Twenty six specific improvements – that’s how many I found after attending a Certified Scrum Master with Mishkin Berteig. I can highly recommend the experience. Mishkin did an excellent job working through the material with us and had a number of insightful exercises. He was happy to take advanced questions throughout the class and was able to cover several advanced sections: User Stories and Metrics. Not only was he able to reach out to the advanced student – but he also addressed the needs and questions of the class skeptic. In the end even our class skeptic was trying to find ways that Scrum (or Agile in general) would work in her fixed price, fixed schedule, fixed requirements world.
Other bonuses: small class size – we had eight people (vs. the thirty plus that Ken S. often gets), Mishkin took us out for lunch as part of our class fees.
Here are a sampling of my specific ideas (I dropped many because they’re related directly to my team):
- Rotate handling of daily scrum (and perhaps other meetings) among various team members so there is less feeling that we’re reporting to a manager/leader and more sharing among the team.
- Keep the daily stand-up on track. From time to time explain its purpose and repeat the rules.
- Remind people that estimated hours aren’t really hours just another relative measure. It doesn’t matter if we estimate hours badly it just matters that we’re consistent.
- During the daily Scrum we update the number of hours on the card to account for the amount of work remaining. This is not how much work was done – just a good guess of how much work remains to be done. We assume that developers always made a best effort in the previous day. Sometimes the amount of work on the card will go up. This is normal.
- Post the “Retrospective Prime Directive” and get someone to read at the start of every retrospective session.
All in all a worthwhile course – Mishkin gets my recommendation as Trainer/Coach.