Scrum Facilitators Community podcast

Sprint Length & BizDev Collaboration - Blog Reviews with Andy & Steve

June 15, 2023 Scrum Facilitators Season 3 Episode 5
Sprint Length & BizDev Collaboration - Blog Reviews with Andy & Steve
Scrum Facilitators Community podcast
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Scrum Facilitators Community podcast
Sprint Length & BizDev Collaboration - Blog Reviews with Andy & Steve
Jun 15, 2023 Season 3 Episode 5
Scrum Facilitators

Steve and Andy discuss blog posts that have caught their attention on
In this episode they talk about “How to Choose the Right Sprint Length in Scrum” By Staphanie Ockerman and “Agile Principles - Business People & Developers Must work together daily” by Simon Kneafsey.

Links and Sources:

Are you working with Scrum/Agile and have similar stories and tips to share? Or do you know someone that you want to voluntell to be a guest? Reach out!

Also check out our website, LinkedIn and Meetup

Show Notes Transcript

Steve and Andy discuss blog posts that have caught their attention on
In this episode they talk about “How to Choose the Right Sprint Length in Scrum” By Staphanie Ockerman and “Agile Principles - Business People & Developers Must work together daily” by Simon Kneafsey.

Links and Sources:

Are you working with Scrum/Agile and have similar stories and tips to share? Or do you know someone that you want to voluntell to be a guest? Reach out!

Also check out our website, LinkedIn and Meetup

00:00:00 Steve Trapps 

So back to Stephanie's blog well. 

00:00:02 Andy Hiles 

This is I mean I I. 

00:00:04 Andy Hiles 

Guess I haven't lost Stephanie blog, I mean. 

00:00:05 Andy Hiles 

It's all in there. 

00:00:06 Andy Hiles 

Yeah, I think it's. 

00:00:07 Andy Hiles 

It's kind of we've added some, we've added some Andy and Steve. 

00:00:10 Andy Hiles 

On top, but it's all in there. 

00:00:13 Steve Trapps 

Welcome to the scrum Facilitators Community podcast. 

00:00:16 Steve Trapps 

The place for real conversations around Scrum. 

00:00:22 Steve Trapps 

So welcome to Scrum Facilitators, blog reviews. 

00:00:26 Steve Trapps 

We're just coming up with a name. 

00:00:27 Steve Trapps 

This is the. 

00:00:27 Steve Trapps 

First time we're. 

00:00:28 Steve Trapps 

Doing this, hopefully we're gonna be doing a. 

00:00:29 Steve Trapps 

Lot more I'm saying we. 

00:00:32 Andy Hiles 

Let's let's see how this one goes. 

00:00:35 Andy Hiles 

Unless you have, it might regret this with us. 

00:00:36 Steve Trapps 

Guys, because Andy Highland is. 

00:00:39 Steve Trapps 

So, Andy, how are you today? 

00:00:43 Andy Hiles 

I am good. 

00:00:44 Andy Hiles 

I had a nice long walk back from dropping my car at the garage and then the garage phoned me up and said the bill I thought I was expecting isn't going to be as bad, which is always a good a good bit and you so. 

00:00:56 Andy Hiles 

So yes, I'm. 

00:00:57 Steve Trapps 

How are you? 

00:00:58 Steve Trapps 

Well, I went for. 

00:00:59 Steve Trapps 

A run this morning to to get. 

00:01:01 Steve Trapps 

Over the run that I went on. 

00:01:03 Steve Trapps 

On Wednesday night, yeah. 

00:01:05 Steve Trapps 

So I went down to the local athletics club and did the session with them. 

00:01:10 Steve Trapps 

And it Thursday just seemed to be awful. 

00:01:15 Steve Trapps 

So I thought I'm going to try and get my legs going. 

00:01:17 Steve Trapps 

And I was running like an old man this. 

00:01:19 Steve Trapps 

Morning, because I am an old man. 

00:01:23 Steve Trapps 

So the legs are failing me. 

00:01:27 Steve Trapps 

So thank you for listening. 

00:01:29 Steve Trapps 

The intention of this is. 

00:01:30 Steve Trapps 

That And and I. 

00:01:32 Steve Trapps 

We're going to look at blog posts. 

00:01:34 Steve Trapps 

Because you're busy and we also need to be looking at stuff as well, just to keep our knowledge going and also keep our appetites there. 

00:01:41 Steve Trapps 

So we're looking at blog posts on We're also looking at blog posts on proKanban as well. 

00:01:48 Steve Trapps 

Both Andy and I are trainers and we're proKanban trainers as well, so best to both work. 

00:01:54 Steve Trapps 

So we are randomly picking really or looking at items that catch our eyes or catch our interest, which we think would be interesting to you. 

00:02:03 Steve Trapps 

OK, so these are our opinions. They're not opinions. Here comes the the waiver, the disclaimer they are scrum, not 

00:02:14 Steve Trapps 

They're not proKanban opinions. 

00:02:17 Steve Trapps 

These are just random thoughts from Andy and Steve. 

00:02:20 Andy Hiles 

Even worse, they are opinions based upon other people's opinions from 

00:02:29 Andy Hiles 

What could be? 

00:02:30 Andy Hiles 

What could be better? 

00:02:31 Andy Hiles 

Than that, yeah, I think. 

00:02:32 Andy Hiles 

People have an opinion about something else that people have had an opinion about, yeah. 

00:02:36 Andy Hiles 

We roll with it. 

00:02:37 Andy Hiles 

We'll see. 

00:02:38 Andy Hiles 

That bit? We'll ignore that. 


We we will link. 

00:02:40 Steve Trapps 

To we'll provide the links in the chat or whatever you know, we'll do that stuff that you get on blog. 

00:02:46 Steve Trapps 

Posts on on pod. 

00:02:47 Steve Trapps 

Yes, sorry of how you can find them. 

00:02:49 Steve Trapps 

So we're going to try and keep this as a regular thing as well. 

00:02:52 Steve Trapps 

So here's that's our invitation or our commitment to. 

00:02:55 Andy Hiles 

You we should we get into it? 

00:02:58 Andy Hiles 

Because we're waffling. 

00:02:59 Andy Hiles 

Let's get into it. 

00:03:00 Andy Hiles 

So the whole purpose of this was to have a look through these committee blogs and the one there are a few. 

00:03:07 Andy Hiles 

There were a few quite generally didn't catch my eye. 

00:03:09 Andy Hiles 

But the one that actually on that list that did was blog post by Stephanie Ackerman, which is called how to choose the right Sprint length in the. 

00:03:18 Andy Hiles 

Scrum, which I I found. 

00:03:20 Andy Hiles 

And immediately really interesting cause this is probably one of the internal debates that that Scrum masters will have. 

00:03:28 Andy Hiles 

One of the debates that organizations should have, and I think that that yeah, I think that's the emphasis. 

00:03:34 Andy Hiles 

Right is are you debating this within within your scrum teams within your organization? 

00:03:40 Andy Hiles 

What does the length of a Sprint mean to you? 

00:03:43 Andy Hiles 

This is that's the Andy Hills kind of thinking about this and where Stephanie kind of draws from which is, which is all around. 

00:03:49 Andy Hiles 

And what are the? 

00:03:51 Andy Hiles 

What are the factors that you could use in order to determine a Sprint length you know above other things, right? 

00:03:58 Andy Hiles 

And so Stephanie kind of talks around kind of the the most basic and 1st principle, which is looking at the feedback all the the. 

00:04:10 Andy Hiles 

Yeah, the the cadence and need for feedback from the business, right as a determining. 

00:04:15 Andy Hiles 

Now when we look at Scrum, Scrum says no more than a no more than a month, and that's quite obvious. 

00:04:22 Andy Hiles 

You know quite, you know, good and obvious. 

00:04:24 Andy Hiles 

And you know, why would you? 

00:04:25 Andy Hiles 

And it's kind of why would you ignore a sense of feedback? 

00:04:29 Andy Hiles 

What purpose does that that provide a business? 

00:04:33 Andy Hiles 

What purpose does that provide? 

00:04:36 Andy Hiles 

Value to the customer. 

00:04:37 Andy Hiles 

If you extend that right the other way of looking at that is if for whatever reason and whatever cadence that you pick, what are the risks associated with not doing it sooner, right? 

00:04:50 Andy Hiles 

So if you, it's like if you're going to wait a month, what are the risks of waiting long? 

00:04:54 Andy Hiles 

What are you in fact ignoring or purposely, there must be a better word for purposefully ignoring. 

00:04:59 Andy Hiles 

Maybe you can think of that in the background but but this idea of kind of like purposely ignoring feedback loops so. 

00:05:06 Andy Hiles 

One of the first one of the first points she draws upon is kind of looking at that kind of responsive change in the market, you know and and for those people who are working in scrum teams that are not, you know, direct market you know. 

00:05:21 Andy Hiles 

Business to customer markets, maybe your maybe you deliver internally right before a grand you know which is which is a majority of people building products within Scrum. 

00:05:31 Andy Hiles 

As we're facing internal really before some grand release happens. 

00:05:36 Andy Hiles 

But there's still. 

00:05:38 Andy Hiles 

A need for a feedback cadence there. 

00:05:40 Andy Hiles 

That shouldn't be ignored. 

00:05:42 Steve Trapps 

Stephanie actually puts in the blog post she quotes Ken Ken Schwaber, one of the signatures of the Scrum Guide. 

00:05:48 Steve Trapps 

Basically, a Sprint should be as short as possible and no shorter. 

00:05:52 Steve Trapps 

So you know. 

00:05:53 Steve Trapps 

And so I was thinking when you were talking to Andy about how, how often the length of the Sprint has already been dictated to the teams, yeah, by, you know, somebody else. 



00:06:03 Steve Trapps 

And it's like, oh, well, we we do monthly sprints here and it's like OK and we have to do monthly sprints because. 

00:06:09 Andy Hiles 

When have you ever met? 

00:06:11 Andy Hiles 

Well, apart from that one case we we did that bit of work with the team that wanted one. 

00:06:15 Andy Hiles 

Month sprints, but I mean. 

00:06:17 Andy Hiles 

You know the Sprint lengths just gets dictated to people, right? 

00:06:20 Andy Hiles 

It's kind of like, oh, we're doing two week sprints. 

00:06:23 Andy Hiles 

Because there was a there was an interesting there's an interesting case bit of work that I did where we looked at the Sprint length and they were doing 3 sprints. 

00:06:38 Andy Hiles 

Which is kind of a, you know, finally it's it suited them and then we kind of asked why and it turns out they wanted two weeks to develop and one week to test. 

00:06:50 Andy Hiles 

Yeah, that's  what a Sprint is. 

00:06:54 Andy Hiles 

Yeah, mini waterfall. 

00:06:55 Andy Hiles 

So that was that was quickly educated. 

00:06:56 Steve Trapps 

I've experienced the three-week Sprint and it was really strange because obviously well not obviously we go through the classic month or the two weeks. 

00:07:04 Steve Trapps 

In fact, actually I've done a week Sprint. 

00:07:06 Steve Trapps 

But there I've only. 

00:07:07 Steve Trapps 

Come across the three-week Sprint once and it was it was. It felt a little bit strange. Just the fact that. 

00:07:16 Steve Trapps 

It was 3 weeks and it's like and I asked. 

00:07:18 Steve Trapps 

To take. Why? 

00:07:19 Steve Trapps 

It's well because it takes this time to get going and then we get going and then we. 

00:07:23 Steve Trapps 

Deliver some things like OK, but. 

00:07:24 Andy Hiles 

So one of the teams, one of the teams I worked with went from 2:00 to 3:00 purposefully on the basis they found the two week cadence of Scrum. 

00:07:33 Andy Hiles 

So we were working with the scrum and kanban system and. 

00:07:38 Andy Hiles 

They found the actually once they got into flow, they found the regularity of scrum events too much, so they went. 

00:07:47 Andy Hiles 

Do you know what we want to actually we're doing because they were releasing. 

00:07:51 Andy Hiles 

They were building, they were regularly, they were chatting every day they were fine and they were doing everything really, really good. 

00:07:59 Andy Hiles 

The scrum overhead, right? 

00:08:01 Andy Hiles 

Because Scrum does have an overhead and we can't ignore that the scrum overhead became too much for that team. 

00:08:07 Andy Hiles 

So they said. 

00:08:08 Andy Hiles 

OK, look, let's just park that a little bit away. 

00:08:11 Andy Hiles 

So that we don't lose the ability to inspect and adapt and provide transparency about where we are to stakeholders and formally identify that space. 

00:08:20 Andy Hiles 

But it doesn't feel like so much of an overhead when we're actually doing a whole load of really, really cool stuff with our product backlog, regularly review and refining, releasing, updating all that kind of really good stuff. 

00:08:32 Andy Hiles 

Uhm, you know, that's a that's a really good example of where extending a Sprint length could be highly beneficial on the basis that you are already providing value. 

00:08:43 Andy Hiles 

You're not, you're not extending it just to do some more testing, right? 

00:08:47 Andy Hiles 

And that isn't the point. 

00:08:47 Steve Trapps 

If you think the team are working on what? 

00:08:49 Steve Trapps 

Works for them well. 

00:08:51 Andy Hiles 

It's self management's kicking in and it's but it's. 

00:08:54 Andy Hiles 

I think it's, you know that's the trainer answer, but I think it's I think it's more than that. 

00:08:57 Andy Hiles 

It's about the team. 

00:08:58 Andy Hiles 

Team finding the best like you say, what works for them? 

00:09:02 Andy Hiles 

But something that still provides value and they can work within boundaries that they can dictate. 

00:09:08 Andy Hiles 

And I think the autonomy is the important thing. 

00:09:11 Andy Hiles 

So when you've got that dictation of you're going to do 2 weeks, right. 

00:09:15 Andy Hiles 

And and people are then forced into a box. 

00:09:20 Andy Hiles 

You know, in terms of they can't physically find a way out of that. 

00:09:24 Andy Hiles 

They have to deliver every two weeks or that's the kind of, you know, the the, the feeling and and the and they can't because of organizational constraints and then you get the whole load of. 

00:09:32 Andy Hiles 

Stresses, right? Yeah. 

00:09:34 Steve Trapps 

Very true. So. 

00:09:35 Steve Trapps 

Back to Stephanie's. 

00:09:36 Andy Hiles 

Blog Well, this is. 

00:09:38 Andy Hiles 

I mean I guess I haven't lost Stephanie blog. 

00:09:40 Andy Hiles 

I mean it's. 

00:09:40 Andy Hiles 

All in there, yeah. 

00:09:41 Andy Hiles 

I think it's kind of we've added some, we've added some Andy and Steve on top, but. 

00:09:45 Andy Hiles 

It's all in there. 

00:09:48 Andy Hiles 

The interesting one about that Sprint length consistency, right? 

00:09:51 Andy Hiles 

So Stephanie leads into kind of maintaining. 

00:09:54 Andy Hiles 

Sprint length it kind of provides a regular cadence and stability and predictability. 

00:10:00 Andy Hiles 

And you know, I've been saying more often, you know. 

00:10:05 Andy Hiles 

Well, Steve, you know my definition for Scrum was a conversation framework. 

00:10:11 Andy Hiles 

I've not changed it. 

00:10:13 Andy Hiles 

I've added a risk control framework as a definition. 

00:10:17 Andy Hiles 

And so the kind of desire to control risk through regular cadence could be incredibly useful when you have the regularity of feedback and conversation. 

00:10:28 Andy Hiles 

So that's kind of like we know that stuff. 

00:10:31 Andy Hiles 

The only thing that was kind of. 

00:10:34 Andy Hiles 

The only thing that's playing on my mind is there was one team and maybe it was just a complete anomaly, right? 

00:10:40 Andy Hiles 

And I think I think it was within, I think the control boundaries meant that actually scrum wasn't the right thing, but we were using Scrum events as a placeholder for a conversation. 

00:10:51 Steve Trapps 


00:10:53 Andy Hiles 

And So what we were doing was we started looking at the features that needed to be delivered and we were going well. 

00:10:58 Andy Hiles 

That feature feels like it's going to take us about 3 weeks, so that's feature one, right? 

00:11:03 Andy Hiles 

The next feature looks like it's going to be two weeks. 

00:11:05 Andy Hiles 

So that's feature 2. The next 1-2 weeks the next. 

00:11:08 Andy Hiles 

1-3 weeks. 

00:11:08 Andy Hiles 

Or or a week or whatever, right? 

00:11:11 Andy Hiles 

And so we actually played with the cadence of feedback that suited the. 

00:11:19 Andy Hiles 


00:11:21 Andy Hiles 

So we you know we didn't break, we didn't break the scrum rules so much that we kept all the scrum events, but that regularity was broken. 

00:11:30 Andy Hiles 

The only the the only thing that kind of. 

00:11:32 Andy Hiles 

Brings me to. 

00:11:34 Andy Hiles 

Why I think that worked as it did is. 

00:11:37 Andy Hiles 

We we know it was a short experiment. 

00:11:40 Andy Hiles 

Yeah, we we had a limited amount of work to do. 

00:11:43 Andy Hiles 

It wasn't like typical. 

00:11:46 Andy Hiles 

If we think about like you know, complexity uncertainty, there wasn't a typical a complexity and uncertainty problem as a total solution to go and provide value. 

00:11:57 Andy Hiles 

That was the the the the answer to the problem was kind of fairly well known. 

00:12:02 Andy Hiles 

So we're kind of, you know, in whatever can have in space, you want to be in and you know. 

00:12:06 Andy Hiles 

If you want to use the state matrix kind of like further down. 

00:12:08 Andy Hiles 

To the left. 

00:12:09 Andy Hiles 


00:12:10 Andy Hiles 

We still have complexity and uncertainty, but we worked in a way that. 

00:12:14 Andy Hiles 

Actually meant that. 

00:12:16 Andy Hiles 

The out we were outcome we were outcome driven totally rather than led by Cadence, OK. 

00:12:25 Steve Trapps 

And this is going to take us off into a different tangent possibly. 

00:12:28 Steve Trapps 

How did you? 

00:12:29 Steve Trapps 

Deal with predictability. 

00:12:32 Steve Trapps 

If you've got the Sprint length because that is one of the things that people say is you know, consistent length helps with predictability about what the team is going to do and or what did. 

00:12:40 Steve Trapps 

Was that a problem or was that did that not even matter? 

00:12:43 Andy Hiles 

Well, here's the interesting thing, right? 

00:12:44 Andy Hiles 

What did we need to be predictable about? 

00:12:48 Steve Trapps 

I like you. 

00:12:48 Andy Hiles 

Actually, in Scrum I'm not challenging by the way, but. 

00:12:51 Andy Hiles 

Actually it might. 

00:12:51 Andy Hiles 

But you know what? 

00:12:52 Andy Hiles 

What do you need to be predictable about in in? 

00:12:54 Andy Hiles 

From a scrum context. 

00:12:58 Andy Hiles 

So, so delivering some. 

00:12:59 Andy Hiles 

Kind of outcome. 

00:13:00 Andy Hiles 

You know, so. 

00:13:01 Andy Hiles 

So the way we approach work is it's a highly we're highly functional. 

00:13:07 Andy Hiles 

Well, you know well, long lived team. 

00:13:10 Andy Hiles 

Everybody knew each other. 

00:13:12 Andy Hiles 

You know, way of working the the risk factor of. 

00:13:17 Andy Hiles 

Kind of any team functional relationship change was low, so we knew kind of everybody's skill set and stuff. 

00:13:25 Andy Hiles 

So the only the only risk factors going in were the uncertainty of kind of solving the technical problems which the team felt they could overcome without kind of any outside help. 

00:13:36 Steve Trapps 

But now when you the stakeholders, you didn't Sprint reviews, you know. Wasn't that annoying for them saying, ohh, this week's two weeks, this week's three weeks now you're doing a week or. 

00:13:48 Andy Hiles 

No, it was just like. 

00:13:48 Steve Trapps 

They more focused on actually what? 

00:13:50 Steve Trapps 

Was being delivered and just. 

00:13:51 Andy Hiles 

Yeah, they cared. 

00:13:52 Andy Hiles 

They didn't care about how regularly we met. 

00:13:54 Andy Hiles 

It was about. 

00:13:55 Andy Hiles 

Did you complete this lovely feature? 

00:13:57 Steve Trapps 

What if you spent my money kind of thing? 

00:13:57 Andy Hiles 

Yeah, we did. 

00:13:59 Andy Hiles 

Well, this morning here we have. 

00:14:01 Andy Hiles 

So, so, you know, I I can see cases where forced cadence could actually lead people down. 

00:14:11 Andy Hiles 

A path of. 

00:14:12 Andy Hiles 

Don't know stress building wrong thing. 

00:14:14 Andy Hiles 

I don't know. 

00:14:15 Andy Hiles 

I feel they have to deliver something. 

00:14:19 Andy Hiles 

For me that's just a. 

00:14:22 Andy Hiles 

I think there are probably edge cases, but also if you're actually sitting in those edge cases, do you need scrum? 

00:14:28 Andy Hiles 


00:14:28 Andy Hiles 

Actually, could we have just kind of done away with lots of the scrum practices, you know, actually what we were doing with Kanban and yeah, realistically, that's what we were doing, but. 

00:14:40 Andy Hiles 

Yeah, it's kind of it's just. 

00:14:41 Andy Hiles 

Kind of an interesting, interesting. 

00:14:41 Steve Trapps 

It sounds like you have the discipline of keeping the events in place, and because that's where the conversations were happening and it. 

00:14:48 Steve Trapps 

Just where you were. 

00:14:48 Andy Hiles 

Yeah, well, yeah. 

00:14:49 Steve Trapps 

But you living value. 

00:14:50 Andy Hiles 

And I'm in danger of kind of talking about camera practice. 

00:14:53 Andy Hiles 

So I'm going to come back to the to the whole thing, but it. 

00:14:54 Steve Trapps 


00:14:56 Andy Hiles 

But it's, I think again it it plays into that that world of when you start to think about flow, how does flow work with cadence in terms of regular cadence in order to understand predictability, we understand that. 

00:15:08 Andy Hiles 

Uhm, but do you need? 

00:15:11 Andy Hiles 

Do you need what people feel like Scrum gives you? 

00:15:14 Andy Hiles 

Is this kind of again, that's why I call scrum. 

00:15:17 Andy Hiles 

Make conversation frameworks just like these endpoints for conversation. 

00:15:22 Andy Hiles 

Actually, do they force not bad conversation, but do they force conversation that actually doesn't need to happen? 

00:15:31 Andy Hiles 

Maybe that's a different, you know, maybe that's a. 

00:15:32 Andy Hiles 

Different discussion for. 

00:15:33 Andy Hiles 

A different day. 

00:15:34 Steve Trapps 

The different blog post. 

00:15:35 Andy Hiles 

For a different purpose, but anyway. 

00:15:37 Andy Hiles 

So I guess all I'm saying is I  don't know the answer. 

00:15:40 Andy Hiles 

To that question, you. 

00:15:42 Andy Hiles 

Know, but there probably edge cases. 

00:15:44 Andy Hiles 

But we know predictability and stability need a regular cadence. 

00:15:47 Andy Hiles 

You know, in order. 

00:15:48 Andy Hiles 

To understand maybe. 

00:15:49 Andy Hiles 

Maybe the team I was working with was hyper matured and we were just like, you know, top of our game. 

00:15:53 Andy Hiles 

But you know what I mean, it's. 

00:15:54 Andy Hiles 

Just like you know, maybe we transcended we're. 

00:15:57 Steve Trapps 

To a higher plane of. 

00:15:59 Andy Hiles 

We've transcended agile. 

00:16:01 Steve Trapps 

Yes, but now. 

00:16:01 Andy Hiles 

Yeah, it was a great. 

00:16:03 Andy Hiles 

Anyway, it was just a good example of kind of that consistency pushing the boundaries. 

00:16:07 Andy Hiles 

So OK, anyway, so that's. 

00:16:10 Andy Hiles 

That was my take away from stuff in his blog. Actually, it was kind of. It was really good to kind of see Stephanie articulate the choices and the risks and all those, those things. 

00:16:23 Andy Hiles 

And also it got me thinking about the the pushing past the what ifs. 

00:16:28 Andy Hiles 

What if you have too much? 

00:16:29 Andy Hiles 

If you don't have enough. 

00:16:31 Andy Hiles 

Actually does also might get people thinking, you know, are we should we do Scrum right? 

00:16:37 Andy Hiles 

Is it is it actually working for us and that's probably the challenge I always want people to think about is. 

00:16:43 Andy Hiles 

Do does Scrum work for you? 

00:16:44 Andy Hiles 

Do you need Scrum or is it the fact that you're not doing scrum in a in a way that could be benefiting you better, right? 

00:16:52 Andy Hiles 

So is there improvement in your scrum practice? 

00:16:55 Andy Hiles 

So there's again with all of these bugs, it's probably sitting in there, but I thought it was just. 

00:16:58 Andy Hiles 

Kind of an interesting topic to go and pick up on. 

00:17:00 Steve Trapps 

Yeah. No it is. 

00:17:01 Steve Trapps 

It is and again we'll put the link into the show notes if that's. 

00:17:05 Steve Trapps 

What you call them? 

00:17:07 Steve Trapps 

Know recording that so you can you can have a look and see which one we're talking about from from. 

00:17:07 Andy Hiles 

Recording the shapes, yeah. 

00:17:14 Steve Trapps 

Stephanie Hoffman, so. 

00:17:15 Andy Hiles 

Hey, Steve, what have you been reading? 

00:17:18 Steve Trapps 

You've got cheese. 

00:17:20 Steve Trapps 

So Andy, thank you for asking. 

00:17:22 Steve Trapps 

So I as well as looking. 

00:17:24 Steve Trapps 

Stephanie and I, you know I. 

00:17:25 Steve Trapps 

Didn't go into as much detail. 

00:17:27 Steve Trapps 

As you with that. 

00:17:27 Steve Trapps 

One but I. 

00:17:28 Steve Trapps 

I picked up a A blog post by Simon. 

00:17:30 Steve Trapps 

Niesi and this is part of his series of agile principles, and this one is business. 

00:17:36 Steve Trapps 

People and developers must work together daily. 

00:17:42 Steve Trapps 

I mean, how often have you been part of a team where you know, requirements come down from on high? 

00:17:47 Steve Trapps 

Or it's, you know, you you don't see the people actually needing the work or needing the fact that the, you know, you don't see the people actually asking for it. 

00:17:57 Steve Trapps 

It comes through from somebody else. 

00:17:59 Steve Trapps 

And Simon in in his. 

00:18:01 Steve Trapps 

Blog post talks about when he was a junior developer and he says that you. 

00:18:04 Steve Trapps 

Know often that would happen. 

00:18:06 Steve Trapps 

These requirements would come down from somebody almost, you know, given to them as a set of requirements, and Simon's got questions. Simon's got, you know, uncertainty around what's actually being asked. 

00:18:18 Steve Trapps 

So then he has to go ask somebody and that you know, the scrum could be the product owner. 

00:18:22 Steve Trapps 

If it's coming, you know doing the users into the product owner and the product owners and really understand the product. 

00:18:29 Steve Trapps 

I mean, we talk about this on the actual. 

00:18:30 Steve Trapps 

Product owner course the. 

00:18:32 Steve Trapps 

The the different types of product ownership and the benefits that you get. So what Simon's talking about here? 

00:18:38 Steve Trapps 

Is really having that scribe product owner so. 

00:18:44 Steve Trapps 

Not being able to answer the question so that right doesn't encourage delay, it just brings delay with it because otherwise what do you do? 

00:18:53 Steve Trapps 

What do you pick up so Simon's blog post talks about what we should be doing and he doesn't say that. Basically teams shouldn't have this connection is to having people. 

00:19:05 Steve Trapps 

With those skills, business analysts in there to be able to get that information and to help the team to understand. 

00:19:13 Steve Trapps 

What it is the user is actually wanting, and there's a a quote here, which is, yeah, a quote, a skilled business analyst can bring benefits. 

00:19:22 Steve Trapps 

And then ensured the detailed view was required. 

00:19:25 Steve Trapps 

Is created upfront and helping explore things that the end user may not consider that can save time because often a a user might ask for something. 

00:19:35 Steve Trapps 

Believing that they want something and it's only until we put it in front. 

00:19:39 Steve Trapps 

Of them, they go. 

00:19:40 Steve Trapps 

Now I see it. 

00:19:41 Steve Trapps 

I don't want that. 

00:19:42 Steve Trapps 

I want it X and this is where a good business analyst can actually help and work with that user to get those requirements and so do you. 

00:19:50 Steve Trapps 

Do you mean this do? 

00:19:50 Steve Trapps 

You want that? 

00:19:51 Steve Trapps 

Kind of thing. 

00:19:51 Andy Hiles 

So so is Simon advocating for business analysts to sit in between the developers and? 

00:19:56 Steve Trapps 

No, he's always talking about is wanting people. 

00:20:01 Steve Trapps 

Not just to take what's given to them. 

00:20:04 Steve Trapps 

Yep, and and to implement that. 

00:20:07 Steve Trapps 

And that's often something. 

00:20:08 Steve Trapps 

That we do see. 

00:20:10 Steve Trapps 

That it's not that questioning or when there is that questioning the the the delays happen. 

00:20:15 Steve Trapps 

So it's working in conjunction with the business and this always irks me when we say working with the business because hey, aren't we part of the business anyway you know? 

00:20:26 Steve Trapps 

We're part of a an IT team or a delivery team or whatever, but we've seen separately and because well, for whatever reason we're seeing separate and we get a list of requirements and we work through them and that kind of. 

00:20:39 Steve Trapps 

So it's not it's. 

00:20:40 Steve Trapps 

He's not saying that at all. 

00:20:41 Steve Trapps 

What he's saying. 

00:20:42 Steve Trapps 

Is that we should be working closer together. 

00:20:45 Steve Trapps 

With the business actually on a daily basis, talking to people or having people in those positions that actually have that business understanding and go, this is how we see the product being used. 

00:21:00 Steve Trapps 

So he's wanting to get that as close. 

00:21:05 Steve Trapps 

Actually linking into kind of what Stephanie was talking about. 

00:21:08 Steve Trapps 

You know, how often do you want that feedback? 

00:21:10 Steve Trapps 

Getting as close as possible. 

00:21:12 Steve Trapps 

So there isn't that delay, because if you bring in delay, you know you're going to. 

00:21:20 Steve Trapps 

Deliver something that maybe isn't as valuable. 

00:21:22 Steve Trapps 

You might miss the boat on getting that out there. 

00:21:26 Steve Trapps 

So what we're wanting is as close as possible so we can get the results as quickly as possible. Validate assumptions is what Simon's talking about here and I think, well, I know because this is what he's saying, you know from his. 

00:21:40 Steve Trapps 

Experience and definitely. 

00:21:40 Steve Trapps 

From ours, you know, I'm I was an ex software developer as well as well as Simon. 

00:21:46 Steve Trapps 

And you've built great things as well. 

00:21:51 Steve Trapps 

One time at band camp. 

00:21:52 Steve Trapps 

Bring them in close. 

00:21:57 Steve Trapps 

And it it kind of. 

00:21:58 Andy Hiles 

It's kind of obvious. 

00:21:59 Steve Trapps 

To us because we talk about this. 

00:22:01 Steve Trapps 

I I think when we're we're delivering train. 

00:22:05 Andy Hiles 

Just kind of curious, is the practical? 

00:22:07 Andy Hiles 

So does he provide anything like practical suggestions? 

00:22:09 Andy Hiles 

But you know, we know it's kind. 

00:22:10 Andy Hiles 

Of talk to each other. 


There there isn't. 

00:22:15 Steve Trapps 

That it doesn't leap out as. 

00:22:16 Steve Trapps 

You know, do this do this. 

00:22:17 Steve Trapps 

But he's just talking about this is what this? 

00:22:20 Steve Trapps 

Is the position. 

00:22:20 Steve Trapps 

We should be in. 

00:22:21 Steve Trapps 

This is where we should be. 

00:22:23 Steve Trapps 

Not having helped us. 

00:22:25 Andy Hiles 

So I guess what what? 

00:22:27 Andy Hiles 

Would be the suggestion for a scrum master observing this. 

00:22:30 Andy Hiles 

As a anti pattern going on at the. 

00:22:32 Andy Hiles 

Moment for them because because. 

00:22:34 Andy Hiles 

It's one thing it's one thing to kind of go. 

00:22:37 Andy Hiles 

Yeah, just talk to. 

00:22:40 Andy Hiles 

You know, I I guess you know the last, the last thing you need to do is to put scribe in the way that's that's probably where you are right now, which is leading to the dysfunction. 

00:22:51 Andy Hiles 

So, yeah, what's the what would be the advice, you know? 

00:22:53 Steve Trapps 

As a scrum master, you know I'd be looking to where is this waste coming or wait time coming in? 

00:22:53 Andy Hiles 

What would be there for? 

00:22:59 Steve Trapps 

How is the team? 

00:23:00 Steve Trapps 

Can we reduce it? 

00:23:02 Steve Trapps 

How you know how efficient is our process? 

00:23:04 Steve Trapps 

You know, back onto flow again, how efficient is our process? 

00:23:07 Steve Trapps 

Where are the wait times and? 

00:23:09 Andy Hiles 

Is this an impediment for the scrum master? 

00:23:13 Andy Hiles 

Kind of asking like I'm going into like, you know, has come to org assessment, but it would be great. 

00:23:18 Steve Trapps 

And how long have you felt this way? 

00:23:21 Andy Hiles 

It'd be a great assessment question, right? 

00:23:22 Andy Hiles 

You know, you're you're some people finding, finding problems, you know, getting understanding the business requirements as a scrum master. 

00:23:32 Andy Hiles 

Is this an impediment? 

00:23:33 Andy Hiles 

You know, what would you do? 

00:23:35 Steve Trapps 

But what would you class as an impediment? 

00:23:37 Steve Trapps 

As you know, its definition of impediment is. 


Well, if I. 

00:23:39 Steve Trapps 

Dot dot dot. 

00:23:41 Andy Hiles 

Well, an impediment is is is an issue that the scrum team cannot solve themselves. 

00:23:45 Andy Hiles 

Lie lies outside the scrum team, IE you know, access to business. 

00:23:50 Andy Hiles 

People probably is an impediment, right? 

00:23:53 Andy Hiles 

You know, would that would that be? 

00:23:55 Andy Hiles 

Obviously Scrum us to to go and help resolve. 

00:23:58 Andy Hiles 

But does it fall on the scrum master? 

00:24:00 Andy Hiles 

Or is this a scrum master product owner or is this something that actually the Scrum team collectively could challenge the business to go and say we can't deliver value to you? 

00:24:12 Andy Hiles 

Unless you give us more information, right? 

00:24:14 Steve Trapps 

Yeah, I'd say it's. 

00:24:15 Steve Trapps 

A scrum team issue. 

00:24:17 Andy Hiles 

You know with. 

00:24:17 Andy Hiles 

And and that's the and this is this is where it's kind of gets really highly nuanced into the kind. 

00:24:22 Andy Hiles 

Of where you. 

00:24:23 Andy Hiles 

Are organisationally and people's confidence or or willingness to go and challenge, you know, cause you get lots of lots of teams. 

00:24:32 Andy Hiles 

Where people will not want to for belief that they are contractually bound to just be servants. 



00:24:41 Andy Hiles 

You know we won't challenge the business cause they will stop paying us, right. 

00:24:44 Andy Hiles 

It's kind of like. 

00:24:47 Steve Trapps 

It's a bit scary. 

00:24:48 Steve Trapps 

It's a bit scary talking to these people if you're not used to it, you know that. 

00:24:52 Steve Trapps 

That's the senior. 

00:24:53 Steve Trapps 

Exec of yeah, but whatever. 

00:24:55 Andy Hiles 

And they they own my job, yeah. 

00:24:58 Steve Trapps 

And they live in that building over there that's got the nice coffee. 

00:25:02 Steve Trapps 

And I'm across here that's got, you know, just if we've got a light bulb, I don't know, going back to days. 

00:25:08 Steve Trapps 

And so we just don't mix. 

00:25:09 Andy Hiles 

But it's it's. 

00:25:11 Andy Hiles 

And this is, you know, yeah, it's one of the. 

00:25:14 Andy Hiles 

It's just an interesting space to be in that that we will have seen. 

00:25:17 Andy Hiles 

I've certainly been in lots of people would be feeling that they're in, you know, I think I think it's. 

00:25:23 Andy Hiles 

Yeah, I think the what you know what can you do or who should be tackling it? 

00:25:27 Andy Hiles 

Well, you know, for for me it's a. 

00:25:31 Andy Hiles 

Scrum Scrum team collectively to to surface right the developers to Surface Scrum team to to have a conversation in in the retrospective? 

00:25:42 Andy Hiles 

Then I kind of see kind of a bit of a joint alliance between the product owner and Scrum master basically going to drag, you know, whatever needs to be dragged from whoever is, you know, asking for the stuff. 

00:25:54 Andy Hiles 

Can we get you? 

00:25:56 Andy Hiles 

You know, in the. 

00:26:00 Andy Hiles 

I think that's where you would. 

00:26:01 Steve Trapps 

And if you've got a product owner that doesn't have those skills, you know the confident. 

00:26:05 Steve Trapps 

This is where Scrum master comes in, you know, and helps. 

00:26:09 Steve Trapps 

Make some friends, you know, because at. 

00:26:11 Steve Trapps 

The end of the. 

00:26:11 Steve Trapps 

Day we would. 

00:26:13 Steve Trapps 

Need to deliver something? 

00:26:14 Steve Trapps 

And you know it's let's go make some friends. 

00:26:16 Steve Trapps 

Let's go get some contact. 

00:26:18 Steve Trapps 

Let's bring them close. 

00:26:19 Andy Hiles 

But again, I I think the worst case, and I've seen this quite a lot is is it's this these kind of anything that lies with the business people kind of just go oh, it's a product and a problem you know and I think I think. 

00:26:31 Andy Hiles 

Yeah, all just going into Scrum master problem, but but when you've got something, actually this is highly contentious this could this. 

00:26:38 Andy Hiles 

This could actually be quite confrontational. 

00:26:41 Andy Hiles 

Potentially this could be quite a hard thing to solve. 

00:26:44 Andy Hiles 

You can't do it on your own. 

00:26:45 Andy Hiles 

Shoulders unless you. 

00:26:46 Andy Hiles 

Are super able just to kind of like buffer things off right? 

00:26:50 Andy Hiles 

Massive like I don't give a. 

00:26:52 Andy Hiles 

Monkey's shield, right? 

00:26:54 Andy Hiles 

I think you know you will need those allies in the business and that's that's your job as a product owners and Scrum master and developers to go and build those, somebody will know, right? 

00:27:04 Andy Hiles 

Somebody will be able to do it and if and again it's, you know, you could also look at it from this perspective and if the business don't. 

00:27:10 Andy Hiles 

Want to know it? 

00:27:10 Steve Trapps 

Tells you a lot more. 

00:27:12 Steve Trapps 

Are we building? 

00:27:14 Steve Trapps 

Not are we building right? 

00:27:15 Steve Trapps 

Are we focusing on the right thing for the business? 

00:27:17 Steve Trapps 

You know, why aren't you bothered? 

00:27:19 Steve Trapps 

You know often that question of like, oh, we can't get stakeholders to attend the Sprint review. 

00:27:23 Steve Trapps 

It's like, yeah, OK. 

00:27:24 Steve Trapps 

So in fact, I was having this conversation. 

00:27:27 Andy Hiles 

Just this week. 

00:27:28 Steve Trapps 

So it looks. 

00:27:29 Steve Trapps 

Make it visible how much it costs the. 

00:27:30 Steve Trapps 

Sprint, you know, and then. 

00:27:33 Steve Trapps 

That should get their attention if it. 

00:27:35 Steve Trapps 

Doesn't. Maybe it will. 

00:27:36 Andy Hiles 

But I only want to know when it's done. 


Yes, but Andy. 

00:27:40 Steve Trapps 

It's cost you. 

00:27:41 Steve Trapps 

£100,000 to get to this point. 

00:27:44 Steve Trapps 

You know it's that's that's a serious wedge of money. 

00:27:47 Steve Trapps 

And if you. 

00:27:49 Andy Hiles 

I've already said £100,000 and it's not done, does. 

00:27:51 Andy Hiles 

That scare you? 

00:27:56 Andy Hiles 

So look so. 

00:27:57 Steve Trapps 

That was Simon Neese's blog post. Again, we'll put the the links into. 

00:28:02 Steve Trapps 

The the bits that goes. 

00:28:04 Steve Trapps 

With that this. 

00:28:05 Steve Trapps 

Like you know what I mean? 

00:28:06 Steve Trapps 

So so look. 

00:28:09 Steve Trapps 

If you found this useful, let us know, because we need your feedback linking back into actually what we've just. 

00:28:15 Steve Trapps 

Been talking about. 

00:28:16 Steve Trapps 

If you like listening to Andy. 

00:28:17 Steve Trapps 

And myself go through. 

00:28:18 Steve Trapps 

Blog post? Let us. 

00:28:19 Steve Trapps 

Know if there's some blog posts that. 

00:28:21 Steve Trapps 

You've read and you wanna share with us and you think maybe, hey, we get it on this. 

00:28:26 Steve Trapps 

I'm going to try we. 

00:28:28 Steve Trapps 

Are going to do this regularly and he's just going what we're gonna do this regular once a month, get into a rhythm of doing this cause you know you're busy. 

00:28:37 Steve Trapps 

You're busy folks. 

00:28:38 Steve Trapps 

And if we can just highlight some things that hey, have a look at this, this is a useful thing to have a read, have a help your knowledge. 

00:28:47 Steve Trapps 

That's why we're here. So. 

00:28:50 Steve Trapps 

Andy for me it's a good buy and. 

00:28:52 Steve Trapps 

From you, it's a. 

00:28:56 Andy Hiles 

That sounds terrible. 

00:28:59 Andy Hiles 

Good to see the back of you there. 

00:29:00 Andy Hiles 

We go have. 

00:29:01 Steve Trapps 

You got anything in a bristolian accent? 

00:29:03 Steve Trapps 

Can say it in. 

00:29:05 Andy Hiles 

Probably, but I don't think it's polite. 

00:29:07 Steve Trapps 

OK, so from Yorkshire it's Terra. 

00:29:11 Andy Hiles 

See you later, mucker. 

00:29:16 Steve Trapps 

OK, see you later Mocha and Tara until next time so. 

00:29:23 Steve Trapps 

Thank you for listening to the scrum Facilitators Community podcast. The place for real conversations around Scrum. Do you have a story to share in this podcast? Get in touch with us at podcast at