Why creating relationships can help you be a better leader

Leadership YouTube video by the author

After joining my last company during the pandemic, I learned the power of creating a connection with the team members. I joined three teams as a Scrum Master at a time when everyone worked fully from home. I remember feeling very bizarre on my first day, no Daily Scrums, no meeting the teams, it seemed like the whole company was made up of two people who guided me through the onboarding. I slowly got incorporated into the team events and scheduled some rather random, as I think of it now, one-on-one meetings. Soon I…

Remote work

Are the most productive remote meetings no meetings at all?

I wanted to start this year’s edition of my Agile State of Mind articles and videos with the topic of remote work. Will this be a really remote-friendly year? After 2020 we could assume so. Yet many companies still struggle trying to survive the remote until they can go back to the office. Hence the company policies are not really remote-friendly, we just do what we used to do in the office only remotely.

Video about 10 steps to a Remote Meeting

What’s the biggest pain while working from home? The meetings, of course. Scrum has always been accused of…

2020 Scrum Guide

With Daily Scrum’s 3 questions missing — what do we do now?

The new Scrum Guide landed in November and now what? I decided to make a series of short videos and posts about the key changes and what they mean for us the Scrum practitioners in our daily work.

Talking about daily work, I decided to start with the Daily Scrum. It’s one of my favorite subjects. I can’t help it, I deal with it daily. And I consider it the key event for the team collaboration towards their goal. I want to take a look at it today from a different angle. A Lean angle.

Be Scrum, Be Lean

My video about the Lean…


Highlights of the 2020 Scrum Guide

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2020 Scrum Guide Update

Are you as excited as I am about the new Scrum Guide update?
I hope so!
To give you a preview:

  1. A new concept of a “Product Goal” appeared.
  2. The term “Development Team” has disappeared.
  3. There is no more mention of the three questions during the Daily Scrum.

Intriguing, isn’t it?

The release of the new Scrum Guide took place on November 18th, 2020. And at the same time, its creators celebrated 25 years of Scrum. The last update took place three years ago, in 2017.

Today I will walk you through 8 key changes that got my attention.


Remote work

Practical tips on organizing a discussion during a remote meeting

How to organize discussion during a meeting? And not just any meeting but a remote one! In remote times, we need to get especially organized when it comes to discussions on the video calls. For that, I will explain a popular facilitation technique called “Lean Coffee” and how to use it in the age of remote work.

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Lean Coffee for Remote Meetings Cover

Recently, two colleagues approached me with issues with the demo part of their Sprint Review. Both work completely remotely due to the pandemic and they identified a similar problem. The teams had so much to show that they could hardly fit it within…

Scrum with Kanban

Scrum and Kanban can live happily ever after.

To me, the Daily Scrum along with a Sprint Goal are fundamental Scrum practices. The Daily happens every single day of the Sprint. So we better make it worth our while.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Disclaimer: Scrum and Kanban don’t have to be enemies or frenemies. We don’t have to think about a “Scrum vs Kanban”. It’s time to move on and accept a “Scrum with Kanban” approach. The Kanban Guide for Scrum Teams explains how to do it. I like to enrich the Scrum framework with Kanban principles and practices to help teams optimize the flow of work. Let’s see some practical examples.


The roles, events, and artifacts explained

Scrum is everywhere. From software development to the space tech industry like SpaceX. It is an Agile framework that provides minimum game rules to organize and deliver complex work in changing conditions.

Scrum is one of the most popular frameworks to organize work followed by thousands of teams all over the world.

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What is Scrum?

What is complex work?

Complex work is when more is unknown than known. Unlike a classic assembly line, in software development, we cannot predict the outcome and we don’t have one simple recipe to follow.

That is why waterfall methodologies don’t go so well with software development. Before Scrum and the Manifesto…


Is failure celebration a way to go?

What does failure mean?
Does it mean that something did not turn out the way you wanted it to? Is trying and failing a failure? What about not trying at all?

They say that to be innovative you need to actively celebrate risk-taking and failure. Laura Garnett explains in INC Why failing can be a critical stepping stone to successand describes the failures of Elon Musk. It is inspiring indeed!

Could it be that every experience, failed or succeeded, is actually a success?

The author of the text asking a question “Should we celebrate failure?”
The author of the text asking a question “Should we celebrate failure?”
Should we celebrate failure?

But is failure celebration a way to go? I see a lot of articles emerging about…


Explaining the whys and wherefores of each step of a Retro and a Postmortem

A picture showing start, stop, continue signs as per one kind of a Retrospective.
A picture showing start, stop, continue signs as per one kind of a Retrospective.
Start, Stop, Continue — photos by Jon Tyson, Luke van Zyl, Colin Maynard on Unsplash.

Scrum is all about Inspecting and Adapting while providing Transparency. Sprint Retrospective is one of the most prominent events to radiate these values. It means achieving continuous improvement by constantly learning from our experience.

How do we do that? By doing regular Retrospectives and frequent, ad hoc, Postmortems. It’s not about who is to blame, it’s about what to improve to avoid making the same mistake all over again.

Today we will talk about how to structure a good Retrospective. And where to look for ideas to run engaging Retrospectives both in-person and remotely.


We start our day with the Daily Scrum and we start our Sprint with the Sprint Planning. Those are the two principal planning events in Scrum.

The author of the article with a text saying “Sprint Planning and Dopamine”
The author of the article with a text saying “Sprint Planning and Dopamine”
Sprint Planning and the Dopamine shot

There is a certain magic in coming together as a team. In stopping for a moment to think about what to do next. In setting a goal and planning together how to accomplish it.

Today we will focus on how to make the most of our Sprint Planning Event. We’ll refresh what’s the input and output of a good planning session. And we will take a look at some common problems developers identify during planning. But first of all, we will see what the Sprint Goal has to do with our biology and dopamine!

My video about Sprint Planning and…

Maria Chec

Agile Coach and Content Creator at Agile State of Mind

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