🖖 My name is Maarten Dalmijn. I help teams beat the Feature Factory and discover better ways of delivering value together. I currently work as a Head of Product at Rodeo.
✔️I introduced Scrum at the fastest-growing start-up in the Netherlands. I helped the start-up to scale up its Product Management and delivery process across multiple tech offices around the globe after the company secured a 22$m series A funding round.
🎤 I regularly speak at events and on podcasts. For all recordings of my speaking engagements and podcast episodes I was featured on see the list below 👇.
Boxer Mike Tyson once said:
“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” — Mike Tyson
In military warfare a similar saying exists:
“No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.” — Helmuth von Moltke the Elder
No matter how much time you spend planning, you can never make a plan that covers everything. A plan that covers all scenarios and every (re)action of the enemy. Reality is too complicated and unpredictable to fit in a plan.
Unless you are the A-Team of course.
To address the complexity and uncertainty of reality, the army accompanies all…
I had trouble sleeping during the weekend because I was anxious to experience that most terrible day of the quarter again — the roadmap show and tell.
On that glorious date, all Product Owners are summoned and condemned to sit in a meeting room a whole day to discuss the roadmaps of all teams with a time horizon of nine months — including precise dates for every high-level feature and mapping all dependencies with other teams.
That’s one long sentence, but trust me, by experiencing the length of that sentence, you now have a better understanding of how I felt…
Let’s try to make a list of all the reputable names who support Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). Think about it. Does anyone come to mind?
I read hundreds of articles per year, and there’s literally not a single thought leader I can recall who champions SAFe as something great. I’m sure these advocates do exist, but if they do, they are few, and far outnumbered by those who oppose SAFe.
Now let’s make a list of all the respectable names I am aware of who have expressed their doubts and dissatisfaction about SAFe in writing:
Let me set one thing straight right off the bat: Scrum by itself doesn’t cause technical debt. However, few companies do Scrum right. As a result, many Scrum implementations do end up creating significant technical debt.
All four technical-debt-producing anti-patterns described in this article are widespread, based on my personal experience working at and advising many companies.
Why do some Scrum implementations inadvertently generate massive technical debt while others don’t? What can we do to prevent it from happening?
Before we dive into this further, let’s first start by defining technical debt. …
Nussi Einhorn posted the following picture on LinkedIn:
The left-hand side of the image portrays a confusing mess of User Stories. Try scanning them and getting the gist — you won’t.
The right-hand side of the picture showcases a crisp and clear alternative by using descriptive titles that summarize the features. Easy to read and understand.
The image brilliantly illustrates how you can apply User Stories in the wrong way, making them convoluted and difficult to understand. Unfortunately, in my experience, most people apply User Stories exactly as conveyed in the picture.
However, when you’re employing User Stories in this…
I want to preface this article by saying I love working with Scrum. I am not writing this from a place of bitterness but a position of affection. I’d like there to be more openness when discussing the flaws of Scrum. I also want to stress I’ve written far more positive than negative articles about Scrum.
When I publish an article where I criticize Scrum, I keep receiving the same dogmatic rebuttals from Scrum practitioners. The time is right to address the elephant in the room: let’s stop pretending Scrum is perfect.
I’m still waiting for that moment where I…
I remember thinking: “How the hell did we end up in this tremendous mess? I did not sign up for this.”
Regret instantly kicked in. After studying the various Jira projects and support boards I would be overseeing for only a few minutes, my mind drifted away. I wondered what kind of dysfunctions could be at the core of this scandalous amount of clutter.
The day I started as a Product Owner for three new teams, I inherited an extraordinary legacy from my predecessors:
Words matter. It’s not only what you say but how you say it.
Here are some everyday examples that show the power of words:
Every pairing above boils down to the same thing. But it will definitely not be experienced the same way by a listener. You wouldn’t want to be called a resource by your boss in a conversation.
Now let’s circle back to the world of Scrum. Scrum comes with a host of novel terms like Scrum Master, Product…
I was in the fifth and final round for a Product Owner position. I remember being tired of responding to all kinds of questions, often the same I had answered before.
Especially considering I already jumped through quite a few hoops— I had completed a personality test and an intelligence assessment. Didn’t they have enough information to decide if I’m good enough (or not) by now?
Apathy about landing the job was starting to kick in. By the third round, it felt like we’re all wasting our time by beating a dead horse. …