On November 18th, 2020 a new version of the Scrum Guide was published. The updated version of the Scrum Guide is more succinct, flexible, and direct. To download a PDF version of the November 2020 Scrum Guide click here.

While I encourage everyone to read the updated November 2020 Scrum Guide, in this blog post I’ll be pointing out some of the key changes made in this most recent update and explaining what these changes mean, in my opinion, for the overall Scrum framework.

New Definition

2017 Scrum Definition: [Scrum is] a framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while…

Last week I participated in a Scrum.org PSM II course led by Todd Miller and Ryan Ripley, co-authors of the book Fixing Your Scrum. This was my first live training with Scrum.org and it did not disappoint!

In this post I’ll be explaining my experience taking the PSM II training. I’ve also included a doodle note highlighting what I believe to be some of the standout ideas from this course course.

Class Setup

The course took place over two days providing a total of about 16 hours of instruction. Due to the current state of the world, the class was held virtually…

If you’re a Scrum Master and are accustom to working with teams in-person, the idea of a virtual Sprint Retrospective may appear as utter blasphemy. I mean, what’s a Sprint Retrospective without sticky notes?

While I understand your skepticism (trust me, I was skeptical at one point too), I want to ensure you that it’s possible for a virtual Sprint Retrospective to be just as effective as an in-person one, all it takes is a bit of creative thinking and resourcefulness.

In this blog post I’ll be discussing some of the challenges of facilitating a fully virtual Sprint Retrospective and…

The Daily Scrum is an essential Scrum ceremony. Not only does this meeting ensure that team members communicate at least once every day, it also serves as an opportunity for transparency, inspection, and adaption.

Daily Scrum is meant to be a collaborative planning session during which the team and only the team discusses their plan for the next 24 hours. The discussion during the Daily Scrum should focus on collaboration and progress towards the sprint goal.

The Popular Approach

The most common questions answered during a Daily Scrum meeting are

  • What did you accomplish yesterday?
  • What do you plan on doing today?
  • Are…

A previous version of this article was originally published on Linkedin on September 6, 2019.

According to a study published by Upwork, in 2018 about two thirds (63%) of companies reported having remote workers. That statistic is already high, yet due to the current situation with COVID-19 it’s likely that today even more companies have employees working from home.

The ability to work remotely has many advantages both for a company and its employees. For instance, as we see today, companies that are able to have their employees work remotely have been marginally affected by the social distancing restrictions compared…

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

Each sprint a team has a set amount of time to achieve their Sprint Goal; but achieving the Sprint Goal likely isn’t the team’s only responsibility during a Sprint.

In this blog post I’ll be sharing several responsibilities that I’ve seen teams have to juggle within a Sprint and provide suggestions for how to manage these responsibilities.

1. Keep Systems Up and Running

If you work on a development team in a small company, it’s likely that your job involves more than developing new products. You’re also likely responsible for ensuring that the company’s existing products and systems are running smoothly.

It’s always a possibility that…

To deliver value to a customer you first need to understand what that customer needs. In other words, you must define the problem before designing the solution.

Steve Jobs once said, “if you define the problem correctly, you almost have the solution.” This statement coincides with the ideas behind User-Centered Design (UCD).

“If you define the problem correctly, you almost have the solution.”

The Interaction Design Foundation defines UCD as “an iterative design process in which designers focus on the users and their needs in each phase of the design process.” Why iterative? To ensure that the user is always…

One of my favorite parts about being a Scrum Master is getting to design new creative formats for Sprint Retrospectives. Super Mario Sprint is a Sprint Retrospective activity that I created which helps teams reflect on their sprint by placing wins and impediments on a timeline.

Part 1: Facilitator Preparation

To facilitate a Super Mario Sprint workshop you will need the following:

  • A place to display a long horizontal timeline
  • Character printouts (you can print out copies of the images used in this article)
  • Writing utensils
  • A timer
  • A method for attaching the character printouts to the timeline (e.g., tape, tacks, clothespins, etc.)


As described in the Scrum Guide, the Scrum Master is a servant-leader for the Scrum Team. This is an accurate description considering that Scrum Masters are constantly serving their teams by removing impediments, facilitating interactions, and helping people understand Scrum theory, practices, rules, and values. However, servant leader is not the sole identity of a Scrum Master.

In addition to being a servant leader, a Scrum Master is also a scientist. …

The first time I remember seeing a scrum board was while watching HBO’s Silicon Valley: Jared introduces Scrum to the Pied Piper team after noticing that the team is experiencing some communication issues. He provides the team with a bright and colorful scrum board consisting of status columns, epics, and user stories. While Jared’s scrum board may appear to be a superfluous visual it’s actually a vital tool for improving team performance.

So Why Do Scrum Boards Work?

In my opinion there are two main reasons why scrum boards are effective: (1) they increase transparency and (2) they help to motivate people.

Please keep in…

Kelly Simpson

A budding young professional | Professional Scrum Master | Blogger

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store