Derisking vs. Unrisking Stories – Are You Trying to Pre-solve Development Problems?

As a Tech Lead or Project Manager using Agile, one of your most crucial practices is cultivating an organized and detailed backlog of stories. That should include what I call derisking: breaking down multifaceted problems into actionable work, outlining the technical hurdles of each story, and providing guidance on how to tackle them. Of course, […]

How to Build Consensus When Your Team Disagrees on Something Crucial

Every project comes with its fair share of decisions — some trivial, some critical. And each team member brings varying levels of seniority, skill, and risk tolerance. Disagreement is an inevitable and healthy part of any high-performing team. But what happens when you come to an impasse on a crucial component, such as system architecture? […]

Keeping Distributed Teams Unblocked with Azure Boards’s “Remaining Work” Field

The Remaining Work field in Microsoft’s Azure Boards is usually talked about in the context of burndown charts. But if you are in a scrum master role and have more than a few developers on your team, you might find the Remaining Work field useful for helping you coordinate work. What Is “Remaining Work”? You […]

4 Steps for Resolving Conflict with a Team Member

Conflict seems to be an inevitable part of human interaction. How we handle it can make a real difference in our stress levels, career opportunities, project outcomes, and the quality of our relationships. We ask all our employees to build strong conflict resolution skills, and books like Crucial Conversations and Difficult Conversations are required reading […]