a tricky one…

Agile coaching myth 5: You need an Agile coach.

Agile coaching myth 5: You need an Agile coach. I used to think this was true. Maybe that was my ego…

Agile coaching myth 4: It takes a long time to see results from agile coaching

Agile coaching myth 4: It takes a long time to see results from agile coaching This is an interestin…

Agile coaching myth 3: All teams are coachable.

Agile coaching myth 3: All teams are coachable. This is an interesting one. It’s something that I ha…

Agile Coaching myth 2: The Agile Coach needs to be an expert in all agile frameworks

Agile Coaching myth 2: The Agile Coach needs to be an expert in all agile frameworks This is one of …

The Definitive Guide to Scrum Training

Why take Scrum training? Scrum may appear simple at first, but it is deceptively difficult to do wel…

Agile Coaching Myth 1: Coaching is only for teams that have problems.

Agile Coaching Myth 1: Coaching is only for teams that have problems. All teams have problems and op…

What would an Agile coach consider as important metrics to measure?

What would an Agile coach consider as important metrics to measure? I’m going to put my consultant h…

How does an Agile coach gain buy in for a pilot project from leaders within the organization
How does an Agile coach gain buy in for a pilot project from leaders within the organization?

How does an Agile coach gain buy in for a pilot project from leaders within the organization? I’m go…

How does an agile coach facilitate sprint planning?

How does an agile coach facilitate sprint planning? This answer may be a bit different to how a scru…

On-demand Scrum Master Preparation Exams

For many, the Certified ScrumMaster® or Professional Scrum Master™ exam is the most nerve-wracking a…

How Agility has Moved Outside the IT Industry and is Shaping Top Companies Around the World

For many, the mention of the word agile conjures up images of software engineers, stickie notes…

6 Proven Ways to Make your Organization More Agile

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries organizations saw great leaps forwards in t…

The 6 Enablers of Business Agility – Creating the Organizational Operating system for Success

We live in a world that is more interconnected, more volatile, and more unpredictable than at a…

Powerful Questions in Coaching
Powerful Questions in Coaching

A powerful question is a question that evokes or draws out a reaction, an insight, a fact, or an opp…

Benefits of Coaching to the Coachee
Benefits of Coaching to the Coachee

As the world becomes more complex, many managers and leaders are turning to certified coaches to hel…

Avoiding Assumptions in Coaching

Assumption is defined as ‘a thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof &#…

Product Owner Origins Liam Neeson or Dragons Den
Product Owner Origins: Liam Neeson or Dragon’s Den?

Product Owners hold a lot on their shoulders. Responsibility for return on investment, ens…

5 Levers for Changing Organisational Culture

Organisational culture is one of the most powerful, and misunderstood, concepts around. Leaders and …

Agile getting stale Take the Mani fresh to Challenge
Is your Agile getting stale? Take the Mani-fresh-to Challenge!

TLDR; Everything changed in 2020, even the Scrum Guide got an update, but the Agile Manifesto didn’t…

On Agile Mastery
On Agile & Mastery

I’m lucky enough to find my job professionally satisfying. That’s because I think the line of work I…

Scaled Agile Framework
Introduction to SAFe

SAFe® is an acronym for Scaled Agile Framework® and was introduced in 2011 by co-creators Dean Leffi…

Leading SAFe with Jon Spruce

SAFe® (Scaled Agile Frameworks for enterprise) is one of the most popular frameworks for large organ…

OKR Goal setting
Why OKRs aren’t enough on their own: Goals and Standards

Objectives and Key Results – OKRs – are a well known goal-setting technique; there&#8217…

Essential Skills – Critical Analysis

In a recent conversation with Tyrrell Basson from Manchester University, we explored the topic of ‘e…

Creating Alignment and Autonomy

We know from Dan Pink’s work that high levels of autonomy are a powerful contributor to motivation. …

There Are Sabre-Toothed Tigers in Your Office

An ancient part of our brains that existed to keep us alive in a world of danger has evolved. But ra…

The SCARF Model – How it affects agile teams

In the previous article ‘There Are Sabre-Toothed Tigers In Your Office‘, we discussed ho…

Agile Coaching Capability

I’m a bit of a rugby fan and often find myself wanting to run out with the lads, moving through the …

Innovation
Innovation versus Protectionism

The last time we suffered a global pandemic that brought the world to its knees was in 1918. A littl…

I’m in a Theory X Team, Get Me Out Of Here!

For 20 years, ITV’s “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here” has been a staple of the UK pre-Christmas …

ORCA – A powerful feedback model

Ken Blanchard described it as “the breakfast of champions”; Bill Gates said “We all need people who …

Where did you get that hat?

In my previous blog post, “Where are all the managers in Agile?”, I discussed why agile doesn’t need…

Where are all the managers in Agile?

The heart of agile is described in the few words of the Agile Manifesto and its accompanying princip…

Bring rigour to your thinking

“Belief is so often the death of reason” – Lord Varys, Master of Whisperers – Game of Thrones …

Genesis: Levels of Agile Capability and Competence

Once upon a time, circa May 2016, the world was a comparatively predictable place. For the most part…

Intention Versus Strategy

Part of our Covid Hack series of articles Small, cross-functional teams working closely together to …

The History of Hierarchies

For 95 percent of the 200,000 years modern humans have walked the earth, there was no such thing as …

Resilient versus Robust

Part of our Covid Hack series of articles Many of the corporations we work with are inherently desig…

Covid Hack – Technical Debt

We’ve all experienced massive disruption, complexity and ambiguity in the face of Covid-19 hitting t…

Facilitate rapid and effective decision-making

Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is a collaborative, coaching-style workshop that brings together the team…

Covid Hacks – Hiring

In a recent Zoom session with Laura Howie, CEO of Reel Media Africa, we chatted about the importance…

Management versus Leadership

5 Weeks ago, our revenue streams dried up, literally overnight. The Covid-19 fairy waltzed in the fr…

The Coaching Imposter #2

When I last posted something, before life changed significantly for all of us, I was coming to terms…

Customers and Developers in the same room. WTF?

At the turn of the 20th Century, the father of modern Business Management – Frederick Winslow …

First they ignore you

‘How do I get the senior leadership team to buy into Agile?’ is a question I’m often asked. It’s a g…

Stealth Agile

I recently connected with Tyrrell Basson from the University of Manchester in one of my ‘Ask me Anyt…

We didn’t do anything wrong

‘We didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow, we lost.’ – CEO of Nokia There’s a moment where the CEO o…

We didn’t have time for Governance!

Many Agile coaches and trainers often speak about the unicorns of Agile. Spotify. Netflix. Amazon. A…

Building bridges amidst disruption

The Case for Business Agility As an Agile coach, consultant and trainer, I pretty much live in a wor…

Coronavirus and The Corner Shop – A Portrait of Agility?

If ever one wanted the ultimate portrait of a VUCA world – volatile, uncertain, complex, and a…

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