Scrum Insights For Practitioners

Book: “Scrum Insights For Practitioners”

I am pleased to announce my new book — “Scrum Insights for Practitioners: The Scrum Guide Companion”. Thank you all for your support and help.


The Scrum Guide
holds the bare and essential rules of Scrum. It provides sufficient information to understand Scrum but leaves much open for interpretation by readers and practitioners. When individuals and organizations follow The Scrum Guide blindly, without understanding the real, deep essence of Scrum—the principles and values underpinning the framework—they likely will fail to reap all the benefits Scrum has to offer.

Scrum Insights for Practitioners fills in some gaps in the understanding of Scrum for individuals or organizations practicing Scrum. This book can be thought of as a companion to The Scrum Guide. I encourage readers to first read The Scrum Guide if you are new to Scrum before reading this book, as this will help you reap the maximum benefits.

Scrum Insights for Practitioners is a perfect companion to The Scrum Guide that helps the practitioners master the Scrum framework by gaining in-depth practical insights and helps answer questions such as these:

  • What are some common myths, mysteries, and misconceptions of Scrum?
  • The Scrum Guide recommends three to nine members in a Development Team, but we have fifteen members. Is this Scrum?
  • Can you share some tactics to do effective Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review, Sprint Retrospective, and Product Backlog Refinement?
  • My designation is development manager. Does this mean I have no role in Scrum?
  • How is Scrum Empirical?
  • Can Scrum Master and Product Owner be the same person?
  • We don’t have a Scrum Master. Are we still practicing Scrum?
  • What does Self-Organization really mean?
  • How does Scrum embrace the four values and twelve principles of the Agile Manifesto?
  • Please share a case study on Scrum based product development?

Recommendations for the book from the Scrum champions

Take advantage of Hiren’s vast experience and avoid making the common errors people make as they begin their journey. This book contains a wealth of practical information that will be useful to readers as they work to implement the basic theory found in The Scrum GuideSteve Porter, team member, Scrum.org

In his book Scrum Insights for Practitioners, Hiren has extended the core rules of The Scrum Guide with practices he has found useful. Hiren answers questions regarding Scrum that potentially remain unanswered even after one reads The Scrum Guide. Hiren dismantles common misconceptions about Scrum, regardless of the source of such misconceptions. Hiren elaborates on basic information provided in The Scrum Guide, as well as on the principles underlying ScrumGunther Verheyen, Author of “Scrum — A Pocket Guide, a Smart Travel Companion”

Hiren Doshi has written a fine companion to The Scrum Guide, filling in some of the intentional gaps left in the Scrum framework. Using this companion along with The Scrum Guide will undoubtedly improve the outlook for those teams that internalize its teachings.”Charles Bradley, ScrumCrazy.com

This book will help you understand the nuances of Scrum. It takes a very practical approach toward implementing Scrum without compromising on its values and principles. A useful and handy reference for Scrum practitioners!—Gopinath R, Agile coach and practitioner

Currently the book is available as a physical copy on Amazon. The Kindle version to follow shortly.

I sincerely hope you find great value in each and every page of the book.

Enjoy Reading. Happy Scrumming.

Mysteries Of Product Ownership

Myths, Misconceptions & Mysteries Of Product Ownership

Here’s what the Scrum Guide says about the Product Owner Role:
“The Product Owner is responsible for maximizing the value of the product and the work of the Development Team. How this is done may vary widely across organizations, Scrum Teams, and individuals.”

Who is an effective Product Owner in Scrum? Is (S)He a requirements typist, user story writer, business analyst, domain expert, maybe all of the above? What are some effective practices of Product Ownership? What are the biggest myths and misconceptions around Product Ownership?

Five of the most respected Scrum.org PSPO Trainers – Ralph Jocham, Mark Noneman, Erik Weber, Hiren Doshi, and Simon Reindl talk and answer questions on Product Ownership myths, misconceptions and mysteries of Product Ownership.

Professional Scrum Product Owner

15 things a Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO) actually does

15 things a Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO) actually does

PSPO_jpeg

The Product Owners – Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos

  1. The Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO) is an Entrepreneur – a value Maximizer & Optimizer
  2. The PSPO sets a solid vision to help the Scrum Team keep laser sharped focus and direction that helps with incremental progress at the end of each sprint
  3. 1 Product == 1 Product Backlog == 1 Product Owner. Having one PSPO for the product helps with the clarity & focus, ensures quick decision making, and single person accountability for the success of the product.
  4. To validate the idea the PSPO frequently releases the increment of software to market to gain real customer insights
  5. The PSPO has the final say on the order of the Product Backlog. The PSPO orders the PBIs in the product backlog by keeping the Value of the PBI, the dependencies between PBIs and the dependencies on the other products in mind.
  6. The PSPO ensures that most valuable functionality is generated all times by the Development Team.
  7. The PSPO accounts for the Return on Investment and Total Cost of Ownership before a feature is built.
  8. The PSPO ensures that all work done by the Development Team originate from the single Product Backlog – a single source of truth.
  9. To determine the value of the product being delivered the PSPO might use metrics like time to market (cycle time / lead time), percentage of the functionality in the released product used by the customers & the overall customer satisfaction
  10. The PSPO is accountable for Interacting and engaging with the Stakeholders.
  11. The PSPO comes to the Sprint planning with a clear business objective in mind and works with the Development Team to craft a sprint goal based upon the forecast
  12. During the actual Sprint the PSPO is accountable for the Product Backlog Refinement, but may delegate the work to the Development Team.
  13. The PSPO  is the only one who can abnormally terminate the Sprint in case the Sprint goal becomes obsolete.
  14. The PSPO Is just one person and not a committee
  15. The PSPO builds trust by closely working with Development Teams. He is not hesitant to delegate the work of writing user stories / Product Backlog items to the Development Team.

Scrum roles

The various levels of Services in the 3 Scrum Roles

The 3 Scrum Roles are:

  • The Product Owner
  • The Scrum Master
  • The Development team

The various levels of services in the Scrum roles are:

  • Scrum Master serves the Development Team
  • Development Team serves the Product Owner
  • Product Owner serves the stakeholders.

The accountability of the the various roles are:

  • Product Owner is accountable for the value being delivered.
  • Scrum Master is accountable for building High performing Scrum Teams by ruthlessly removing impediments and facilitating Development Team decisions. And the best way a Scrum Master can remove impediments is to empower/teach/coach the Development Team to remove them themselves. Only if the team is stuck the Scrum Master removes the impediments himself.
  • Development Team manages itself and is accountable to build a releasable increment of software that adheres to their agreed ‘Done’ at the end of every sprint

Scrum Foundations workshop

Feedback on the Professional Scrum Foundations workshop

This video captures the feedback from the students on the Professional Scrum Foundation workshop facilitated in India. The students share their learnings on how writing granular user stories, story splitting, defining clear Scrum roles helps with agility. They talk about values and principles like self-organization, empowerment, Courage and Respect needed to embrace Agility. They also talk about the interactive and intensive, hands-on and powerpoint free facilitation of this PSF workshop.

Scrum Adoption at LULU

My 10 Days of Agile| Scrum Adoption at LULU

The Agile Adoption Strategy used at LULU included Agile Readiness Assessment, The Scrum | Agile Training,  Story writing workshops, Distributed team Alignment, Re-structuring, Facilitating a Sprint, Team Building Activities, and open workshop.

Scaled Professional Scrum & Nexus

Scaled Professional Scrum & Nexus – Feedback

The feedback is for the Scaled Professional Scrum workshop from Scrum.org that  I facilitated in Mumbai on January 9th and January 10th.

The feedback is given by Parag Barve, Ajay Solanki, Prasad Kamath and Syed Ali.





Manufacturing industry embrace Scrum

Can the Manufacturing industry (non-software) embrace Scrum?

Yes, the manufacturing industry can not only embrace scrum, but also reap all the benefits Scrum has to offer and I had the privilege to work with one of the largest Garment Manufacturers and exporters on their Agile journey.

The software development falls in complex domain and so does the garment manufacturing industry. The 3 major domains in which changes happen and that is similar to software development are

  1. Changing Requirements: It is very difficult to predict what the customer wants. the Fit, the Trims, the Fabric, the pattern & style etc.
    Source: Ralph Stacey, University of Hertfordshire

    Source: Ralph Stacey, University of Hertfordshire

  2. Technological changes: Faster and faster automated fabric cutting and sewing machines are available all the times.
  3. People: The entire garment manufacturing process is based on people and skills. It is heavily dependent on specialized skills & their availability

I was surprised by the fact that in bulk manufacturing a trouser changes 70 different hands before it’s ready to be shipped and a jacket changes over 120 different hands before it is ready to be shipped.

The organization wanted to move to scrum for following reasons:

  1. Improve communication and collaboration between different units.
  2. Improve the overall customer satisfaction and be more predictable with their shipment.
  3. Improve the overall discipline and have a standardized process across the organization.
  4. Improve time to market – across their different areas of Product Development (R&D), Pre-production and Production
  5. Improve transparency between various function, improve their team morale, work in Teams with a clear focus towards organizational vision and mission statement.
  6. Quick decision making, self-organizing, empowered and highly motivated teams

The Adoption was done in 3 stages and I am including a snippet of the video

  1. Assessment to baseline where they are. What is working for them and what are their pain points
  2. Scrum Training – educating participants on Scrum through plenty of exercises
  3. Team formation and sprinting

Banswara embraces SCRUM

Banswara Syntex (Garment Manufacturer) and Non-software organization embraces Scrum to improve their throughput, employee morale, and manage changing requirements.

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