Collaborative Leadership article on Scrum +Minnesota Nice at Minnesota Business Website


The terms Agile and Scrum have become synonymous with creating innovation and fostering competitive advantage. Drawn from the game of rugby, Scrum (the most popular Agile framework) requires people to work closely together in a transparent, focused way to get priority items accomplished.

Doesn't sound so tough, right?

Angela discusses more of the challenges and opportunities that arise here.

Collaborative Leadership Team Hosts Sixth Annual Scrum Day Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS – October 4, 2018 – Collaborative Leadership Team (CoLead Team), an industry leader in providing Scrum and Agile coaching and training, hosted its sixth annual Scrum Day Minnesota on October 4, 2018 at the University of Minnesota – St. Paul campus. The sold-out not-for-profit event brought together more than 300 individuals from around the region to share their stories and network as a community.

Collaborative Leadership Team Among First to Achieve Scrum@Scale Training Certification

Collaborative Leadership Team Among First to Achieve Scrum@Scale Training Certification

Collaborative Leadership Team Among First to Achieve Scrum@Scale Training Certification

Scrum@Scale® training session scheduled for October25-26 in Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS – September 28, 2018 – Collaborative Leadership Team (CoLead Team), an industry leader in providing Scrum and Agile coaching and training, has announced it is now certified for leading Scrum Inc’s Scrum@Scale™ (S@S) curriculum. One of the first and only organizations certified to lead S@S training, CoLead Team has two certified S@S trainers on staff and will be hosting at S@S session on October 25-26, 2018 in Minneapolis. The upcoming session will be led by Dee Rhoda, CSP®, ICP-ACC®, CLP, Scrum at Scale Trainer®.

What is a ScrumMaster?

What is a ScrumMaster?

In a recent Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) course, a student new to Scrum was a bit confused by the repeated reference to the ScrumMaster as a “coach”.  “What do you mean coaching or when does this coaching happen?” was the question raised.

Secret Confessions of a Product Owner: Stretch Goals vs. Consistency

 An Open Letter to the Development Team...

An Open Letter to the Development Team...

Secret Confessions of a New Product Owner

Stretch Goals vs. Consistency

Many people will argue that being a Product Owner (PO) is the toughest role on a Scrum Team.  Since that is the role I am currently in, I will wholeheartedly agree. :)

During a recent Sprint Planning event, the Development Team (Dev Team) committed to doing a Product Backlog Item (PBI), but labeled it as a “Stretch Goal”.  My “scrum Spidey-sense” immediately went into overdrive.  The resulting conversation went like this:

  • PO: “What does it mean that you are committing to a “Stretch Goal”. Isn’t that just work that you commit to doing?”

  • Dev Team: “Well we really want to get that work done for our Customer, but we are not sure if we will have time to get to that? Things will have to go perfect with our other PBIs in order for us to get to this work.”

  • PO: “When is the last time things have gone perfect with all of our PBIs during a Sprint?"

Awkward silence…

Everybody is working with positive intent.  We are a team focused on making our Customer happy in every interaction.  As the Product Owner, I am accountable for setting Customer, Stakeholder, and Organization expectations.  This consumes at least 50% of my time per sprint when I am doing it properly.  Here is how I shared that with the Dev Team:

  • PO: “First off, thank you for wanting to do more to our Customer. That attitude is why we are a great team. Our Customers will benefit from that attitude. Here is what is most important to me as a Product Owner: Consistency.

  • PO: “Consistency will enable me to focus expectations for everyone involved in our Product. And because they have seen how good we are at delivering on our commitments, they know they can count on us making good on our commitments.”

  • PO: “Consistency will allow us to PLAN FEARLESSLY. I would prefer that you focus on the PBIs we commit to and not waste any time or energy on the “Stretch Goal” items.

  • PO: “Finally, I want our mindset to focus on what we can do and celebrate every success along the way. I want to avoid us ever saying something like “Wow, we did a lot of great work, but we didn’t get to the stretch goal”. Do you see how that could deflate the Development Team?

  • PO: “I would much rather you come to me on day 7-8 of the Sprint and let me know that the team is likely to have a day of capacity they didn’t anticipate. I will LOVE that conversation. You mean, I get to ask the team to focus on something else because everything else you committed to is done?

  • This is a watershed moment for any Scrum Team. We have finally found our TRUE VELOCITY!

Dev Teams:  Make sure you understand what the Product Owner wants you to produce.  Make sure you understand what they will accept as “done”.   

Want to be a better Software Engineer, Architect, or Developer in an Agile organization? Make sure to check out the upcoming Certified Scrum Developer® training on Feb 19-21 to help you become the be Development Team member possible.  Here are the learning objectives and the certification requirements.  

Product Owners:  Remind the team that consistency is what you are after.   Consistency will allow the PO to make the best possible decisions to support the Customer which, in turn, supports the organization.

Questions or Comments?  Feel free to start a conversation in the “comments” section or email me at

Are you ready to accelerate your Agile and Scrum journey in 2018? CoLeadTeam has the foundational and advanced programs to support your career and organizational goals. We are one of the only organizations that can offer both Scrum at Scale® and Advanced Certified ScrumMaster®.