“No Assholes. Don’t be one, and don’t allow the behaviour.”

„The term ‚Agile‘ dates back to a 2001 conclave where I and sixteen other leaders in software development wrote up what has become known as the ‚Agile Manifesto‘. It declared that following values: people over processes; products that actually work over documenting what that product is supposed to do; collaborating with customs over negotiating with them; and responding to change over following a plan. Scrum is the framework I built to put those values into practise.“ (p 12-13)

„Scrum, like aikido, or, heck, like tango, is something that you can only really learn by doing. Your body and your mind and your spirit become aligned through constant practise and improvement.“ (p 38)

„When I was designing Scrum, I looked at what super-performing teams had that other teams didn’t… In their original paper that described what became Scrum, ‚The New New Product Development Game‘, professor Takeuchi and Nonaka described the characteristic of the teams they saw at the best companies in the world: 1. Transcendent:  They have a sense of purpose beyond the ordinary. This self-realized goal allows them to move beyond the ordinary into the extraordinary… 2. Autonomous: The teams are self-organizing and self-managing, they have the power to make their own decisions about how they do their jobs… 3. Cross-Functional: The teams have all the skills needed to complete the project…“ (p 44)

„One of the key concepts in Scrum is that the team members decide themselves how they’re going to do the work. It’s management’s responsibility to set the strategic goals, but it’s the team’s job to decide how to reach those goals.“ (p 50)

„The third leg of the stool for great teams is that they have all the skills necessary to get things done… What she (Nicola Dourambeis) looks for in a team is diversity – of skill set, thinking, and experience. She wants teams that are unselfish and autonomous, but she also needs them to be cross-functional. Team that can get a whole project done.“ (p 51 – 53)

„But just because cross-functionality can achieve great results, you shouldn’t play Noah and throw two of everything into a team. The team dynamic only works well in small teams. The classic formulation is seven people, plus or minus two, though I’ve seen teams as small as three function at a high level. What’s fascinating is that the data shows that if you have more than nine people on a team, their velocity actually slows down.. that’s right. More resources make the team go slower.“ (p 58)

„So we set up this framework of Sprints and Daily Stand-up meetings and Reviews and Retrospectives, and I realised we needed someone whose job it was to make sure the process itself was effective. Not a manager – more of a servant-leader, something between a team captained a coach….He or she would facilitate all the meetings, make sure there was transparency, and most important, help the team discover what was getting in their way. … It was the Scrum Master’s job to guide the team towards continuous improvement – to ask with regularity, ‚How can we do what we do better?‘“ (p 62)

„And that’s how the daily meeting came to operate. We had certain rules. The meeting was held at the same time every day and everyone had to be there. If the entire team wasn’t present, communication simply didn’t happen…The point was to give the team a regular heartbeat. The second rule was that the meeting couldn’t last more that fifteen minutes. We wanted to be crisp, direct, and to the point. If something required further discussion, we noted it and met further after the daily meeting… The third rule was that everyone had to actively participate. To help this happen, I said that everyone had to stand up.“ (p 79)

„What Scrum does is alter the very way you think about time. After engaging for  while in sprints and Stand-ups, you stop seeing time as a linear arrow into the future but, rather, as something that is fundamentally cyclical.“ (p. 81)

„If a bug was addressed on the day it was created, it would take an hour to fix it; three weeks later, it would take twenty-four hours. It didn’t even matter if the bug was big or small, complicated or simple – it always took twenty-four times longer three weeks later. As you can imagine, every software developer in the company was soon required to test and fix their code on the same day.“ (p 100)

„So there’s a limited number of sound decisions you can make in any one day, and as you make more and more, you erode your ability to regulate your own behaviour. You start making mistakes – eventually serious ones. As the Maxwell Curve shows, those bad decisions impact productivity. So go home at five. Turn off the cell phone over the weekend. Watch a movie. Perhaps, most important, have a sandwich. By not working so much, you’ll get more and better work done.“ (p 106)

„No Assholes. Don’t be one, and don’t allow the behaviour. Anyone who causes emotional chaos, inspires fear or dread, or demeans or diminishes people needs to be stopped cold.“ (p 110)

„It was because they made a very basic mistake. they thought they could plan everything ahead of time. They spent months of effort making the sort of detailed plans that seem plausible – that are laid out on pretty charts and include carefully precise steps and almost always describe a fictional reality. As I’ve said previously, the very act of planning is so deductive, so alluring, that planning itself becomes more important than reality. Never forget: thump is not the terrain.“ (p 114)

„There is a mnemonic I always use to tell whether a story is ready. It was created by Bill Wake, who’s a deep thinker on software design. Bill says that for any story to be ready it needs to meet the INVEST criteria. (I)ndependent. The Story must be actionable and ‚completable‘ on its own. It shouldn’t be inherently dependent on another story. (N)egotiable. Until it’s actually being done, it needs to be able to be rewritten. Allowance for change is buit in. (V)aluable. It actually delivers value to a customer or user or stakeholder. (E)stimable. You have to be able ti size it. (S)mall. The story needs to be small enough to be able to estimate and plan easily. If it is too big, rewrite it or break it down into smaller stories. (T)estable. The story must have a test it is supposed to pass ignorer to be complete. Write the test before you do the story.“ (p 137)

„That’s because happiness is crucial to your business and is actually a better forward predictor of revenue than most of the metrics your CFO provides.“ (p 147)

„What are the things that actually make people happy? They’re the same things that make great teams: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Or to say it more expansively, it’s the ability to control your own destiny, it’s the feeling that you’re getting better at something, and it’s knowing that you’re serving something bigger than yourself. But there are also some easy, concrete steps management can take to get the culture of the company to encourage those qualities. One element of Scrum that’s often a prelude to achieving autonomy, mastery, and purpose is transparency.“ (p 153)

„Secrecy Is Poison. Nothing should be secret. Everyone should know everything, and that includes salaries and financials. Obfuscation only serves people who serve themselves. Make Work VisibLe. have a board that shows all the work that needs to be done, what is being worked on, and what is actually done. Everyone should see it. and everyone should update it every day.“ (p 169)

„The important thing, though, is just to begin, Just start… Scrum is designed so that you can boot up a team in a couple of days. Get your Backlog, plan your first Sprint, and away you go. You don’t need to devote a lot of time to planning, reflection, mediations, mission statements, or five-year projections. Leave all that to the competition, and let them eat your dust.“ (p 201)

SCRUM. A revolutionary approach to building teams, beating deadlines and boosting productivity. Dr. Jeff Sutherland, 2014, Random House Business Books.

We provide our insights through quotes directly taken from books, articles, videos, info graphs and other media. We do not add, comment or reflect on the topics highlighted or represent the media in its intentions or as a whole. We hope to inspire you to dig deeper, discover and fall in love with your own eureka moments.

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