"Agile Scrum" Now Available to Wider Audience Through More Retailers, Bookstores, Libraries, Academic Institutions, and Distributors


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Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions
(Scott M. Graffius, author; Chris Hare and Colin Giffen, technical editors) helps teams deliver products and services in short cycles with rapid adaptation to change, fast time-to-market, and continuous improvement—which supports innovation and drives competitive advantage. Reactions to the book have been incredibly positive. It has won 17 first place awards.

I've been proud to have Amazon as the exclusive channel for Agile Scrum. Last month I received an email from a bookstore who wanted to carry the publication and asked about ordering it for resale. And on Monday of this week, a different bookstore called and had the same question. However, under the exclusive arrangement, distribution was limited to Amazon, and the bookstores were not able to get Agile Scrum for resale. To make the book available to those sellers—and others—I transitioned it to Expanded Distribution.

Both the print and ebook formats of Agile Scrum will still be available at Amazon, just not exclusively. Expanded Distribution provides access to a larger audience through more online retailers, bookstores, libraries, academic institutions, and distributors. With the change, Agile Scrum is now available for order through the following channels (in addition to Amazon):

  • Bookstores and Online Retailers - available to online and offline retailers such as Barnes & Noble and to distributors such as Ingram and the National Association of College Stores, Inc. (NACSCORP).
  • Libraries and Academic Institutions - offered through Baker & Taylor to libraries and academic institutions.
  • CreateSpace Direct - available to certified resellers through the CreateSpace Direct wholesale website.

The move to Expanded Distribution was initiated on July 5. It can take up to six weeks for changes to take effect across the different channels and appear in related product information and reporting. Accordingly, Expanded Distribution should be in place by August 16.

Agile Scrum will still be offered in print and digital formats at Amazon. The paperback is available in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The ebook is for sale in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Review copies of Agile Scrum are available to members of broadcast, print or online media. Visit http://bit.ly/REVIEW-COPY.

For more information on the book and to connect on social:

- Digital press kit https://AgileScrumGuide.com
- Trailer http://bit.ly/ASG-TRAILER
- Video channel https://bit.ly/ASG-CHANNEL
- Amazon https://amzn.to/2fVA3lW
- Twitter http://bit.ly/ASG-TWITTER
- Facebook https://bit.ly/ASG-ON-FB
- Instagram https://bit.ly/ASG-INSTA
- Pinterest http://bit.ly/ASG-PIN
- Blog https://bit.ly/AGILE-BLOG


★★★★★


You're invited to review Scott's
bio, find out about his speaking engagements, and read articles in the blog.

You're also invited to connect with Scott on social. Like his page on
Facebook, follow him on Twitter, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

The website for his business—Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions—is
http://Exceptional-PMO.com. The digital media kit for his award-winning book—Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions—is located at https://AgileScrumGuide.com.





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Agile Transformation at an Entertainment Company: Based on a True Story | Part One

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Agile Transformation at an Entertainment Company: Based on a True Story

Scott M. Graffius, CEO of Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™, helps companies achieve their strategic objectives and business initiatives through project management leadership. A fantastic agile transformation outcome with a client organization in the entertainment industry was the inspiration for Scott's award-winning book,
Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions. This is the story behind the book—told by Scott. Identifying details have been changed and certain elements have been excluded.

This article is the first installment of the eight-part story.

Part One: The Call

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The assistant to the executive vice president (EVP) of technology for a division of a global entertainment company contacted me by phone. I was told that I was referred by someone who knew me and thought I would be a good fit for contract work. A one-hour consultation with the EVP was scheduled for the next day. I then received an email with several attachments including a non-disclosure agreement which needed to be executed and brought to the meeting.

I brought the documents to the session. The EVP explained that his division of the company was experiencing an alarming trend of problems with project management. He reported that deliverables were not meeting expectations, there was a marked decline in satisfaction, and
this was characterized as "the straw that broke the camel's back"a highly skilled and very well-respected team member quit, citing the problems as her reason for departure.

After an hour with the EVP, we agreed to extend the meeting (initially, my complimentary consult) an additional hour (billable time). I learned that this division of the company previously used a traditional plan-driven/waterfall approach for development and delivery. The EVP explained that things worked reasonably well then and that they were "close enough" to being on-scope, on-budget, and on-time that team members and stakeholders were satisfied.

The EVP explained, however, that he wanted to adopt a model (Scrum) employed by some of the other divisions of the company. The EVP said that he conducted a search for a value-added reseller (VAR) to help his group move to agile. A VAR-partner of a popular software solution was selected, and the VAR transitioned the group to Scrum. Reportedly, very few problems surfaced during the VAR's contractual engagement, which ended two weeks into the first sprint (then, the duration for sprints was four weeks). Many problems surfaced subsequently, however. The VAR had been gone for two months at the time of my meeting with the EVP.

The EVP asked me to make things right. I explained that change depends on many people and multiple factors and that a specific end result could not be guaranteed. I suggested, however, that I'd be honored to work with his group in the first step
an assessmentwhich would help inform the subsequent work of foundational planning. The objectives of the assessment include working closely with the EVP, the Scrum Team and stakeholders to understand their goals—and the environment, roles and practices. He asked me when I could start. I asked him when he needed me, and he replied "immediately." I agreed to start the next day.

Agile Transformation at an Entertainment Company: Based on a True Story continues with Part Two: The Goals.

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★★★★★



A fantastic agile transformation experience and result with a client organization in the entertainment industry was the inspiration for Scott M. Graffius’ book, Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions. It helps technical and non-technical teams develop and deliver products in short cycles with rapid adaptation to change, fast time-to-market, and continuous improvement—which supports innovation and drives competitive advantage. The book has garnered 17 first place awards from national and international competitions. Credit is shared with Chris Hare and Colin Giffen, the technical editors on the publication. Scott and Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions have been featured in Yahoo Finance, the Boston Herald, NBC WRAL, the Dallas Business Journal, the PM World Journal, Learning Solutions, Innovation Management, and additional media publications. A trailer, high-resolution images, reviews, a detailed list of awards, and more are in the digital media kit at https://AgileScrumGuide.com. The book is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Strand Books, Harvard Book Store, Books-a-Million, The Booksmith, Hudson Booksellers, Savoy Bookshop & Café, Compass Books at SFO/Books Inc., University Press Books – Berkeley, and other retailers, distributors, and partners.


★★★★★


You're invited to review Scott's
bio, find out about his speaking engagements, and read additional articles in the blog.

You're also invited to connect with Scott on social. Like his page on
Facebook, follow him on Twitter, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

The website for his business—Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions
—is http://Exceptional-PMO.com. The digital media kit for his award-winning book—Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions—is located at https://AgileScrumGuide.com.


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Agile Transformation at an Entertainment Company: Based on a True Story | Part Two

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Agile Transformation at an Entertainment Company: Based on a True Story

Scott M. Graffius, CEO of
Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™, helps companies achieve their strategic objectives and business initiatives through project management leadership. A fantastic agile transformation outcome with a client organization in the entertainment industry was the inspiration for Scott's award-winning book, Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions. This is the story behind the book—told by Scott. Identifying details have been changed and certain elements have been excluded.

This article is the second installment of the eight-part story. If you haven't already read the first post, you can find it here:
Part One: The Call.

Part Two: The Goals

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Highlights related to the goals follow.

The executive vice president (EVP) identified his top three desired outcomes:

  • Accelerate the development and delivery of products and services—to be faster than the earlier baseline of 6-12 months,
  • Improve the satisfaction of the Scrum Team—to be the same or better than it was earlier with the traditional/waterfall approach, and
  • Improve the satisfaction of stakeholders—to also to be the same or better than it was earlier with the traditional/waterfall approach.

I individually met with and carefully listened to each member of the Scrum Team. There were recurring themes. We then met as a group and I asked them to identify their top two or three goals. They discussed the matter, voted, and decided on these:

  • Meet or exceed the expectations of management, and
  • Deliver valuable products.

I individually met with executives from different departments (the stakeholders). In every case, the they related that things were OK with the earlier traditional/waterfall approach, but that things were worse now. The stakeholders indicated that, with the earlier approach, someone on the project team worked with their group to gather requirements, and around 6-12 months later the results were deployed. However, it was reported that with the then-current approach, the projects' purpose and requirements were not understood, and that what was produced was unusable. The goals of the stakeholders were:

  • For them or their representatives to be as—or more—involved as earlier with the traditional/waterfall approach, and
  • Get a usable product as often as—or more frequently than—earlier with the traditional/waterfall approach.

Here's a recap of everyone's goals. The EVP wants the development and delivery of products and services to be faster than 6-12 months, improved satisfaction of the Scrum Team, and improved satisfaction of stakeholders. The Scrum Team wants to meet or exceed expectations of management, and deliver valuable products. The stakeholders want (themselves or via their representatives) to be more involved in requirements/user stories and get useable project-delivered products more frequently than every 6-12 months.

Everyone permitted their goals to be shared with others. After discussing the subject with the EVP, I wrote the goals on oversize paper and posted it in a common area proximate to the Scrum Team and accessible to the stakeholders.

Highlights on the environment, roles, and practices—primarily focused on the Scrum Team—follow.

Agile Transformation at an Entertainment Company: Based on a True Story continues with Part Three: The Environment.

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★★★★★



A fantastic agile transformation experience and result with a client organization in the entertainment industry was the inspiration for Scott M. Graffius’ book, Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions. It helps technical and non-technical teams develop and deliver products in short cycles with rapid adaptation to change, fast time-to-market, and continuous improvement—which supports innovation and drives competitive advantage. The book has garnered 17 first place awards from national and international competitions. Credit is shared with Chris Hare and Colin Giffen, the technical editors on the publication. Scott and Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions have been featured in Yahoo Finance, the Boston Herald, NBC WRAL, the Dallas Business Journal, the PM World Journal, Learning Solutions, Innovation Management, and additional media publications. A trailer, high-resolution images, reviews, a detailed list of awards, and more are in the digital media kit at https://AgileScrumGuide.com. The book is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Strand Books, Harvard Book Store, Books-a-Million, The Booksmith, Hudson Booksellers, Savoy Bookshop & Café, Compass Books at SFO/Books Inc., University Press Books – Berkeley, and other retailers, distributors, and partners.


★★★★★


You're invited to review Scott's
bio, find out about his speaking engagements, and read additional articles in the blog.

You're also invited to connect with Scott on social. Like his page on
Facebook, follow him on Twitter, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

The website for his business—Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions
—is http://Exceptional-PMO.com. The digital media kit for his award-winning book—Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions—is located at https://AgileScrumGuide.com.


custom - back to main page of blog

Agile Transformation at an Entertainment Company: Based on a True Story | Part Three

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Agile Transformation at an Entertainment Company: Based on a True Story

Scott M. Graffius, CEO of
Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™, helps companies achieve their strategic objectives and business initiatives through project management leadership. A fantastic agile transformation outcome with a client organization in the entertainment industry was the inspiration for Scott's award-winning book, Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions. This is the story behind the book—told by Scott. Identifying details have been changed and certain elements have been excluded.

This article is the third installment of the eight-part story. If you haven't already read the earlier parts, you can find them here:


Part Three: The Environment

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Highlights on the environment including roles and practices
primarily focused on the Scrum Teamfollow.

I learned that the Scrum Team was composed of 16 people: one Scrum Master, one Product Owner, and 14 Development Team members. Both the Scrum Master and the Product Owner explained that they were familiar with agile, but that they had no prior work experience with agile/Scrum and no related training—except for what was provided by the value-added reseller (VAR). The Development Team consisted of 14 people: a technical architect, a UI designer, a business analyst, seven developers, three testers, and a technical writer. Eleven of the 14 members of the Development Team had no prior work experience with agile/Scrum and no related training—except for what was provided by the VAR. Of the 16 people on the Scrum Team, 15 were local (at an office in the greater Los Angeles area), and one
the Product Ownerwas based out of her office in Paris, France.

Of the 16 people on the Scrum Team, two
the Scrum Master and the Product Ownerwere full time on the project. All of the others were allocated about 50% on the project.

I was given a copy of the training binder left by the VAR. I was told that the contents—about 500 pages—reflected the totality of the training and reference material. The training session, led by the VAR, was attended by the Scrum Master and the all of the Development Team members. The executive vice president (EVP) attended portions. The Product Owner attended portions, listening by phone. The first page in the binder covered the Agile Manifesto, the second page was a two-column table which compared and contrasted waterfall and Scrum (e.g., waterfall freezes scope, Scrum freezes schedule), and the third page showed success rates of waterfall vs. Scrum (e.g., 29% of waterfall projects fail vs. 9% of agile projects). The remaining pages provided information about the VAR company and detailed instructions on how to use their software product. That constituted the training.

The Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Development Team reported that they followed the training and instructions provided by the VAR. I won't delineate the then-current roles further or describe all of the events and artifacts. However, some examples follow.

The Product Owner created a product vision statement and stored it in the software, but nobody else remembered seeing it.

The Product Owner created a product backlog in the software, but nobody else claimed to have seen it.

The Scrum Master facilitated a Sprint Planning event where the Development Team estimated work in terms of complexity, and the results were recorded in the software tool. It was reported that
due to the time differencethe Product Owner did not attend Sprint Planning meetings.

It was communicated that during Sprint execution, the Scrum Master would ask the Development Team if they had any notable progress; and only if the answer was yes, there was a Daily Scrum. As a result, the Daily Scrum event occurred around once or twice a week. When the meeting took place, the Scrum Master did a quick interview with each member of the Development Team and noted the results in the software tool.

I was told that the team followed the recommendation of the VAR for the sprint duration of four weeks.

The Sprint Reviews were attended by the Scrum Master, the Product Owner (remotely), all of the Development Team members, and the EVP. However, the other stakeholders did not attend the events. On average, about half of the work planned and committed to the sprint was "done." Both "done" and not-"done" items were demonstrated at the Sprint Review.

The Scrum Master reported that the team did conduct a Retrospective event at the end of each sprint and that the results were saved in the software tool. When I reviewed the information, I saw comments such as "we worked very hard" under the what went well category. Everything under the "what didn't go so well/opportunities for improvements" category were ideas for enhancement requests for the software tool. I was informed that the VAR instructed staff to convert everything that didn't go well into a suggestion for a future general release of the software or a request for a custom enhancement of the software.

None of the products/increments from any of the sprints were released.

Agile Transformation at an Entertainment Company: Based on a True Story continues with Part Four: The Options. Coming on March 26th.

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★★★★★



A fantastic agile transformation experience and result with a client organization in the entertainment industry was the inspiration for Scott M. Graffius’ book, Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions. It helps technical and non-technical teams develop and deliver products in short cycles with rapid adaptation to change, fast time-to-market, and continuous improvement—which supports innovation and drives competitive advantage. The book has garnered 17 first place awards from national and international competitions. Credit is shared with Chris Hare and Colin Giffen, the technical editors on the publication. Scott and Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions have been featured in Yahoo Finance, the Boston Herald, NBC WRAL, the Dallas Business Journal, the PM World Journal, Learning Solutions, Innovation Management, and additional media publications. A trailer, high-resolution images, reviews, a detailed list of awards, and more are in the digital media kit at https://AgileScrumGuide.com. The book is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Strand Books, Harvard Book Store, Books-a-Million, The Booksmith, Hudson Booksellers, Savoy Bookshop & Café, Compass Books at SFO/Books Inc., University Press Books – Berkeley, and other retailers, distributors, and partners.


★★★★★


You're invited to review Scott's
bio, find out about his speaking engagements, and read additional articles in the blog.

You're also invited to connect with Scott on social. Like his page on
Facebook, follow him on Twitter, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

The website for his business—Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions
—is http://Exceptional-PMO.com. The digital media kit for his award-winning book—Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions—is located at https://AgileScrumGuide.com.


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