From 2019 to 2021 Melissa Boggs served as Co-CEO and Chief ScrumMaster for the Scrum Alliance. Earlier this year she stepped down from her Chief SM role and took on the position of Vice President of Business Agility at Sauce Labs. AFAIK, Melissa was the Chief ScrumMaster ever so I wanted to check in with her and see what she learned during her time in the role, what advice she could share for those headed down that path, and what new challenges she’s taken on since she started her new gig.
What is truly powerful about this interview is how open Melissa is about the things she learned about herself on this journey. She offers a great example of brave vulnerability and shows how, if you are in the business of helping others transform, you have to be willing to develop an inner sense of personal agility as well.
Links from the Podcast
The Scrum Guide got an update last November and one of the concepts introduced was the Product Goal. The Scrum Guide says:
“The Product Goal describes a future state of the product which can serve as a target for the Scrum Team to plan against. The Product Goal is in the Product Backlog. The rest of the Product Backlog emerges to define “what” will fulfill the Product Goal.
The Product Goal is the long-term objective for the Scrum Team. They must fulfill (or abandon) one objective before taking on the next.”
For some, myself included, taking that basic definition, extending it, and creating clarity on how the Product Goal fits in with other ways we talk about the Product Backlog has been challenging. So, I reached out for some help...
In this episode of The Reluctant Agilist, I'm joined by Ryan Ripley. Ryan is the co-author of "Fixing Your Scrum", the co-host of the Agile for Humans podcast and he's also a Professional Scrum Trainer. During the conversation, Ryan and I dig into what exactly the Prout Goal is, how teams can use it to deliver value and how it fits in with some of the other aspects of the Product Backlog.
If you'd like to check out the podcast Ryan and I recorded on his book Fixing Your Scrum you can find it here: https://bit.ly/3vIWNJq
Links from the Podcast
Christine Converse and Ross Beurmann are back and this time we’re picking up the thread from something that came up during our previous interview. The title of the episode is Resistance to Change and the conversation centers around the problems we face when trying to create change within a team or organization. More specifically, we talk about how you can influence others to change when you have no authority, the people you are trying to help may have no desire to be helped. Whether you are working in an agile environment, a traditional organization, or something that is careening back and forth between the two, this interview is going to give you a lot to think about.
CONTACTING CHRISTINE AND ROSS
If you’d like to reach out to Christine or Ross, here are some ways to reach them:
What do you do when they start asking for cost per point?
This issue often arrives wrapped in requests that are pure in their intent and seem to be reasonable requests from the business…
How much are we spending each month and how many points are we delivering for that spend?
Since we are now estimating work in User Story Points, we need to be able to determine how much to charge for the work that clients are asking for. So how much does a point cost us?
We need to evaluate the change requests so we can decide which ones to move forward with and which ones to reject. We’re estimating them in User Story Points, which gives us a relative idea of risk, complexity, and effort, but not cost. We need to be able to translate points to dollars so we can understand if the value we’d receive from the change is worth the cost.
I had a student recently who was qetting requests like this from the business, so I asked Agile Coach Troy Lightfoot to join me for a podcast where we could unpack the issues that often come with the cost per point question, the pros and cons of tracking it, and some things to take into account when you formulate your response to the request.
Links from the Podcast
Since the Covid-19 Quarantining began, we’ve all had to adjust to our work-life taking place 100% online. Whether you are working in a traditional environment or in Agile, this change has impacted your teams’ ability to engage, learn, and collaborate online. In this episode of the podcast, I am joined by Braden Cundiff who works in the International Division of McGraw-Hill Education serving in a Product Ownership role for international education products.
Braden’s work involves creating tools and products that are used in collaborative, educational environments all across the globe. He also has a background that includes teaching, agile coaching, and transformation. This allows him to offer a unique perspective on how to create an effective online environment for your teams.
At the start of the interview, Braden and I also discuss his role as a Product Owner and he offers his take on the one question that comes up in every single Product Owner class I teach … “How do I get better at saying ’No’?”