Strategies for Amplifying Agile Practices Across Your Corporate Landscape

When embarking on the journey of Agile adoption, there’s a saying that aptly comes to mind. “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time”. While the transformation to agile seems daunting, with the proper framework and guidance in place, you can set yourself up for a seamless transition. In order to combat complexities like digital transformation, market volatility and a changing customer landscape, you need a dynamic and responsive plan of action. 

We aim to shed light on the power of Agile methodology, a philosophy that transcends mere operational tactics, to become a core strategic asset for companies aiming to stay ahead in the game. Embracing Agile can catalyze organizational and cultural change, drive efficiency, and ultimately build resilience within your team.

Here, we unpack 7 ways you can amplify your Agile practices and how it can drive your organization forward.

1. The Catalyst for Change

Without vision, and buy in from the greater organization, any new process will fall flat. This is where change leaders play a critical role in facilitating the transition from traditional to Agile methodologies. They start by articulating a clear and compelling vision for Agile adoption, highlighting its benefits and alignment with your organization’s strategic goals. 

It’s their responsibility to ensure this vision resonates at all levels, from executive suites to operational teams, fostering a shared understanding of the expected outcomes. As much as Agile adoption is about changing processes, a large portion of this is driven through cultural change as well. 

One of the core principles of Agile is empowering teams to make decisions and take ownership of their work. Change leaders facilitate this empowerment by removing impediments to team autonomy, and fostering a trust-based environment. They help redefine leadership roles to support rather than direct, enabling teams to deliver their best work.

2. Starting Small to Achieve Big

Initiating Agile practices with small, manageable pilot projects offers a strategic path to broader Agile transformation. This allows for a pragmatic approach to realizing immediate benefits, while laying the groundwork for wider adoption. Teams are able to quickly grasp and demonstrate the core principles of Agile, including iterative development, continuous feedback, and enhanced collaboration.

The benefits of this includes:

  • Increased flexibility
  • Faster time to market
  • Improved response to customer feedback

These types of early success in return does the following:

  • Builds confidence
  • Creates internal champions
  • Facilitates organizational buy-in
  • Paves the way for scaling Agile practices

3. Measuring the Effectiveness of Your Agile Practices

In order to continuously improve on your processes and maximize your investment in Agile practices, measuring the effectiveness of these practices are essential. By implementing robust measurement mechanisms, your organization can gain valuable insights into the impact of Agile on key performance indicators such as time-to-market, product quality, team productivity, and customer satisfaction. Not only do these metrics provide visibility into the success of your Agile initiatives, but also enables you to identify areas of improvement.

An effective way to assess Agile effectiveness is via team retrospectives. By conducting regular retrospectives to reflect on team performance, identify improvement opportunities, and assess the effectiveness of Agile practices, you’re able to keep track of your efforts, and pivot if and when necessary. 

4. Highlighting Agile Wins: Building a Success Narrative

Success stories from specific projects or teams become powerful testimonials, showcasing the benefits of Agile in action. These narratives highlight the journey of overcoming challenges, the strategies implemented for effective problem-solving, and the lessons learned along the way, serving as insights for others. 

By celebrating these successes, you not only reinforce the value of Agile methodology, but also foster a culture of continuous learning and adaptation, which is at the core of being Agile. 

5. Organizational Best Practices

The eclectic approach to Agile allows companies like Google to manage its vast and varied product portfolio efficiently. From search and advertising to cloud computing and consumer hardware, every product area benefits from tailored Agile practices, which ultimately optimizes productivity and fosters innovation.

Providing comprehensive training and coaching to ensure teams understand Agile principles and practices and can effectively implement them is crucial in your Agile adoption. Equipping teams with the necessary skills and understanding, will set them up for future success. Along with the relevant training and coaching, giving teams the autonomy and authority to make decisions and take ownership of their work, fosters a sense of accountability and motivation. 

This cultivates a mindset that welcomes change and views it as an opportunity for growth and improvement, rather than a hindrance. Involving the whole organization in Agile practices is a critical step towards achieving a truly Agile culture, where adaptability, innovation, and customer-centricity are at the core of all operations.

6. Collaborative Agility: Engaging Teams Beyond IT

Collaborative Agility, especially when engaging teams beyond the IT department, represents a holistic approach to adopting Agile methodologies across various functions of your organization. It highlights the importance of collaboration, flexibility, and customer-centricity, extending the benefits of Agile to operations, marketing, HR, finance, and more. 

In a quest to break down silos, collaborative Agility encourages the formation of cross-functional teams that include members from different departments, fostering a more integrated approach to project management and problem-solving. By focusing on shared goals rather than department-specific targets, you can enhance alignment, efficiency, and overall performance among teams.

7. Leveraging Expertise: Partnering for Agile Excellence

There’s an old African proverb that says, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together’. This rings true for any organization embarking on an Agile adoption journey. Agile consultants bring a wealth of knowledge and experience in Agile methodologies, frameworks, and best practices. They are able to provide guidance on how to tailor Agile principles to suit your organization’s unique context, industry, and goals.

Working with experienced Agile consultants, like ThinkLouder, can tailor Agile practices and frameworks to fit the specific needs and challenges of your organization. In addition to providing the framework, a partner provides change management support, helping leaders navigate resistance, build buy-in, and foster a culture of agility and collaboration.

By applying these 7 strategies, you’ll be able to amplify Agile practices across your organization. Whether you’re just getting started, or in the process of scaling, continuing to have a clearly defined and communicated vision will propel you into greater agility. Celebrating and sharing victories, big or small, will continue to foster buy-in and ownership of your agile practices.  

Collaborating with experienced Agile consultants empowers organizations to accelerate their Agile journey. ThinkLouder can assist by providing support through precision coaching and tailored workshops, helping you take your next step in Agile adoption.

Learn more by booking a call with one of our consultants by heading to:

Thriving from Afar: Strategies for Effective Remote Teamwork

The world of work is changing, and remote and hybrid models are here to stay. With that in mind, managers are looking for effective ways to ensure the work gets done, without adopting an invasive “big brother” approach.

Finding the balance between collaboration and independence

While Agile requires collaboration — people working effectively together —  working remotely requires individuals to self-manage and work independently.  Somehow team members must figure out both how to work better together and how to work better alone.  This requires individuals  to figure out what they need to work on and how they should work on it in an environment where visibility and transparency is challenging. This means managers are often feeling in the dark, requiring a high degree of trust in their teams that is often tested any time things go wrong. This often leads  to management  questions of commitment, productivity and dedication.

Helping your remote teams work better

It starts by being more precise about defining our expectations and ensuring every team has the tools to meet those expectations. Expecting people to have high-productivity work-at-home skills is like expecting a home-taught cook to match the skills of a fully trained chef.  This is  why it makes sense to double down on coaching  and providing support structures to help remote teams do better. Whether teams are brand new or seasoned Agile teams, there’s one common denominator: the pursuit of continuous improvement..As individuals, there are two key issues that need to be addressed:

How am I working? (How am I managing my time, my day?)
How do I work with others to deliver things together?

They’re actually connected. The one depends on the other. Individuals don’t deliver outcomes, teams do.

Productivity is built on accountability
To boost productivity in remote work teams, you (and me) need to build accountability into our daily work schedules. There are a number of strategies that can easily be employed that make this possible:

Use the daily Scrum to establish the team’s goals for the day
What do you want to solve today? By integrating the daily scrum with individual goals, you can create a collective set of goals for the day.

Apply the rule of threes
What three things do you want to accomplish today? Your day doesn’t end until you’ve accomplished them. It creates a sense of alignment around what your team wants to accomplish.

Partner up
Every task you work on, you have to partner with somebody else. As an example, this can mean that you have to be online on Google Talk with somebody else at the same time. At the very least, there is an expectation that there’s an assignment, project, or module that can’t be executed by one person. It requires multiple people and creates a sense of mutual accountability.

Open collaboration windows
During your day, create specific times when you get online with your team: 9 to 10 and 3 to 4. This eliminates the need for managers to oversee processes and do spot checks because you’re touching base more than once a day to get updates.

Define dedicated blocks of work time.

Try using the Pomodoro technique. Create a list of things you want to do. Then, choose what you want to focus on and set a 25-minute timer. Turn off your phone, notifications, alerts, etc. Unless there’s a major crisis, most things in your life can wait 25 minutes. Then, take a 5-minute break.

Scheduled regular retrospectives
Whether your team is a scrum team or not, scheduling regular retrospectives dedicated to identifying specific areas that the team can focus on to improve is a cornerstone to continuous improvement.

Create structures of fulfillment, instead of enforcement
Do regular team check-ins. Schedule regular meetings in which we debrief and review  everything the team has accomplished as well as align on the next set of priorities. You have a choice: create structures of enforcement or create structures to help fulfillment.

Think Pink: Motivation is driven by mastery, autonomy, and purpose
As Daniel Pink writes in his book, Drive, Mastery is being motivated to get better at doing something right; autonomy is the ability to be self-directed; and purpose is doing something we believe is important — something bigger than ourselves. By elevating enforcement, we remove autonomy, which reduces motivation. When we focus on “ARE you working?” instead of “HOW you are working?”, we lose sight of the purpose.

Purpose is one of the main factors that affect our ability to do difficult things and endure discomfort. Organizations that actively work to improve employee motivation and elevate engagement will find it easier to initiate the strategies that help their teams stay focused on their purpose and become more productive.

What strategies are you using to ensure your team delivers? Let us know in the comments.

How to take Scrum Values from Paper to Practice

At first glance, the five Scrum values seem like a no-brainer: Commitment, focus, openness, respect, and courage. But often, there isn’t one version of the truth. Without clarifying what these values mean in Scrum, the team is left to interpret what these values mean through the lens of their own experience and cultural norms. 


In the Scrum Guide, commitment is about the team committing to achieving its goal and supporting each other. It’s important to clarify the difference between making a commitment and making a promise. While we can commit to working together to reach a defined goal, we can’t promise we’ll achieve it.

Commitment doesn’t promise an outcome. It’s about working towards an outcome. We can make a commitment to pursue our collective goal in a focused way, to being supportive of each other’s success, and working together to achieve it.

It’s no coincidence that one of the examples listed in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is, “the team lost focus.” Without focus, teams can lose their sense of direction – where they are headed at any point in time. 

Fortunately, Scrum is full of mechanisms that ensure the team stays focused.  The most important of these is the sprint timebox itself.  Teams focus on the highest priority opportunities that can fit in that fixed timeframe. Other practices can help teams focus such as  setting explicit Sprint learning goals, publishing your team’s definition of done, and adding expiration dates to product backlogs. 

You could also plan a learning focused daily Scrum where you change the emphasis of the agenda towards learning rather than task progress and delivery.

It’s easier said than done and it’s only achieved in teams that have developed trust. Without trust, people will be afraid to be truthful. They won’t be willing to admit mistakes, take responsibility, or even be honest about challenges they’re facing – because they’re afraid of the consequences. If the response to mistakes is “shaming and blaming,” people will be reluctant to admit to them or point them out.

Cultivating an environment where people can be honest and expect to receive support (instead of a rap on the knuckles), is easier in some cultures than in others. We all make mistakes. It’s what happens next that determines whether people feel they can speak freely or it’s safer to stay silent. It’s important to create a culture that embraces small failures in order to avoid the large ones.  Creating an environment in which it is safe to fail not only leads to greater innovation and experimentation but also to one that is more open and transparent.

It starts with assuming people have good intentions. That no one deliberately sets out to make a mistake. As a leader, you make them too. The important thing is to identify and learn from these so we may become better leaders and team members.  Openness is the key to unlocking future improvement.

You may find that holding a safety check when you kick off your meetings makes meeting safety a prerequisite and allows you to assess and evaluate whether safety issues have been dealt with. Feeling safe leads to more engaged participants and better meeting outcomes.

When there’s openness in Scrums, problems are identified sooner, solutions are found through greater collaboration, and everyone knows whether they’re on target to meet their goals.


In some cultures, respect is a given. You’re expected to respect your elders, your teachers, your managers. In other cultures, respect must be earned. You aren’t given respect simply because you have a fancy nameplate, a long-winded title, and are higher up in the corporate tree.  In Scrum, respect refers to the respect we have for each other.  “I respect you, because I know you”.  Because we respect each other, we treat each other with respect.  Because we respect each other, we assume positive intent in the actions and decisions that others make.  Because I respect you, I don’t think you’re purposely trying to undermine me.  If you’re doing something I don’t agree with, it’s because you believe your path is the better one.  Because I respect you, I should have a natural curiosity to try to understand “why?”

We  earn the respect of our team members through the actions and decisions we make as ScrumMAsters. We  take  responsibility as leaders. We  earn it through empathy and caring — prioritizing the success of our team members no less than our own. 

Doing the right thing — even if it means negative ramifications — takes courage. It takes courage to say “No” to unreasonable customers.  It takes courage to resist the urge to cut corners just to get something out the door.  It takes courage to admit that we have failed; that we have made mistakes; that we missed something.

It takes courage  to admit we were wrong and we should change course. And to do so in the spirit of cooperation and getting back on track, where everyone knows what needs to happen next.

As a member of a scrum team,  it’s your role to support your team in finding solutions. It’s saying, “Let’s work together to find a solution.”

To ensure your team can move from theory to practice, it’s essential to ensure everyone is on the same page about what these values mean and how to implement them. 

How Content Helps You Launch & Develop Your Scrum Career

Building your personal brand is the long-term strategy for Scrum Masters that will pay big dividends

You’ve got your Scrum Master certification, you’ve beefed up your LinkedIn profile, and yet no one is beating down your door to hire you. That’s probably because you don’t stand out from the hundreds of other worthy candidates competing for jobs in the Scrum space. While most recruiters will have cast a quick glance at your CV to determine if you meet the basic criteria, they’re going to be looking for that extra ingredient that motivates them to look you up. 

Which brings us back to your LinkedIn profile. You’ve probably made sure that all your certifications and job history are listed. Perhaps you even have endorsements. However, the last thing you posted was photos from the company’s Halloween party and “Bring your dog to work” day.

So, they know you like superheroes in capes and your dog is cute. That’s all they know. Otherwise, you’re pretty much invisible. You’re not liking, sharing, or commenting on relevant posts in your space. You’re also not adding any value by sharing useful information or starting conversations about hot topics. 

You’ve bought the entrance ticket. Now get a front row seat.

By obtaining a Scrum Master certification, you’ve bought your entrance ticket to this job sector. How do you get a front row seat and be considered? What is your X factor? You need to tell a consistent story about yourself and who you are over time. You need to build your personal brand.

This is not only going to be useful to you today, but it’s also going to help you build credibility and stronger relationships because you are constantly delivering value. You will be putting your knowledge and expertise out into the world, freely and generously. 

When there are lots of people competing for the same job, the person who has consistently provided value, made someone think, laugh or look at something differently, or maybe helped them in their work today is the person who is going to have the competitive edge. 

To stand out, have your say

Whether you’re a scrum master, project manager, or in another field entirely, the one thing you can do right now to advance yourself is create and publish content. Your profile gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your expertise through the content that you share. It could be a blog, video, Slideshare, or something else — the mode doesn’t really matter. Is your content insightful? Represent a unique point of view? Provide value to your peers? 

This is your opportunity to develop your own unique voice. You’re positioning yourself, making connections, and developing relationships. If you’re fortunate enough to create something that goes viral, you’re bringing value to a large number of people, which looks great and let’s be honest, it feels great too.

Once you’ve developed a great piece of content, don’t just post it on LinkedIn. Share it on other channels such as Medium or Reddit. Take time out from a Netflix binge and get savvy on social media. 

Lost for words? Start by curating content

If you found a piece of content valuable, others might too. If you’ve just read a great article, take the time to summarize it and what you liked about it. If you’re already devouring hours of YouTube content on scrum, pick the top five every month, review and share them. Perhaps you enjoy trying new tools. Take note of what you liked (and what you didn’t) and share your list of pros and cons. These are three easy ways to get started with content creation. There are many more.

Content is evergreen & it builds your personal brand

What you post on your profile gives your connections clues as to who you are. By consuming your content, people get to know you, how you communicate,and your breadth of expertise. Hopefully, they start looking forward to hearing your take on things.

Over time, you develop your voice, personality, and opinions. People develop a sense of familiarity and may trust you to the point where they invite you to be a speaker and invite you to join professional panels. You’re able to widen your professional circle and broaden the range of things that you’re doing.

The content you invest time and energy in developing can, and does, positively influence people’s perceptions. They may even quote you, share your post, or remember your name.

Warning: AI doesn’t make you look more intelligent

Before you rush off and start pumping out content from ChatGPT, take a deep breath. Yes, it’s an easy way to quickly generate content. However, it’s not necessarily good content and it’s probably not original or authentic. That means it’s not going to differentiate you. While it’s great for generating ideas, it’s your opinion, your unique take on things, that’s going to set you apart. 

As AI becomes more ubiquitous and built into many of the tools we’re using today, so too will be the tools that instantly identify AI content. Your AI-generated email is going to be flagged immediately, and leave the recipient wondering why their request or issue didn’t merit a personal response. People want to feel heard and be treated with respect.

That’s not to say that AI isn’t a useful tool and you shouldn’t use it. It’s when and how you use it that’s important. In a space where bots are mimicking human conversation, honest and authentic opinions are valuable. This is a good place to say that the content you’re reading on this page was 100% human generated.

Why investing in content pays off

Investing in quality content serves you today and tomorrow. If you are looking for a new role, what you’ve posted on your profile is very helpful to the recruiter considering interviewing you for a position. Recruiters are fairly risk averse – they want to be sure that you’re not only a good fit for the job, but the team too. They’ll be looking for your take on things that may be relevant to the team they’ll be working in. 

Even your hobbies can be telling. One person may have mastered piano at 30 which demonstrates their ability to learn new skills, while another’s passion for model building shows exceptional attention to detail. The books you read, the events you take part in, and the certifications you add to your belt are all part of your story. Whether you like the speed of the 100 meters sprint or enjoy the challenge of a marathon also speaks to the pace you’re likely to enjoy in the workplace. 

If you’re not currently a job seeker, maintaining a strong presence on LinkedIn pays off. You may not be looking for a job now, but somebody may be looking for you. You could be headhunted for a position and singled out because of your valuable content and contributions to the LinkedIn community. Note the emphasis on “valuable.”

Developing content is like working out. The more you put into it, the stronger, fitter, and more competent you get.

Content is the core competency of the future

Today, everyone expects a basic level of competency in tools such as Office. In the future, content generation is going to be one of the core competencies that organizations will be looking for. Being able to supply it is going to make you a more valuable player. It’s a differentiator, a way for you to demonstrate and bring more value to anyone you’re working for or working with. The investment you make today will pay dividends tomorrow. 

P.S. I practice what I preach

I’m not a published author, I don’t have a Ph.D., and I’m not famous. What I do have is 12K followers on LinkedIn, 1,44K followers on YouTube, and 100,000+ followers on TikTok. That’s because I’ve made a point of creating valuable content that can be repurposed and shared on multiple channels. Today, more than 50% of people showing up to one of my classes have consumed a piece of my content before they walk into the class. 

What are you waiting for? Start right now! Let me know what you think.

Your Guide to Agile Ceremonies and Why They Matter

How events, rituals, and ceremonies add value to meetings

Not another meeting! People generally don’t look forward to meetings. It’s one more task in a day filled with demands and deadlines. For Agile teams, meetings are an essential part of daily work life. Adding ritual to these meetings makes them meaningful. It gives them value. This phenomenon isn’t unique to Agile – it’s part of our daily lives. You only have to look around to see countless examples of how rituals transform events into something unique and meaningful.

Today and every day, in a variety of settings around the world, people carry out ceremonies and rituals — whether it’s being sworn into office, awarded a graduation certificate, or receiving a medal. Some are sheer spectacle, such as the Haka, the ceremonial Māori war dance carried out by the New Zealand team to challenge opponents before a game. Not only do they have a defined purpose, they’ve become a tradition. It’s expected. Should they be excluded, their absence would be noticed and missed.

As important as they’ve become, most ceremonies don’t actually change the outcome. It’s often a public declaration, such as choosing to take someone as your life partner. You could get married without the big party. The net result is the same. So why do we do it? Because there’s value in the ceremony itself.  The same is true of Agile ceremonies.

The reason behind the ritual

Think about your daily or weekly rituals. The coffee you make for your partner before you leave for work. The Friday night dinner or Sunday lunch. Would you miss them if you suddenly skipped them? In all likelihood, you would. In fact, if someone (or something) was unexpectedly missing, you’d probably think that something was wrong. That’s because it’s more about the coffee or the meal. It’s about the meaning you attach to it. Beyond the social aspect, it creates connections. These rituals and ceremonies are intended to define who we are and how we do things.

The same is true of the Daily Scrum. You don’t just go to the Daily Scrum because it’s a meeting that you hold every day at 09:00. You go because you’re going to learn things. You go to the Daily Scrum because done right, it defines your team and who you are, such as a badge or a uniform. These rituals and how you do them are part of the uniform. They’re the badge of who you are and how you do things. When it comes to your team having these rituals, it’s how you do things on your team. They help to establish and define who you are as a team, as a unit, and as a company.

Having that ritual is more than just how you do a daily scrum. It’s defining how you do that ceremony. That ritual, that event, becomes a uniform, a badge of who you are. That’s what those ceremonies do. There’s room for that on a team because as a team, you need to define who you are. Why are you different? How are you differentiated? It’s about team “branding,” accountability, and bonding. It’s about bringing people together and creating a cohesive identity that belongs to you as opposed to them.

However, while ceremonies are important because they help to define who you are, they should not get in the way of the things you’re trying to accomplish. You (and me) need to get things done.

Can a standup be a sit down?

Sometimes you’ll hear the daily scrum referred to as the daily stand up. Often, people mistake that for being a literal stand up – as in, you have to stand up. This is a misunderstanding of its intention. Some people think it’s discriminatory, since not everyone is able to stand, particularly if they are confined to a wheelchair or have a temporary or permanent disability.

What people lose sight of is that maybe it’s not a literal standup but a metaphorical stand up, because it’s different from other meetings. If this is a meeting that metaphorically can be carried out standing up, it means that it’s portable. You can do it anywhere. It doesn’t have to have the trappings of a specific place or meeting room. You could do it in the hallway, cafeteria, outside or while going for a walk. It’s a stand up. It’s saying that this meeting is unlike any other.

It’s not usually about making sure people don’t settle in and get comfortable. Realistically, many office chairs aren’t built for comfort anyway!

Here’s a fun idea I’ve shared with people who believe it’s about speed, not comfort: If you really like the idea of standing up so your team doesn’t get too comfortable and you think your team is equipped to handle it, why not attempt the daily planks? Do the daily scrum in plank position, where everyone in your team has to maintain a plank. It’s one really effective way to guarantee that the meeting will be short and snappy! Seriously though, the idea is to make it stand out – and that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to stand up.

It’s not all fun and games

Beyond fun rituals that make your team laugh, relieve tension, and break the ice, there’s also the opportunity for rituals that check in on your team’s wellbeing, such as measuring happiness. You can rate your team’s level of happiness daily, or at retrospectives. The method can still be fun, but it’s motivation is deeper: whether your team is feeling happy or cr*ppy is going to impact their productivity. It also shows that you’re not just interested in the work they’ve delivered, you care about whether they’re happy with their tasks, the projects, and the team they’re in. This becomes even more critical in hybrid and remote teams.

When the location is your screen

Creating opportunities for these rituals has become more challenging when you’re working remotely, but it’s not impossible. To make your daily scrum different from other meetings, you may start it off with the riddle, trivia question, or puzzle of the day. Another team may start every daily scrum with the funniest themed virtual background contest where everybody shows up with their selection and spend two minutes voting on who’s the funniest before they kick off the discussion. When these rituals are left out, it becomes just another meeting.

Giving meetings meaning

Events become important when they’re different. If coronations looked like any other ceremony, would it still be as big a deal? It simply wouldn’t get the same amount of attention or be taken as seriously. That’s why you should make your key meetings, whether it’s the daily standup, scrum or sprint planning session, different from all other meetings. Every Scrum team may hold a daily scrum, but your scrum has a distinctive format that makes it stand out.

The value of the ceremony makes it more than something tribal. It creates a sense of belonging. This is your team and this is how we do it. It sets expectations. Anybody who joins your team knows they’re going to be doing it too. It creates rituals that define who you are, not just how you do things — and that’s why it’s important.

If you want to add value to your daily Agile meetings, consider transforming them into meaningful events — something your team anticipates, commits to, and fully participates in.


What’s your ritual and how does your team respond to it? Tell us in the comments.


This blog was entirely written by humans based on personal interviews and research without any AI-generated content.

5 Tricks To Make The Most Out Of Your Daily Scrum Standup

According to the Scrum Guide, the Daily Scrum (also referred to as Stand-Up Meeting) is a 15-minute, at which the Development Team plans work for the upcoming 24 hours. Consequently, meetings are held every single day during each Sprint.

This well-known agile method is used by 86% of Agile Teams based on the findings of The State of Agile Report. Although the aim of the Daily Scrum is to sustain progress towards the Sprint Goal while supporting transparency and eliminating impediments that could block the optimal workflow, sometimes things jump the tracks. What are these factors and how can you rule them out to improve the efficiency of your meetings? We’ll fill you in on the 5 most significant best practices to follow!

  1. Have a Seasoned Scrum Master Conduct The Daily ScrumAn experienced Scrum Master is indispensable for effective Daily Scrum meetings. They make sure that the Team utilizes Scrum in accordance with Agile techniques and strive to eliminate obstacles that come forth throughout the Sprint.
    Problems arise from such simple factors as Team members not having a proper grasp on the philosophy, practices and values of Scrum. This starts a chain reaction of misunderstanding, confusion, disorganization, loss of focus, bad time management and worse quality product.
    A skilled Scrum Master who reviews the Team’s performance regularly can identify and neutralize barriers to maintain a productive workflow.
  1. Make The Subject and Priorities of The Daily Scrum ClearMaking the most out of your Daily Scrum meetings involve setting up the topics and priorities to be covered beforehand. As a result, that 15 minutes of conversation remain focused and disciplined. Also, keep the discussion universal. Getting lost in reports and details that only a couple of Team Members understand might be a major setback of the meeting. Instead, put emphasis on talking through tasks with imminent due dates.
  1. Minimize Backlog Disturbance

    It is unadvised to alter the backlog subsequent to what has been determined during the Sprint Planning. Naturally, urgency can override this theory, but it comes with a risk of the Team not being able to release product development by the final deadline of the Sprint.The best way to prevent this is to have a skilled Product Owner who can reduce interruptions to a minimum and handle the backlog effectively.
  1. Set Daily Goals During Daily Scrum Standup During Daily Scrum meetings, devote time to setting goals to be achieved in the next 24 hours. The Scum Master can make up their mind to either determine universal goals for the entire Team to work towards, or specific ones only applicable to the developers for example. This helps keeping the Team focused on tomorrow’s deliverables.

Related: Agile Quick Tip: Using a Shared Daily Goal to make Your Sprint more Valuable

  1. Manage Assignments In The Task BoardWithout the use of project management tools the Team might be more prone to getting lost in details, missing deadlines and prioritizing inappropriately. Therefore, make sure to add all tasks with their respective assignees, deadlines and details to a task board. It’s a handy tool to track progress on assignments and identify which area needs extra attention.

Related: Agile Quick Tip: Conduct your daily scrums in front of the board

Wrapping Up

Semi-productive Teams are not a rare phenomenon in organizations. However, it’s easy to cure dysfunctions with a handful of simple practices. Having experienced professionals on your Team, preparing clear-cut Daily Scrum topics and priorities, creating daily goals, reducing backlog disruptions and using project management tools are all excellent methods to make the most out of your meetings.

Feel like your Team could benefit from some additional training? Take a look at our coaching offers!

Your Most Frequent Agile Software Development Questions Answered

As you may know, for most companies today, rapid software development is essential, given the environment of ever-changing expectations. More and more companies realize the value of Agile. In contrast to traditional methods, this methodology allows for fast adaptation to customers’ expectations; provides a framework for products of the highest quality and helps to develop a viable version of a product relatively fast. Sounds good right?

Should you be intending to give it a try, or just get to know a little more about it, we got you covered. Here are some of the top Agile software development questions that help you get a better picture about the process.

Is Agile only used in IT?

It originates from IT; however, several diverse industries have adopted the methodology in some way and shape, including but not limited to the finance, automotive, healthcare & pharma, and engineering industries.

What is Agile?

Simply put, Agile development software is a collection of best practices; namely, that the development process is broken down to pieces in a way that each development cycle adds an additional functional feature to the software. The Agile software development methodology has 12 basic principles, laid out in the Agile Manifesto.

  1. Are there multiple Agile methods?There are indeed. Agile has various flavors; some of the more popular ones include Scrum, Lean, Kanban, Extreme Programming (XP), Crystal, Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM) and Feature-Driven Development.
  2. Which one suits my project best?This always depends on your specific goals, the product and the company itself. There’s no one-size-fits-all here; you should take the time to examine which methodology is the most appropriate for your project.
  3. What makes this approach better than traditional methods?Agile software development methodology allows for a user-centered development process. The software is quickly released, and customer feedback can be built into subsequent versions
  4. Is it the customers who tell what the product should look like?Yes and no. They’re not telling what and how you should develop, instead what they need and consider important in a given software. That feedback should define the product itself. Agile helps by shifting the development process from feature-centered to user-centered
  5. Is this method faster than other ones?Chances are it is, especially in contrast to more traditional systems. Agile software development allows you to build a functional raw version, that could be used to gather feedback from users that will later be built into the software until it meets their maximum satisfaction.
  6. Do customers get a half-baked product?They don’t. What they get is a minimum viable product (MVP) with usually one initial feature. Think of sharing photos as a feature on Instagram. One basic, yet fully viable feature is not much, but can be used as a starting point for further development.
  7. How long does the Agile software development process take?It always depends on the very complexity of the thing that’s being built. The advantage here is that an early version can quickly be released to the public.
  8. Can you save money with this project management methodology?Most certainly you can, though in an indirect way. Since Agile software development allows for releasing a very basic version of a product, no time and money is spent on developing features that eventually will turn out to be useless. Continuous feedback helps you better understand your target audience, thus making marketing more effective and simultaneously cutting its costs.

Closing Words

Agile is indeed an effective method of running projects, and not just in software development. However, there are some prerequisites for it to work. One is a company structure that allows for cross-functional teams. Another is choosing the right framework for a particular project. In order to make things nice and smooth, try implementing the approach in smaller tasks to see what issues arise that need to be changed or improved upon. 

Improving your code quality

Do you know what’s common in the universe and customers’ expectations? Both of them keep growing at an increasing speed. You might even argue that neither of them has any apparent borders, but this might not be true for the former… Anyway, if you and your team want to keep up with the ever-increasing demands of your customers, you must start implementing some best practices when it comes to improving code quality.

Here we give you a couple of tips that can help you improve your code in an agile environment.

Defining code quality

Although every organization has their own unique set of requirements, broadly speaking, code quality can be measured by assessing a few key aspects of it.

  • Is it secure? Cybersecurity isn’t only a hot topic, it’s also a factor that must enjoy top priority when it comes to coding. In a world where a simple security bug can cost your users millions of dollars, you simply cannot afford to overlook this aspect.
  • Is it clear? If you get hit by a bus tomorrow, will there be anyone in the world to deobfuscate the mess you have created? Seriously, though, good code is easy to read and follow along for fellow developers without much effort. Try being consistent with naming and follow the style guide. Also, feel free to add comments wherever necessary so that it’s easier for others to pick up later on if needed. 
  • Is it reliable and efficient? No one likes bugs and crashes, especially users who can’t do much about them except for switching to another product. One of the cornerstones of code quality is how it performs. On that note, good code performs the task using the smallest possible amount of computing power, memory etc. This always gives you room for further optimization.
  • Is it easy to maintain and extend? IT is a rapidly evolving environment. Today’s state-of-the-art software is tomorrow’s dinosaur. Good code, however, is in a way futureproof, meaning it can easily be extended and modified to keep up with the latest technological developments and expectations.

Best practices to improve code quality

Based on the above points a few best practices to improve your code quality might be

Making it easy to read

No one likes decoding (excuse the pun) another’s mess. Agree on clear and easy naming conventions and try maintaining a clear folder structure.

Add comments

So that anyone can understand your logic and can continue your code later on. Adding comments and explanations is especially important when you’re doing things the complicated way. Keep an eye on documenting things, as they might come in handy later.

Keep it simple

Use third party libraries wherever you can. There’s no need to write every single line by yourself when others have given you the building blocks to work with. That way you minimize the risk of making mistakes and might even make your code more clear and efficient.

Closing Words

Here we gave you some tips on improving code quality in an agile environment. Each company is different, but these practices seem to work all across the industry, so utilizing them will surely benefit your team and also the users of your product.

Common Habits That Keep You From Sustaining A Healthy Product Backlog

A product backlog orders tasks into a list and prioritizes them, so the developers know which items to deliver first. The roadmap and its requirements provide the foundation for the backlog, which usually consist of the following elements: user stories, bug fixes and features.

Although the whole scrum team works jointly on the product backlog refinement, the Product Owner owns it and is typically responsible for sustaining its items. Of course, just like every other component of a Sprint, the backlog can also run up against obstacles. Below we’ll spell out the most common mistakes a Team can make to hinder progress, and how it can keep the tool running healthy.

 How To Maintain A Smoothly Operating Product Backlog

After the product backlog is determined, it should be frequently monitored to prevent or rule out any impediments. It’s the Product Owner’s task to regularly review the tool prior to iteration planning sessions to make sure that the appropriate priorities are in place, and insights from the previous iteration has been included.

As the product backlog expands over time, Product Owners decide, which items to put into the “near-term” and the “long-term” category. The former contains items that are featured on top of the list and are more detailed. Consequently, the latter category is for tasks that are less comprehensive and important.

Apart from being a huge to-do list, a backlog serves another significant function. It constitutes a link between the Product Owner and the developers. The former might alter the prioritizes within the backlog on account of the refinement of estimates and feedback. However, it’s not advisable to make significant changes once processes are in motion, since they have a potential to interrupt the developers and cause them to lose focus. According to a study conducted on interruptions affecting developers, it’s best to keep the water as still as possible and allow some ‘quiet time’ for the experts to concentrate on their duties. This way, developers got 80% of their work done within a couple of hours. 

Related: Agile QuickTip: Limit Your Agile Teams Product Backlog

Common Blockades Affecting The Product Backlog Management

  • Update blackout: The product backlog is restricted to local use and is shared rarely. This practice keeps interested parties from receiving news.
  • Importance threshold set too narrow: It’s quite a frequent mistake that Teams only put maximum effort into those items that are directly connected to customers. As a result, prioritization may get distorted and the overall work only half efficient.
  • Lack of modification: If the Product Owner builds up the initial backlog and fails to modify it based on feedback coming from customers and developers, it could cost the success of the project.

Wrapping It Up

A product backlog is used to give the Team guidance on how to deliver a successful project. In order for this to happen, adequate planning and organization is key. Only with these assets is it possible to keep the tool running in order and facilitate productivity and the ability to handle constant change. 

Efficient Sprint Planning: 10 Tips That Can Be A Real Gamechanger

Sprint Planning is one of the most significant elements of the Scrum Framework. Essentially, it’s a session, that’s held after the Sprint Retrospective and is deemed the first day of the next Sprint. Since better planning results in a substantially higher chance to reach the Sprint Goal, it’s a factor not to be neglected. 

Below we’ll share with you 10 tips to help you execute a successful Sprint Planning meeting. Let’s get started!

On The Way To Top-Notch Sprint Planning: 10 Golden Rules To Follow


  • Finish Backlog Refinement Prior To Planning
    Before the actual Sprint Planning would set off, the Product Owner should complete refining the Product Backlog, with special attention to User Stories. This is a major time-saver tactic, that allows the Team to focus on planning and determining the Sprint Goal during the meeting.
  • Roadmapping And Creating An Agenda
    Important components to be reckoned with before the meeting, as they pave the way to a more organized workflow and serve as reference points to the Team.
  • Ensuring That The Roadmap And Product Backlog Are In Harmony
    If the Product Roadmap and Backlog work in accordance with one another, the input to the planning session is considered optimized.
  • The Sprint Planning Is Conducted By The Scrum Master
    The Scrum Master needs to take care of scheduling, proper communication, and all essential resources and tools in order to hold a professional meeting.

Related: Agile QuickTip: Use a Calendar to Make your Sprint Planning Meeting More Accurate

Aspects To Look Out For During The Sprint Planning

  • Time And Duration
    Try to reserve the same time-box for your session each time to make sure that all Team Members are free in that time slot. Choose a suitable time based on people’s feedback and aim to schedule the meeting far in advance to avoid it being forgotten.
  • Include Sprint Review Feedback From Stakeholders
    Gather all insights shared by stakeholders throughout the Sprint or during the Sprint Review and include their feedback into the Sprint Planning to deliver a better product.
  • Determine The Sprint Goal
    At the end of the meeting the Team should decide about the Sprint Goal. According to The 2020 Scrum Guide, this is done by answering three vital questions: “What is our goal?”, “How are we going to achieve it?”, and “Why is this Sprint valuable?”.
    The Sprint Goal should neither be too simple nor overcomplicated: set it challenging and exciting enough to keep the Team motivated and engaged.
  • Divide And Conquer
    The ancient saying proves to be very accurate when it comes to Sprint Planning. Aim to split up tasks into more manageable chunks to be able to keep track of processes better. Here’s an extra tip: it’s advisable to break down complex tasks into smaller subtasks that’s completion takes maximum a day.
  • Avoid Undertaking Too Many Tasks At The Same Time
    Learn from previous Sprints and only take up as many tasks as rationally manageable within a certain time frame. Otherwise, you’ll only create confusion, disorientation, disorganization in the Team not to mention the greatest collateral damage: time loss.
  • Stick With Your Sprint Goal
    After the Team made a decision about the goals, they must be kept intact. Naturally, the Team may run up against obstacles throughout the Sprint where alterations cannot be circumvented. In such a situation each member should accept the need for change and move forward together. To prevent delays and confusion, aim not to modify the Sprint Goal mid-way.