Author: Shiv Sivakumar

6 Things about Custom Workshops for Project / Delivery Managers

As a Learning & Development (L&D) leader or Delivery Head for software, you have a constant need to upgrade the knowledge and skill levels of teams that are right in the middle of projects – a challenge akin to fuelling in mid-air! You may ask yourself, ‘Should I send the team for a training program for a few days pulling them out of their project? Or should I put them through a custom workshop that imparts them specific knowledge / skills in their work context’? To answer such questions, it will be good to understand the key differences between...

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CHOW #76- Beyond buying pizzas!

When talking about a manager’s role in supporting a Scrum team, people often say, that a key thing is buying pizzas for team members every now and then! While pizzas are great especially when they come free, as a senior leader – say, a Director of Engineering two levels removed from a Scrum team – you may encounter some situations that are a tad more difficult! Assuming you are one such leader, here is a situation for you to address. The Scrum Master (SM) of one of your teams has been having major issues with a Tech Lead (TL)...

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Between a Rock and a Hardening Sprint!

The topic of hardening sprints is much-discussed among Agile practitioners – sometimes in purist indignation but more in expressing helplessness, I feel! Let’s first understand what a hardening sprint is – it is an additional sprint that some Scrum teams run at the completion of all the earlier “regular” sprints. Over time, the hardening sprint becomes accepted as inevitable by organizations and a dragon impossible to slay. Here is our take on an approach that can help such organizations to muster the courage and will to at least cut the dragon to size if not eliminate it. Step #1:...

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After Scrum Master, what?

Some time back, I had the opportunity to read about the growth paths available to a Scrum Master (SM). The thinking behind this was that the SM role for a given Scrum team is not forever. There comes a point in time when the team is able sustain Scrum adoption by itself and the need for Scrum Master assistance reduces significantly. In that case, what does the Scrum Master do keep herself gainfully occupied and grow career-wise? Mike Cohn in his blog talks about the following options: Take on the SM role for additional teams and in more complex product environments...

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CHOW #62- “Bite what you can chew” Responsibilities a Scrum Master can take

Barbara Jones had been a Scrum Master for a year with a team and had done a good job getting the team to a good level maturity in Agile adoption. The need for her support had reduced over time. It occupied Barbara just for a few hours per week on an average. Barbara approached her manager Jeff Sanders for additional responsibility to be SM for a few more teams. Jeff listed projects which were possible candidates for Barbara. Some of these were just starting up and had no designated Scrum Master as yet. Other projects in the list were...

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