My Top 11 Posts of 2017

Last year I began a new year-end tradition intended to help you catch up on any of my blogs you might have missed: a countdown of my most popular posts. So without further ado, here is my second annual list: My Top 11 Posts of 2017! (If you’re curious about how we arrived at this list, more details about our algorithm are included in last year’s post.)

11) Does the ScrumMaster Role Ever Go Away?

It’s not hard to imagine how, as the team and organization get better and better at Scrum, the ScrumMaster’s job becomes easier and easier. But does the effort ever go all the way to zero? Find out in this post.

10) Three Questions to Ask When Being Micromanaged

You might never be able to eliminate all forms of micromanagement, but the tips here will help you gain greater control over most situations.

9) How to Add the Right Amount of Detail to User Stories

Add too little detail to a user story and the team cannot finish it an iteration. Put in too much and you create waste. Here’s how to find the balance that’s just right.

8) Nine Questions ScrumMasters and Product Owners Should Be Asking

Scrum Masters and product owners can develop a habit of making statements rather than asking illuminative questions. This post details 9 questions you should start asking today.

7) Cross-Functional Doesn’t Mean Everyone Can Do Everything

I want to bust the agile myth that a cross-functional team is one on which each person possesses every skill necessary to complete the work. That’s just not true--and this post explains why.

6) Five Simple but Powerful Ways to Split User Stories

Splitting user stories is hard. The five techniques presented here are the only ones you need to be able to split user stories effectively.

5) The Career Path of a ScrumMaster

This post examines 4 common ways a ScrumMaster’s career can evolve and explores the ways in which the career path of a ScrumMaster is similar to that of a professional athlete

4) Eight Tips to Become the ScrumMaster Your Team Needs

There are so many things a great Scrum Master does, it’s easy to overlook a few. The 8 tips here will help you fill in the gaps.

3) How Programmers and Testers (and Others) Should Collaborate on User Stories

This post details some of the most effective ways to collaborate on user stories, enabling your team to deliver more value more regularly.

2) Three Mistakes ScrumMasters Make and How to Correct Them

Being a ScrumMaster can be tough. This year’s second most popular blog post details 3 of the most common errors ScrumMasters make and some ways to recover from them.

And now it’s time to reveal the most popular blog post of 2017. Interestingly, it is similar in theme to last year’s number one. Last year’s post had to do with running a sprint retrospective. This year’s number one is focused on the sprint review:

1) An Agenda for the Sprint Review

While the demo itself is the most prominent part of a sprint review, an effective review is much more than just a demo. Here is a solid agenda that you can use to generate quality feedback in just about any sprint review.

What About You?

Are any of your favorites missing from the Top 11? Is there something you’d like to know more about in the coming year that you can’t find on the site? Please share your thoughts using the comments below.

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Mike Cohn

About the Author

Mike Cohn specializes in helping companies adopt and improve their use of agile processes and techniques to build extremely high-performance teams. He is the author of User Stories Applied for Agile Software Development, Agile Estimating and Planning, and Succeeding with Agile as well as the Better User Stories video course. Mike is a founding member of the Agile Alliance and Scrum Alliance and can be reached at If you want to succeed with agile, you can also have Mike email you a short tip each week.