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In the SPaMCAST 705 we stay with the basics and define the term flow. I recently listened to a conversation where the term flow was used 30ish times in 30 minutes. Each use of the term meant something different. Today we draw a line in the sand to improve communication. 

We also have a visit from Jeremy Berriault from the QA Corner.  Jeremy and I discussed the mistaken belief that Scrum Master and Coach can be translated to administrative assistant. 

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I deviated from the plan this week and recorded a conversation with my colleague, mentor, and friend Anthony Mersino (Anthony was last on the podcast SPaMCAST 583   http://bit.ly/3aJMw51 ). Our chat, titled, “Is Your Scrum Master The Problem?” Our conversation looks at transactive memory from the point of view of teams and Scrum Masters.  Is it a boon or a train wreck?  Anthony has also published a version of the conversation at https://bit.ly/3ux0Fge 

We also have a visit from Susan Parente who brings her I’m Not A Scrumdamentalist column to the cast. I have titled this conversation, “I Have A WIP Problem”. Ok so maybe both Susan and I have a lot on our plates, but we have the tools to tackle the problem. We talk about how to get your WIP under control. 

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We have read or re-read Fixing Your Scrum: Practical Solutions to Common Scrum Problems by Todd Miller and Ryan Ripley cover-to-cover, if you don’t count the index at the back of the book (and I certainly do not). As a wrap-up, I want to briefly consider three points.  

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Chapter 15 is the final chapter in Fixing Your Scrum by Todd Miller and Ryan Ripley. Next week I will sum up my thoughts on the book and the lessons I have derived during the re-read.  We will also announce the next book in the Re-read Saturday series. Right now Monotasking by Staffan Nöteberg is in first place in our poll. Make sure to make your voice heard; vote now below. 

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I have heard the sprint review called everything including a demo, demo day, show and tell and sprint review. If teams and organizations do the sprint review well, I don’t care if you call it jello. Scrum defines the sprint review as a mechanism for the team to inspect what has gone on during the sprint and what was delivered in the increment with all involved stakeholders. The event is collaborative with stakeholders to generate acceptance and feedback. It is also a critical path for change management and decision-making. Sprint reviews are a powerful tool for the team and organization to ensure that what is being built, assembled, and/or configured delivers value.

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Work entry, in its simplest form, is the steps needed for work to be triaged to ensure that it is the right work, that it is ready to be worked on, and the priority of the work. This week we talk about five common patterns. On Tuesday I will include the PDF in the feed to see if I can spur a discussion about other patterns.  

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At the end of every sprint, a team should have a deployable product increment. There are a ton of ideas packed into that single phrase. In this chapter, Mr. Ripley and Miller focus on the concepts of deployable and done. Anyone that has more than an academic knowledge of Scrum knows all the reasons and rationalizations for why having a deployable product increment doesn’t always happen. What is worse, many practitioners believe having something deployable is beyond the realm of possibility in their environment. This is almost always a fallacy.

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This chapter deals with one of the crux issues that almost every Scrum master or agile coach faces at some time. The daily meeting has become an almost ubiquitous signal to the world that a team or a company is agile. In some cases, people have convinced themselves that doing the daily Scrum is all they have to do to be agile. There are a myriad of reasons why the daily Scrum goes bad. This chapter of Fixing Your Scrum, Practical Solutions to Common Scrum Problems, by Ryan Ripley and Todd Miller, walks through some of the most important indicators that the event is broken. However, it misses one that I’ll come back to at the end of this entry in Re-read Saturday.

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The sprint backlog is the work teams do on a day-to-day basis. A sprint backlog is a tool that the team uses to guide their activities. The backlog is a combination of outputs of other activities such as the sprint goal, accepted product backlog (not the same thing as the sprint backlog), and at least process improvement items and activities, such as sprint planning and day-to-day planning. Quite a mouthful. A less complete but more easily understood description of the sprint backlog is “the things the team needs to do to deliver value.” The sprint backlog gets created over and over during sprint as they discover information and knowledge.

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Chapter 10 in Fixing Your Scrum, Practical Solutions to Common Scrum Problems, by Ryan Ripley and Todd Miller, dives into planning.. Sprint planning one of the major events in Scrum. All sprints should start with planning (not planning is one of the silliest but common antipatterns). Todd and Ryan begin the chapter by reminding the reader of the definition of sprint planning and the output of the event. The outputs of planning are a sprint backlog containing a forecast, the Sprint Goal, and knowledge. I am always amazed by the amount of information and knowledge generated during planning, as the whole team knows what they are going to tackle and how they are going to tackle it.  Planning is a TEAM EVENT. The scary part of this chapter is that none of the antipatterns Todd and Ryan identify in this chapter are common. 

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