Building the Agile Enterprise at Scrum Day

Michel Löhr and Simon Roberts from ScrumCenter presented their view of the agile enterprise at Scrum Day 2011 in Darmstadt. They discussed some of the problems that occur in traditional, matrix-structured, waterfall-oriented organisations and proposed changes based on their experience coaching multiple agile enterprise transitions. The top three changes are:

  • Creating stable, product oriented teams.
  • Establishing a leaner approach to budgeting and financial control, with drastically reduced transaction costs.
  • Taking a more holistic approach by integrating agile product development with agile customer development (as proposed by the customer development and lean startup movements) - an integrated and empirical approach to both provides a good foundation for creating truly successful products.

Thank you very much to the people who attended, for the interesting questions and great feedback.

Using the Cartoon Story Board Technique in Retrospectives

Cartoon Story Board

Cartoon Story Board (also called Comic Story Board) is one of my favourite creativity techniques and it can be used to good effect in retrospectives. I have used it in the "setting the stage" phase of retrospectives to help a team to frame the key question to be tackled during the retrospective, and for helping to generate ideas when deciding what to do differently in the future.

The Anatomy of a Release Retrospective

Retrospective Bridge

As Scrum practitioners, we are used to short and sharp retrospectives at the end of each Sprint. Sprint retrospectives, taking 1-2 hours, can yield valuable results, enabling the Scrum team to improve its process. Typically these retrospectives yield lots of ideas, which are then prioritised and only the top 2-3 are actually actioned.

I If we only hold short retrospectives, we may be missing out on discovering further ways to optimise our  work. A longer retrospective, at the end of a release or other milestone,  enables problems and solutions to be explored in more detail.

In this article, I describe a 2-day retrospective that a client asked me to facilitate.

Slides from Agilia, Czech Republic: Four Agile Years at Allianz Germany


Back in March 2011, Christoph Weiß (agile coach at Allianz Germany) and I spoke at the Agilia conference in Brno, Czech Republic. Our well received presentation included the following topics:

  • How agile teams are kicked off and supported through training and coaching
  • The current state of agile at Allianz
  • Agile in the Enterprise - why professional change management is important
  • Key success factors, challenges and pitfalls

I coached and trained Scrum and agile during the first three of those four years and it was good to catch up with the latest news.

During the two days following the conference we taught a Certified ScrumMaster class in Brno. The class was a lot of fun and received great reviews from the participants.

Slides from the presentation are now available for download here.

Podcast from Retrospective Facilitators Gathering in Taos, New Mexico

Back in April I attended the wonderful Retrospective Facilitators Gathering in the equally wonderful Taos, New Mexico. During the final evening I recorded a podcast with many of the gathering's participants. The podcast took the form of an informal round table discussion and the topics included looking back at the gathering, externalizing thinking and group/collective learning.

Participants, in order of speaking:

John Martin, Esther Derby, Declan Whelan, George Dinwiddie, Oana Junco, Charlotte Malther, Simon Roberts, Diana Larsen, Josef Scherer, Grazyna Scherer, John McFadyen and Cyril Megard.

The podcast can be found here.

Agile Central Europe in Krakow - Sustainable Scrum Transitions

AgileCEThe slides for my talk at AgileCE on sustainable Scrum transitions - "Making Scrum Stick" are available here. Many thanks to the organisers for a fantastic conference and to many people for the great discussions in person and via twitter.

Effective Chartering for Scrum Teams

lions.jpgThe presentation from my talk with Jens Korte on team chartering at the March 2010 Scrum Gathering in Orlando is now available online at

We enjoyed preparing and giving this talk very much. Thanks very much to the people who attended and for the interesting questions and discussion, all of which contributed to the talk's success.

It's the first time that I have made a presentation using Prezi ( Prezi allows the presenter to zoom around a large canvas and get away from the intrinsically serial nature of traditional presentation tools. It suits my style and was well received by all that I showed the results to (I've heard of some feeling symptoms akin to motion sickness as a result of the zooming and rotation). I'll be continuing this experiment with my next presentation at Agile Central Europe in Krakow Poland on 8-9th April.

Many thanks also to those who mentioned our talk in their post-gathering round-ups. Here:

and here:

Leuchtfeuer entzünden: Einführung von Scrum bei der Allianz Deutschland AG


An article, co-written by ScrumCenter founders Christoph Mathis and Simon Roberts, describing the Scrum transition at Allianz Deutschland AG, is now available for free download thanks to an agreement with SIGS-DATACOM GmbH.

The article, co-written by Gerhard Hastreiter (Allianz Deutschland AG), Chistoph Mathis (ScrumCenter GmbH) and Simon Roberts (ScrumCenter GmbH), first appeared in the January 2009 edition of ObjektSpektrum and can be found here.

Slides from Zurich Lean Agile Scrum Conference

Last week Christoph Mathis and Simon Roberts gave two presentations at the Lean Agile Scrum Conference in Zurich. Our slides from "Scrum 101" and "Making Scrum Stick" are now available for download.
Register or login to download ideas for Scrum implementation improvement backlog items generated by the audience during Making Scrum Stick.
Many thanks to the participants and special thanks to Peter Stevens and crew for organising an interesting and enjoyable conference.

Scrum Flyer

ScrumFlow.gifA new Scrum flyer is available from the Scrum Alliance. A ScrumCenter customised version of the flyer is available here.

It provides a handy summary of the Scrum framework as well as a reminder of the most important ScrumCenter contact information.

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