"Agile Scrum" Book Trailer — Updated on 13 April 2018

Agile Scrum Guide | Official Book Trailer from Scott Graffius on Vimeo.


Scott M. Graffius of Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™ had consulting engagements with a division of a global entertainment business. A fantastic agile transformation experience with that client was the inspiration for his book, Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions. This is an update on the book.

The new book trailer for Agile Scrum is live at https://vimeo.com/178858753 (and it can be played above). This new version highlights some editorial reviews, and it features fresh music and additional updates. The total run time is 1 minute.

Agile Scrum is available in paperback and ebook formats at Amazon. For more on the book, see the digital press kit at AgileScrumGuide.com.


★★★★★


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 Scrum" Book Trailer — Updated 26 November 2017

Agile Scrum Guide | Official Book Trailer from Scott Graffius on Vimeo.



The trailer for
Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions was updated. Content in the Seen In and Honors sections were refreshed. The video is tight—the total run time remains 30 seconds. The video is above and at https://vimeo.com/178858753.

Agile Scrum helps technical and non-technical teams 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 is available
in paperback and ebook formats at Amazon. For more on the book, see the November 15, 2017 PRNewswire press release at https://finance.yahoo.com/news/scott-m-graffiuss-award-winning-204000210.html.


★★★★★


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 Scrum" Book Trailer — Updated on 10 November 2017

Agile Scrum Guide | Official Book Trailer from Scott Graffius on Vimeo.


The updated 30-second trailer for
Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions is live at https://vimeo.com/178858753 (and can be played above). Changes to the trailer include the addition of a new award—first place in the Business Reference category at the 14th Annual Best Book Awards—and revised formatting.

The book is available
in paperback and ebook formats at Amazon. For more on the book, see the press kit at agilescrumguide.com.


★★★★★



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 Scrum" Book Trailer — Updated 23 August 2017

Agile Scrum Guide | Official Book Trailer from Scott Graffius on Vimeo.


The updated, 30-second trailer for Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions is shown above and it is available at https://vimeo.com/178858753.

Changes include two additional awards—First Place in the Business category at the 2017 Pacific Rim Book Festival, and First Place in the Green/Conscious Business category at the 2017 Bookvana Awards. Those honors to covered in separate entries earlier in the blog.

For more on the book, please see the digital media kit at
agilescrumguide.com.


★★★★★


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 Scrum" Book Trailer — Updated 11 August 2017

Agile Scrum Guide | Official Book Trailer from Scott Graffius on Vimeo.


The updated, 30-second trailer for Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions is shown above. Changes include the addition of the IndieBRAG award and a revision to the closing image.

For more on the book, see the digital media kit at
agilescrumguide.com.


★★★★★


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 Scrum" Book Trailer — Updated 3 August 2017

Agile Scrum Guide | Official Book Trailer from Scott Graffius on Vimeo.


The updated, 30-second trailer for Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions is shown above.

For more on the book, see the digital media kit at
agilescrumguide.com.


★★★★★


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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Book Trailer — Updated on 10 October 2017

Agile Scrum Guide | Official Book Trailer from Scott Graffius on Vimeo.



The 30-second book trailer for
Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions (https://vimeo.com/178858753) was updated. The “Featured In” portion incorporates mentions of award placement news on sites of ABC, CBS and NBC affiliates. For example, ABC 7 (WZVN TV) lists the results of the 2017 Book Excellence Awards—where Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions took first place in Technology—on their site.

Reactions to the book have been incredibly positive. Honors include 11 first place wins in national and international competitions. It’s
available in paperback and ebook formats at Amazon. For more on the book, please see agilescrumguide.com.


★★★★★


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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2018 Year in Review

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I’ve compiled a review of 2018. This post highlights my consulting business, book, speaking appearances, and blog.

Business

2018-business-vB

Organizations need to realize their strategic objectives and business initiatives. My professional services firm, Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™, helps our clients achieve those needs through advisory, training, and facilitative consulting services related to project, program, portfolio, and PMO management. Our expertise spans agile, traditional waterfall, and hybrid development and delivery frameworks. To learn more about the company, please visit http://exceptional-pmo.com.

A book and speaking appearances—extensions of Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™—are highlighted individually below.

Book

2018-book-vB

Inspired by a fantastic agile transformation experience and result with a client in the entertainment industry, Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions was published in 2016. 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. Between the date of publication and 2017, it garnered 15 first place awards from national and international competitions. The credit is shared with Chris Hare and Colin Giffen, the technical editors on the book.

Attention and interest continued in 2018. Accolades included two additional first place awards (making the updated total 17), being featured as a success story by the BEA, and more. And
Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions and I were featured in Yahoo Finance, Innovation Management, Informa Middle East, and additional media publications.

To make the book available to more sellers and customers, I transitioned it to Expanded Distribution in 2018. With the change, both the print and ebook formats of
Agile Scrum were still available at Amazon, just not exclusively. Expanded Distribution provided access to a larger audience through more online retailers, bookstores, libraries, academic institutions, and distributors. Agile Scrum became available 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.

Agile Scrum is still 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.

A trailer, high-resolution images, reviews, a detailed list of awards, and more on
Agile Scrum are available in the digital media kit at https://AgileScrumGuide.com.

Speaking Appearances

2018-speaking-vB

I've been fortunate to have spoken to diverse audiences on project, program, portfolio, and PMO management related topics of timely importance. I delivered five talks at conferences and other events in 2018:
  • Techstars conference
  • California Central Coast chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMI)
  • California Inland Empire chapter of the PMI
  • An event in Las Vegas
  • California Central Valley chapter of the PMI

Upcoming appearances in 2019 include the Project World conference in Canada, another talk at a PMI chapter, and more—to be announced. You can read more about my speaking engagements at
http://bit.ly/SpeakerOne.

Blog

2018-blog-vB

My blog at http://scottgraffius.com/blog provides news, tips, and more on the intersection of project management with business and technology. In 2018, I published 48 new articles on the site. That’s down from last year, when I produced 65. However, traffic has been steadily growing per data from Google Analytics. In 2018, the blog had 109,771 page views, compared with 57,139 the prior year. That’s an increase of 92%!

There was a mix of different categories of topics. The top 10 articles in 2018 were:


The majority of visitors (53%) came from the United States. Rounding out the top 10 were France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Philippines, Brazil, India, Australia, and Sweden. While not in the top 10 for the year, there was a significant increase in traffic (primarily in late 2018) from Belgium, the Netherlands, and Japan.

Thank you for visiting the 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., Books & Books - Miami, 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

agile transformation 9B C2 B2GX lowerres

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.

agile transformation true story - program guide vBGGG lowerres


★★★★★



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., Books & Books - Miami, 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 Three

agile transformation 9B C3 B2GX lowerres

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

AT - cx - the call - SG - 9B9 -P3 lowerres

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.

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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., Books & Books - Miami, 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 Four

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


Part Four: The Options

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After gaining a broader and deeper understanding of the organization including their Scrum implementation, I met with the executive vice president (EVP) and we discussed next steps. I presented three options:

  • No change,
  • Revert to the earlier waterfall-only model, or
  • "We can try different things" (aligned with the value of openness) with the objective of improving their agile implementation and achieving their goals.

I said, "we can try different things" because while I believed that changes would likely result in improvements, success could not be guaranteed. I also said, "we can try different things" because any meaningful change would require the cooperation and collaboration of many people. The EVP decided on the third option: trying different things.

The doing of "different things" started with training. I first met with the EVP. I then met with the Scrum Master in several one-on-one meetings. And since he was committed to education and improvement, he later on completed the Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) training and certification. The Product Owner was unable to attend the office in person for one-on-one training, but we communicated by phone and Skype. The EVP soon decided that the Product Owner needed to be co-located with the Scrum Team. He found a new Product Owner within the organization. I met with the new Product Owner in multiple one-on-one sessions. And—similar to what occurred with the Scrum Master—since the new Product Owner was committed to education and improvement, he subsequently completed the Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) training and certification. I delivered training to the Development Team as a group. It included an overview and more in-depth coverage of certain topics such as pair programming and technical debt. Later on, some Development Team members completed the Certified Scrum Developer (CSD) training and certification. Stakeholder training follows next.

I delivered a one-hour overview of Scrum to the executive stakeholders in a group session. The attendees asked questions and made comments throughout the meeting. One stakeholder suggested that we do what the American Management Association says is best for Scrum. Then other attendees mentioned additional potential sources for information on agile. I explained that different organizations may have their own perspective on what works well for agile/Scrum, and that one way to go (I mentioned this in part to continue their engagement, involvement, and buy-in) is to look to the Scrum Alliance, a leading authority on the subject, but also see if others have ideas that are aligned with the authority and also fit the desired future state of the organization. I committed to doing the research and the stakeholders thanked me in advance.

I already had a library of 76 items on agile/Scrum—consisting of material from the Scrum Alliance, Project Management Institute, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Gartner, KPMG, Harvard Business Review, IEEE, MIT, Forbes, and many others. I expanded it to include sources mentioned by stakeholders during the training session and I diligently reviewed all of the content. The diverse sources identified several values and practices as being central in successful Scrum implementations, and such factors were typically consistent with guidelines from the Scrum Alliance. I then met with each of the stakeholders individually and presented them with a summary of information from the Scrum Alliance and others.

I facilitated a follow-up group meeting with the executive stakeholders. Information from the one-hour training and the diverse sources was summarized. Participants then discussed, voted, and identified what they viewed as the high-level top 10 success factors for a Scrum implementation at the organization based on the previously presented information. In no particular order, the top 10 items were:

  • Support from management;
  • Each member of the Scrum Team (Scrum Master, Product Owner, and Development Team) is 100% allocated to the project;
  • There is a an agile coach, agile Project Management Office or agile Center of Excellence;
  • Satisfaction is a crucial metric;
  • The Scrum Team has no more than 11 people;
  • The Scrum Team is co-located;
  • There are consistent practices and processes;
  • There is a digital wallboard or other information radiator;
  • There are frequent and high-quality interactions; and
  • There is continuous improvement/inspect and adapt.

Some of the items overlap/are not mutually exclusive, and the items are not exhaustive. I thanked the executives for their support, and I told them that the 10 factors are built into the go-forward plan. They expressed their appreciation.

The EVP and I conducted a mini-retrospective on the training sessions. The EVP was enthusiastic about what we've done so far, and he said that morale had improved. He authorized company-paid CSM, CSPO, and CSD trainings and certifications for staff (mentioned earlier). The EVP said we could advance to the next stage: piloting changes. I asked if he was open to terminating the use of the software tool introduced by the value-added reseller (VAR). He initially said that so much time and money had been invested in it that it would be hard to justify doing so. I said it differently: "We can try different things" could mean putting the software tool
on vacation for a period. He agreed. We moved to the pilot—which including doing many things differently. Examples follow.

Agile Transformation at an Entertainment Company: Based on a True Story continues with Part Five: The Pilot — Vision, Roadmap and Release Plan, and Product Backlog. Coming on April 2nd.

agile transformation true story - program guide vBGGG lowerres


★★★★★



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., Books & Books - Miami, 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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