Image for post
Image for post

The inherent contradiction of scaling Scrum, and 5 descaling strategies to escape it

At the end of this post (you can also listen to it on our podcast), you will have discovered that:

  • There is an inherent contradiction at the heart of scaling Scrum across many teams for the development of a single product;
  • There is a way out of this contradiction by not scaling up the number of teams, but by scaling down the complexity of a product;
  • Descaling a product is similar to breaking down work on the Product Backlog. Instead of one big product, you have many smaller products around a unifying purpose;
  • Descaling a product increases the ability of…


Image for post
Image for post

Now that we’ve turned the ship around, how is that actually working out for us?

In September 2020 we made a drastic decision to turn the ship around for our company, The Liberators. Because of changing ambitions, and urged on by Covid-19, we shifted away from paid training and workshops to product development and community-based work — all with the aim of unleashing more (Scrum) teams all over the world.

A lot happened since then. In this post, we look back on what this means for our company. Because we have collected data from a wide range of metrics since the start of The Liberators, we decided to go metric-first, and use a What, So…


Image for post
Image for post

A simple model to better understand why and when something is valuable to your team and its stakeholders (in commercial organizations)

You can also listen to this post in this episode of our podcast

The Scrum framework exists to deliver value to stakeholders sooner. Sounds good, right? But when is something “valuable”? For something that seems so central to Scrum, there is little guidance on what “value” means. And we fear that it remains only a word if there is no meaningful definition for it.

In this post, we offer a more fine-grained approach to understand what “value” means to your product and the items on your Product Backlog, and to start a conversation around that with your team and its…


Image for post
Image for post

How our latest feature aims to start more powerful conversations and drive change by including a stakeholder perspective.

With the Scrum Team Survey, you can create transparency with your team around five core questions: Are you building what stakeholders need? Are you shipping fast enough? Are you improve continuously? Do you have the autonomy to organize in the way that works best? And do the outcomes you generate actually add something valuable.


Image for post
Image for post

Reconnect the Experience of Leaders and Experts with People Closest to the Challenge at Hand

Liberating Structures are a collection of interaction patterns that allow you to unleash and involve everyone in a group — from extroverted to introverted and from leaders to followers. In this series of posts, we show how Liberating Structures can be used with Scrum.

What happens when your Product Owner takes the stage to click through a huge PowerPoint presentation about the product strategy? Or when you’re at a conference and are listening to a scientist talk about their research for an hour? No matter how interesting the topic is, and how well it is presented, your attention is likely…


Create a Stakeholder Map to identify your stakeholders and how you involve them to create valuable products

You can download this exercise as a free and nicely formatted PDF here.

Scrum Teams exist to deliver value to their stakeholders. It's a bit of platitude, right? What is value? And who are the stakeholders? In this post, we share a practice called a “Stakeholder Map”. It's designed to create transparency around who your stakeholders are, and how to most effectively involve them to determine what is valuable.

Image for post
Image for post
Without stakeholders, it’s hard to know what is valuable. The best Sprint Reviews have many stakeholders present.

Who are your stakeholders?

In a previous post, we explored the difference between a stakeholder and someone who only has an opinion about your product. A useful stakeholder is someone who has at least some…


Image for post
Image for post

How to develop helping behaviors with large groups and generate more idea flow.

Liberating Structures are a collection of interaction patterns that allow you to unleash and involve everyone in a group — from extroverted to introverted and from leaders to followers. In this series of posts, we show how Liberating Structures can be used with Scrum.

It sounds appealing to tap into the “wisdom of the crowds”, right? But what happens when you ask a crowd for help without any further structure? …


Image for post
Image for post
Scrum is a framework for empirical process control

An overview of the Scrum framework, for people new to Scrum and those who’d like to refresh their understanding.

This post is an online appendix to our book, the ‘Zombie Scrum Survival Guide’, that we — Christiaan Verwijs, Johannes Schartau, and Barry Overeem — have published. You can also listen to this post as a podcast. Or download it as a nicely formatted and richly illustrated whitepaper.

“We don’t care about Scrum”, is what we sometimes tell people. That certainly raises eyebrows. It’s our way of saying that it’s not about the Scrum framework, but about what it makes possible. When you take this perspective, many theoretical questions become obvious or even pointless. Like “Should all items on the…


Image for post
Image for post

A reflection on four key changes in the 2020 Scrum Guide, why they were made, and why that is a big deal

You can also listen to this post in our ongoing podcast.

Are you excited about the new Scrum Guide? We certainly are, if only because every version makes it more clear what Scrum is really about — which is also our mission.

The Scrum framework itself is subject to empiricism too, as evidenced by the new version of the Scrum Guide that was released on November 18. Its creators, Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland, use each increment to improve how the Scrum framework is described and what teams and organizations should be focusing on. As stewards for Scrum.org, …


Image for post
Image for post

Liberating Structures are a collection of interaction patterns that allow you to unleash and involve everyone in a group — from extroverted to introverted and from leaders to followers. In this series of posts, we show how Liberating Structures can be used with Scrum.

How often do you find yourself facing chronic challenges in your work? Perhaps certain skills are missing in your team? Or the work you are doing is impeded by another team or group that you depend on? Or it's hard to involve stakeholders who don’t show any interest in your work.

We often face these kinds…

Christiaan Verwijs

I liberate teams & organizations from de-humanizing, ineffective ways of organizing work. Passionate developer, organizational psychologist, and Scrum Master.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store