Focus on the work, not the framework

Talk to most any team that is having trouble with Scrum and you’ll see some common patterns of problems:

  • can’t write small stories
  • work doesn’t get finished within a sprint
  • requirements are not clear

Learning how to write small stories with agreed upon acceptance criteria prior to writing code would be a good idea. Instead, most teams are provided with what they should look like (INVEST, SMART) but not so much how to get there. And most exercises in writing stories are not on real work.

Scrum’s time-boxing is intended to encourage the writing of small stories. But why not teach writing them in the class? While sprints encourage writing small stories, in themselves they don’t help you know how to do this.

Ironically the focus on the framework (Scrum) which is supposed to be making us more Agile takes away from it. If you’re willing to give up certification for extra learning and some dollars saved, find someone who teaches how to do Scrum based around the actual work – POs and devs communicating and writing small stories. I recommend Acceptance Test-Driven Development (ATDD) combined with Behavior-Driven Developments (BDD) “given-when-then” (GWT) construct.

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