When Is Small Too Small?

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Scrum Teams come in many sizes. Often they tend to be too large, to include too many team members. For example, I have seen teams with more than 25 team members. On the other hand, I have also accompanied Scrum Teams that consisted of only six members. Small teams seem to be more productive. But can it also happen that teams are too small and productivity suffers?

What does the Scrum Guide say?

A Scrum Team consists of a Product Owner, a Scrum Master, and the Developers. In the current Scrum Guide (version 2020), you can find the following about the size of the team: “The…


How To Use Normalized Velocity As A Starting Point

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Many Scrum Teams use Velocity as a metric. Yet, the Scrum Guide does not mention Velocity at all. So what is Velocity? In general, Velocity means the speed at which the team processes items in a Sprint, i.e., the speed at which it moves items from “Defined” to “Done”.
We often hear the desire from management for higher Velocity, more speed. Thinking that working faster in a Sprint, i.e., putting in more work, will increase Velocity is a fallacy.
The goal should be to work diligently and fulfill the Definition of Done. So the focus of Velocity should not be to…


Freedom can’t be bought

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Personal values are fundamental characteristics and ideals that are regarded as positive and orient our actions. Values serve as a guide to a meaningful life.
Personal values include, for example, security, fun, status, freedom, order, prosperity, health, justice, self-determination, and adventure.
Which values are essential to one varies from person to person. Values can change throughout a lifetime. If freedom and adventure were vital to you when you were young, prosperity and health might have a higher priority later on. …


Build A Safe Nest And Use It As A Starting Point For New Adventures

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In posts on social media, you’ll often find the statement: “You have to get out of your comfort zone to be successful.” And I’ve heard it from other Agile Coaches, too: “We need to get people out of their comfort zone!”

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” (Neale Donald Walsch)

But is that really the case? Is change, learning, success only possible by leaving your comfort zone? And what is the comfort zone anyway?

Years ago, I once took a yoga teacher training course. One requirement to pass was to lead kirtan singing at least once, that…


More Than Just Flipping Coins

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Currently, I am facing a tough decision: Do I stay in my current place of residence or do I move abroad. Both options have advantages and disadvantages. Neither is better than the other.
You can decide in many ways: With criteria that you weight and rate, based on your values, or even by flipping a coin. In my article “Make Hard Decisions Easy With Moving Motivators” I describe how to approach a decision using values. However, this method was not enough for me to make a final decision.

A few days ago, I remembered the “I Ching — the Book…


Why positive thinking alone won’t get you anywhere

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There are many books about positive thinking and thousands of motivational trainers. All of them spread the same philosophy: No matter what situation you are in, think positive, and your wishes will come true.

“Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
(Frank Outlaw)

I have been interested in positive thinking for years, and affirmations are part of my morning routine. Still, when unexpected events happen, I tend to have some negative thoughts.

Last week, I…


Set And Defend Your Personal Boundaries

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Whether at work, in a relationship, with friends, or in leisure time, everyone has personal boundaries that others must not cross.
Until now, I always thought I had a good handle on defending my boundaries. But then came the Corona crisis, and with it, government actions. The state has set restrictions that have been unacceptable to me: my red line was crossed. These include, for example: Having to wear something in front of my mouth-nose that makes it difficult to breathe and often contains unhealthy chemicals, times when it is not allowed to leave the apartment (curfews at night), restriction of…


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I often meet managers who tell me: “Agility? That’s an old hat! We have been doing this for a long time.”

That something is not quite right becomes apparent when I ask: “Why do you work agile?” Then people look at me with big eyes, and sometimes they say: “That’s the way it is these days. Everyone does it.” That may be, but the reason is a bit thin. …


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Maybe you know the following situations from remote meetings:

  • Someone talks and is on mute.
  • Several people start to talk simultaneously but don’t notice it because there’s a delay.
  • Some backgrounds or illuminations are irritating. Children and pets in the background, it is dark, and the face is hardly recognizable.
  • Someone is suddenly no longer there.
  • Background noise.

The following practices have helped me to feel more comfortable in remote meetings. Maybe they can also help you as well.

  1. Well-equipped workplace
    Get an excellent noise-canceling headset and a webcam.
    It doesn’t have to be professional studio lighting. …

Britta Ollrogge, MBA

I write on Self Improvement 🌱, Productivity 🎯, and Agile Product Development 🏄. My goal is to provide Inspiration.💡https://www.britta-ollrogge-consulting.de

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