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Todd Lankford

My most viewed post right now — How deadline-driven behavior sends your Scrum Teams spinning out of control

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On Medium, I am the Editor and Writer for Serious Scrum and Simply Agile, Writer for The Startup, and a Medium Top Writer in Leadership.

Photo by patricia serna on Unsplash
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A few weeks back, I had a conversation with a peer coach who was introduced to me. As we chatted, we discussed several aspects of coaching. …

Integration to many in the software space refers to the act of making code parts work together. But integration on a Scrum Team goes far beyond this common technical reference.

Without frequent integration in many contexts outside of technology, Scrum Teams will fail. …

I’ve seen many teams freeze up when learning to use Scrum. When faced with a sticky mess blocking the Agile path, it’s easy to conclude, “Scrum won’t work here.” But I don’t buy it.

How to hold strong when Scrum is not working for you
A Big Boulder to Move — Photo by Vicky Sim on Unsplash

Scrum floods your problem areas with a bright, white light. …

Autonomous. Self-organizing. Self-managing. When I hear these words, it reminds me of a magnet — a magnet for attracting responsibility.

Autonomous Scrum Teams are like powerful responsibility magnets
Strong Magnet Photo by Dan-Cristian Pădureț on Unsplash

Scrum requires this responsibility magnet to be powerful. To deliver a working product, Scrum Teams pull all responsibilities into their force field. Take this excerpt from The Scrum Guide:


Should Scrum Teams feel guilty for taking a break?
Charlie Waiting to Go Walk — Photo by the Author

Yesterday I felt guilty for walking my dogs. The guilt was self-imposed. Nobody told me I should be working instead of taking Charlie and Wilson for a walk. But there it was in my head, loud and clear.

Working remote for the last year and a half has blurred the…

Spinning Out of Control — Photo by Jonas Jacobsson on Unsplash

If you want to hear the deafening sound of utter silence, say these words to a software delivery manager:

“To increase the odds of hitting your goals, don’t push your teams to deliver by a deadline.”

Having the slightest disdain for deadlines and plans is the ultimate form of bad…

Who hasn’t fantasized about being an archaeologist? Since a young age, I have dreamt of going on an adventure in a far-away land, finding a dig site, and unearthing history. The lure and mystery of the unknown are intoxicating.

4 ways Scrum Teams can act like curious archaeologists
Tyrannosaurus — Photo by Brett Meliti on Unsplash

But life goes on. You go to school, start a career…

Is SAFe the Agile hit song you think it is?
Photo by Pien Muller on Unsplash

I am stunned when hear a product group is using the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) to improve their Agile game. Not only does this reveal a misunderstanding of Agile, but it shows a retreat from Agile to tools, process, and big batch planning.

Product groups often bring me in as…

How Scrum Teams can ooze cool like Miles Davis and create something timeless
Image by minka2507 from Pixabay

Cool…that was Miles.

Miles Davis was an innovator, a rule breaker. He was never satisfied with whatever heights he had achieved. And his curiosity kept him starving for what was next, playing with new sounds and genres until his death.

Kind of Blue was his breakthrough album, and most would…

Todd Lankford

I help organizations simplify their Agile journey by building cultures to emerge better products.

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