what you can do to help your Scrum team

published5 months ago
4 min read

Hey Reader,

Well, it's this time of the year - the vacation time! I hope you are enjoying the summer days, whether you have already gone on vacation, are on vacation, or are planning to go.

I am getting ready to board a plane... and spend at least 12 hours in it 😅

But before I go, I wanted to give you all something exciting. So the ScrumMastered team has been working hard to make this happen.

🥳 We are launching a couple of NEW things! (by some popular requests)

No.1 - User Stories

User stories have been associated with Scrum teams forever. It seems that Scrum cannot exist without this term and this practice.

(same as it can't exist without the word "ceremonies" it seems.... but don't let me get started)

User stories themselves are not actually necessary in Scrum, they are not even part of Scrum.

But it's still a very useful practice because it creates focus on user needs - it's a customer-centric approach and it's well-aligned with Agile values and principles.

So I would encourage every team to at least familiarize themselves with user stories.

The caveat here is to be aware of various misconceptions that surround user stories so that you don't use this practice to your detriment (yes, it can totally happen).

This is exactly why I created the Writing User Stories Workshop which is now available for purchase in the store.

While I'm on vacation until July 30th, you can get a 20% discount on this new product by using the promo code VACATION2023.

Would you like me to make a video or a blog post about user stories? Let me know by replying to this message.

Just to give you some more food for thought, I'd like to share this excerpt from the Product Owner guide:

"If you Google the term, you will find many different interpretations. Some of them are based on misconceptions rooted in misunderstanding of the Product Backlog.

User Stories originate with Extreme Programming back in 1998. The original purpose was to put the focus on communicating with your customers and stakeholder to understand their use case and to “tell their story”.

It’s about having a conversation.

When applied in practice in the Product Backlog a user story usually represents a functional requirement – something that brings direct value to your customers.

A good user story makes it clear who is receiving the value, what value is being delivered, and why it is important for the customer (or for the organization).

The common pitfall when using the practice of user stories is to apply them to any type of work.

Not every product backlog item is going to be a user story. As discussed in the “Types of Product Backlog Items” section, many different types of work exist in a Product Backlog. The user story tools we’ll be covering below should only be applied to user stories and no other items.

I will describe other ways to write work items for non-user-story work.

The examples of non-user-story work would be defects, tech debt, enablers, etc."

No.2 - Jira Software

Jira has become a go-to tool for many organizations implementing Agile and Scrum.

If you are a Scrum Master, whether you want it or not, you need to be able to navigate this tool with ease.

You are not supposed to be your team's Jira admin or anything like that, but you need to know your way around it.

I know that many teams are struggling to use the tool to their advantage and so it starts to go against the first Agile value "Individuals and interactions over processes and tools".

After many requests from the community, especially on my Jira-related videos on YouTube, I have finally decided to dedicate time to creating a proper online course about Jira.

But with a spin - it's Jira for Scrum Masters and Agile Teams.

In this course, instead of teaching you the boring stuff about how to use Jira in general, I walk you through concrete examples relevant to the Agile teams.

And you know my teaching style - I make it easy to understand and follow through.

While I'm on vacation until July 30th, you can get a 20% discount on this new product by using the promo code VACATION2023.

If you've been looking for something that will finally help you get comfortable with Jira, then this course is for you. I hope you enjoy it.

It now has 12 lessons already with transcripts and screenshots and I'm planning on adding more topics if the course is working well. If you enrol now you'll be able to contribute to this creation process too!

No.3 - ScrumMastered in Germany???

To my German-speaking friends - Did you know that ScrumMastered is getting international?

Here's the message from our partners in Germany, Creativity Attracts Performance:

Aufgepasst, ihr deutschsprachigen Scrum-Enthusiasten! Ihr wollt eure Karriere als Scrum Master starten oder auf das nächste Level bringen? Mit fertigen Konzepten, Vorlagen und Checklisten begleiten wir Euch auf Eurer Reise. Wir selbst waren mal dort, wo ihr seid und können sehr gut nachempfinden, welche Art der Unterstützung ihr benötigt.

👉 Folgt diesem Link zu unserem Scrum Master Start Up Guide auf Deutsch und macht den Unterschied in Eurem Projekt ab dem 1.

Some other things I wanted to share is that I am checking out this new app everyone's been going crazy about - Threads by Meta. So if you are interested in exploring it with me, go follow me @scrummastered (you can access the link via my Instagram account too).

And, of course, if you haven't subscribed to our podcast just yet, go check it out at scrummastered.com/podcast - we'll be launching the second episode next Thursday. I'm talking with an awesome Scrum Master from Mozambique, currently living in Malaysia and working for a fintech startup. Exciting!

I hope you are having a great day. Talk to you soon!

Daria Bagina

I help professionals and organizations build awesome teams with the help of Agile and Scrum practices. I provide highly actionable tools and systems that bring you results. Professional Scrum Trainer | Experienced Agile Coach

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