Posts by Robert Pieper

What’s a manager’s role on a Scrum team?

Did you know the word “Manager” does not show up once in the Scrum Guide? If I were a manager in a fortune 500 organization with a mortgage and two kids in college, I’d be concerned for my job. In this blog post, I’ll explain how it’s possible for managers to work with Scrum teams…

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Being nice isn’t always nice

I recently performed an organizational agile assessment and learned a great deal about how they served their customer’s technology needs. We investigated their technical practices, processes to develop and release, but also dug deep into how the people worked together from the people side of things. What we discovered was fascinating. Everyone in the technology…

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6 Questions to ask before hiring your next agile coach

It’s safe to say Agile software delivery is here for good. With so many agile coaches in Chicago, where I live and out there in general, it’s helpful to understand the differences between them so you can make an informed decision when hiring one for a full-time role or a consulting engagement. What follows will…

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Use Scrum to manage your employees

If you’re new to Scrum and want to get the most out of a team of under-performers, you should try Scrum!! Used a certain way it can be the best form of 21st century micromanagement. Don’t worry about your teams resisting the push of Scrum. If you simply make the use of Scrum a company…

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Use Scrum to Say Goodbye to Risk in Hardware Development

Companies who build hardware often ask if it’s possible to benefit from Scrum. In order to answer this question, I need to first introduce you to my friend Risk. Risk is a terrible friend. Risk likes to keep information about the future from me and show up when I least expect. Risk has a very…

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5 Components of agile transformation that can’t be ignored

If your organization is adopting agile delivery, you are going through an agile transformation. An organization often begins agile transformation because it is a small company that grew up without much official process and structure and things are too chaotic or it is a larger company looking to replace Waterfall style delivery. In this post,…

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Let’s remove “Agile” from agile leadership

two lego figures standing on pedestal with one looking like a champ

What exactly is “agile” or even an Agile leader? This is one of the biggest problems our industry faces. Ask a room full of people to answer and you may get as many answers. Common ones include “it’s a mindset” or “it’s a software methodology” etc… I think of this word “agile” as being synonymous…

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The Path to Scrum Mastery: Avoiding 5 Common Scrum Master Traps

For my career, I have had the privilege to witness companies undergo many different phases of agile transformations. I’ve met many amazing Scrum Masters along the way who have evolved to take on major responsibilities in their organizations. However, I have also seen many Scrum Masters who fall into common traps that impede the Scrum…

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