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Fixing Your Scrum: Practical Solutions to Common Scrum Problems


Cover image for Fixing Your Scrum

Fixing Your Scrum

Practical Solutions to Common Scrum Problems


Broken Scrum practices limit your organization’s ability to take full advantage of the agility Scrum should bring: The development team isn’t cross-functional or self-organizing, the product owner doesn’t get value for their investment, and stakeholders and customers are left wondering when something—anything—will get delivered. Learn how experienced Scrum masters balance the demands of these three levels of servant leadership, while removing organizational impediments and helping Scrum teams deliver real-world value. Discover how to visualize your work, resolve impediments, and empower your teams to self-organize and deliver using advanced coaching and facilitation techniques that honor and support the Scrum values and agile principles.

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  • $24.95 In Stock
    • Beta: What do I get?

  • Ebooks are DRM free.

  • Ebook delivery options.

  • The Paper Book will ship on 2020-05-10 (roughly).

About this Title

Pages: 200 (est)
Published: 2020-05-10
Release: B9.0 (2019-11-04)
ISBN: 978-1-68050-697-6

A Scrum Master needs to know when their team is in trouble and understand how to help them get back on the path to delivery. Become a better Scrum master so you can find the problems holding your teams back. Has your Daily Scrum turned in to a meeting? Does your team struggle with creating user stories? Are stakeholders disengaged during Sprint Review? These issues are common. Learn to use empiricism as your guide and help your teams create great products.

Scrum is so much more than a checklist of practices to follow, yet that’s exactly how many organizations practice it. Bring life back to your Scrum events by using advanced facilitation techniques to leverage the full intelligence of your team. Improve your retrospectives with new formats and exercises. Ask powerful questions that spark introspection and improvement. Get support and buy-in from management. Use Scrum as a competitive advantage for your organization. Create a definition of done that improves quality and fix failing sprints.

Take the next step on your journey as a Scrum master. Transform your Scrum practices to help your teams enjoy their work again as they deliver high quality products that bring value to the world.

What You Need

A moderate level of experience using the Scrum Framework.

Contents & Extracts

This book is currently in beta, so the contents and extracts will change as the book is developed.

  • Introduction
    • Who This Book Is For
    • What’s in this Book
    • How to Read this Book
    • Online Resources
  • A Brief Introduction to Scrum
    • A Quick Overview
  • When Scrum Goes Bad
  • Breaking Bad Scrum with a Value-Driven Approach
    • Breaking Bad Scrum with a Value-Driven Approach
    • A Quick Note About “ScrumBut”
    • Dusting Off the Agile Manifesto
    • Reviewing the Scrum Values
    • Using the Scrum Values Every Step of the Way
    • The Scrum Values in Action
    • Next Steps
    • Empiricism is the Engine that Makes Scrum Work
    • Scrum is a Problem-Finding Framework
  • The Product Owner
    • Many Product Owners, One Product
    • The Part-time Product Owner
    • The Proxy Product Owner
    • The Commander in Chief
    • The Scrum Master + Product Owner
    • Wait, what are we building?
    • Coach’s Corner
  • The Product Backlog
    • The Product Backlog
    • One Product, Many Product Backlogs
    • Too Many Items (or Too Few)
    • Consistent Inconsistancy
    • The Static Product Backlog
    • We Predict it will be Done…
    • Why Isn’t My Stuff First?
    • Try This Next
  • The Development Team
    • The Development Team
    • We can’t get to “done”
    • That’s not my job
    • Cutting Corners
    • Go! In every direction
    • Wait Your Turn
    • The Team Is Too Big
    • Is Everybody Busy Enough?
    • Try This Next
  • Embracing the Scrum Master Role
    • No One on My Team Knows Scrum
    • Help! I’m the Impediment
    • The Superhero Scrum Master
    • The Rotating Scrum Master
    • So Many Impediments, So Little Time
    • The Dreaded Scrum Lord
    • Turning into a Scrum Secretary
    • Acting as the Janitor
    • Coach’s Corner
  • Management
    • Management
    • Management Does Not Buy-in to Scrum and It’s Our Fault
    • Management Seeks to Control Complexity
    • Not Knowing What a Manager Needs from a Scrum Team
    • Forgetting to Tell Managers What Scrum Teams Need from Them
    • Forgetting the Organization – Moved here from the Scrum Master chapter
    • Let’s Recap
    • Try This Next
  • Thinking in Sprints excerpt
    • We Need a Special Sprint
    • Let’s Change the Sprint Length
    • Scrum has too many Meetings
    • Using Sprint Cancellations to Change Scope
    • Follow the Requirements or Else
    • Coach’s Corner
  • Sprint Planning
    • Marathon Planning Events
    • Leaving Sprint Planning without a Sprint Goal
    • Maxing out the team
    • Letting Debt Build Up
    • Coach’s Corner
  • The Sprint Backlog
    • The Sprint Backlog
    • It’s owned by management
    • Why is it changing?
    • The Daily Projector Update
    • Summary
    • What’s Next
  • The Daily Scrum
    • Reclaiming The Daily Scrum
    • The Daily Scrum as Status Meeting
    • The Twice-a-Week Scrum
    • Not All Voices Are Heard
    • Help! The Team isn’t Making Progress on Their Work!
    • Locked Doors and Other Punishments for Tardiness
    • The 45-Minute Scrum
    • The Team is Raising False Impediments
    • Try This Next
  • Deconstructing the Done Product Increment
    • We Haven’t Defined “Done”
    • Cutting Quality to Hit a Release Date
    • We’ll Finish that Later
    • Coach’s Corner
  • The Daily Scrum
    • The Sprint Review
    • Stakeholders Aren’t Involved
    • The Product Owner Gavel
    • The Sprint Demo
    • Presenting Undone Work
    • There’s an ‘I’ in Team
    • The Stagnant Sprint Review
    • The Standing Ovation
    • Try This Next
  • The Sprint Retrospective excerpt
    • Where is Everybody?
    • Superficial Commitments
    • Meaningless Improvements
    • 50% Participation
    • Skipping It
    • The Complaint Session
    • Coach’s Corner


A professional Scrum trainer with, Ryan Ripley has worked as a software developer, manager, director, and Scrum Master at various Fortune 500 companies in the medical device, wholesale, and financial services industries. He is host of “Agile for Humans,” the top agile podcast on iTunes. Ryan lives in Indiana with his wife, Kristin, and three children. He blogs at and is on Twitter @ryanripley.

Todd Miller has practical experience as a Scrum Master, Product Owner, Software Developer, and Agile coach on a variety of technical and creative projects across a multitude of industries. He has been a professional Scrum trainer with since 2016. Todd lives in Pennsylvania with his wife Jessica and two children. His blogs can be found on the website and his twitter handle is @todd_miller11.