Succeeding with Agile - Mike Cohn's Blog

A Simple Way to Run a Sprint Retrospective

There are perhaps as many ways to run a retrospective as there are teams to conduct them. I want to describe my favorite way, especially because it's an approach that has stood the test of time, having worked for years with many, many teams.

The Start, Stop and Continue Retrospective

I like to conduct a sprint retrospective by asking team members what they would start,...

2016 Reader Survey

I want to make sure I’m doing the best job I can addressing your needs and writing about the topics you’re interested in. And that means I need to know more about you. And so I’ve created a short survey. 

I’d really appreciate it if you’d take a few minutes to fill out the survey. By doing so, you’ll help me provide you with the best content I can.

Can a Traditional SRS Be Converted into User Stories?

A lot of traditionally managed projects begin with a Software Requirements Specification (SRS). Then sometime during the project, a decision is made to adopt an agile approach. And so a natural question is whether the SRS can serve as the newly agile project's product backlog. Some teams contemplate going so far as rewriting the SRS into a product backlog with user stories. Let's consider whether that's necessary.

But before taking up this question, I want to clarify what I mean by a Software Requirements Specification or SRS. I find this type of document to vary tremendously from company to company. In general, though, what I'm referring to...

21 New Year’s Resolutions for Scrum Masters

As we come up on the end of the year, it's time to make some New Year's resolutions. Since one of my resolutions for this year was to provide useful and actionable advice, and since I know you’re busy, I’m going to help you get started.

So here are 21 New Year’s resolutions for ScrumMasters to consider:...

Does Being a ScrumMaster Get Easier Over Time?

Being the ScrumMaster of a Scrum team can be hard work. But does it get harder over time? Or easier?

To consider this question, let's assume that everything relevant about a team stays constant. I know that's unrealistic in the real world, but it's a worthwhile assumption in thinking through something like this. So I'm assuming things like consistent team members, stakeholders, and such. Of course,...

Leave Work Unassigned and See Who Steps Forward

Early in my career, I noticed the project managers in my company drove nicer cars than we programmers did. (This was back before companies had learned to fully value their technical staff.) After a few years of noticing those nicer cars, I asked my boss what I needed to do to become a project manager. He told me, "When you start acting like a manager, I'll make you a manager."

This advice wasn't unique...