Author Archive | Mike Cohn

Top Ten Gifts For the ScrumMaster In Your Life

If you're like me, you're late in starting your shopping this year, whether it's for Hanukkah, Christmas, Festivus or some other holiday. To help you out, I want to share a few thoughts on the best gifts for the ScrumMaster in your life. Here are the top ten gifts for the ScrumMaster in your life. […]

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How to Be Sure You’ve Thought of Everything

The following was originally published in Mike Cohn's monthly newsletter. If you like what you're reading, sign up to have this content delivered to your inbox weeks before it's posted here. A common question I get is how can a product owner (or team) be sure they've thought of everything when writing a product backlog. […]

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Root Cause Analysis of the Failure of Root Cause Analysis

The following was originally published in Mike Cohn's monthly newsletter. If you like what you're reading, sign up to have this content delivered to your inbox weeks before it's posted here. I woke one morning last week to a flat tire. Always frustrating, but having worked installing tires while I was in college, I can […]

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My Favorites for Team Movie Day

One of my favorite movie scenes comes in The Untouchables when mobster Al Capone (played by Robert DeNiro) says, “What is that which gives me joy? [grabs a baseball bat] Baseball! A man stands alone at the plate. This is the time for what? For individual achievement. There he stands alone. But in the field, […]

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Assigning Story Points at the Right Time—Or Not at All

The following was originally published in Mike Cohn's monthly newsletter. If you like what you're reading, sign up to have this content delivered to your inbox weeks before it's posted here. As much as I value estimating the product backlog, not every team needs to do it. And those who do estimate the items on […]

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Scrum Shortcuts without Cutting Corners

I first stumbled across Ilan Goldstein, author of Scrum Shortcuts without Cutting Corners, when a Web search led me to his blog of Scrum shortcuts. He hadn’t written a tons of shortcuts at that time, but the few he had were tremendously helpful — and funny. I knew Ilan was onto something, so I asked […]

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How to Estimate Velocity As an Agile Consultant

Many of you work in a dedicated in-house team, but some of you contract with companies for Scrum and agile consulting. One problem that sometimes arises as an agile contractor is when the prospective client wants an upfront commitment on the scope of the project, but the Scrum consultant feels there isn’t enough info to […]

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How Can We Get the Best Estimates of Story Size?

I was recently interviewed for an upcoming agile textbook written by Sondra Ashmore and Kristin Runyan. They asked me questions regarding several areas of agile development and Scrum. Last week, I explored questions they had about the product backlog. This week, I'd like to tell you about the conversation we had about estimating. The conversation […]

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Names Should Not Be Needed for User Stories

I've never been a fan of naming user stories. Stories should generally be short enough that naming them should not be necessary. Yes, novels and movies get names. But we don't name the sentences in a novel. Since I still haven't been to see The Great Gatsby movie I started re-reading the novel recently so […]

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