Article - Overview (tags)

Agile Frameworks - Kanban

Kanban good reads
To get you started check the books below and see where you jump in.

Kanban Workbook, Karen Greaves & Sam Laing (Growing Agile)
In this nice little booklet the women from Growing Agile explain how you can use Kanban as a very powerful method to create more focus and to finish more initiatives. It is a guick read so don’t be surprised if you finish this within two hours.
Kanban Workbook
Lean from the Trenches, Henrik Kniberg (Crisp)
In this hands on book Henrik Kniberg shows how Kanban was used in a very large project by the Swedish police.
Lean from the Trenches

Scaling Agile - Scaling Frameworks

INTRO – since the rise of Agile there have been numerous frameworks supporting the individual teams. Scrum is still the best known but XP as well as Kanban deserve a seat at this table as well. In the last years more and more attention has gone to the explicit complexity that comes with scaling up from one team to two, three and sometimes even tens or hundreds. New frameworks gave substance to provide guidance and structure to a large array of teams working together. Let’s discuss the most popular ones.

SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework)
In 2019 SAFe is still the most used framework for large organizations to organize their software development. Since it’s start in 2011 by Dean Leaffingwell the framework has been updated a few times. The current version, 4.6, was released in October of 2018. SAFe is build on nine principles, mostly founded on Lean-Agile groundwork. These principles help in understanding why an organization is working the way it is. To provide the required structure SAFe has 4 levels on which activities, artifacts and roles are defined. At the ‘lowest’ level we see the actual teams, at the top you’ll find the portfolio of an entire organization.
LeSS (Large Scale Scrum)
For some it may be a surprise but LeSS has been around for almost 15 years now. In 2005 the first draft was made by Bas Vodde and Craig Larman based on their experiences in the field. Since then the framework has been updated, they have written more books and also setup a training & certification program. What was – and probably will be – at the core of LeSS is the fact that it is still Scrum. No adjustments changes have been made to the core. LeSS comes in two flavors. Less Huge (for over 8 teams) and just plain Less.
Spotify Model
The Spotify Model should better be called the Spotify Way of Working. It is an example of how a way of working can evolve from an organization where culture is very important. Even the accredited ‘founders’, Henrik Kniberg and Anders Ivarsson state that they did not invent the ‘model’. They acted as messengers or as spokesmen of the organization they were working at. Especially the short films they created on Engineering culture in 2014 were a massive hit. Although some organizations took literally and wanted to be exactly like Spotify.
There is enough information available to get a good idea about the Way of Working. And you have to get it from there, a site visit or meeting them on conferences because there is no training and or certification program. Before you jump in, remember that Spotify now is a very different place then it was five years ago. So, keep remembering wat the good people from Spotify say themselves: “don’t copy Spotify”.

DA (Disciplined Agile)

Other frameworks
In order to stay bit complete we have gathered a small list of smaller – lesser used – frameworks.

Scrum - Certification Overview

INTRO – all three major international Scrum organizations have created their own certification program. Differences can be found in the entry criteria of the exam (e.g. you need to have taken class room course) or the number of levels per type of certification. We have broken it down into the primary three roles, one arguable ‘other’ category and the exam programs itself.

ScrumMaster Certification
Product Owner Certification
Developer Certification
Other Certification
Certification Program & Renewel (fees etc)


Scrum Alliance Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)
Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (A-CSM)
Certified Scrum Professional-ScrumMaster (CSP-SM)
Scrum Alliance Scrum Master Professional ScrumMaster (PSM I)
Professional ScrumMaster (PSM II)
Professional ScrumMaster (PSM III) ScrumMaster
SCRUMstudy Scrum Master Certified (SMC)
Expert Scrum Master Certified (ESMC)

Sometimes people have very strong opinions on the right – or even best – ScrumMaster certification. Please read a few blogs of ScrumMasters who have experience with more then one institute: Sasha Steskal, Chris Crawley, Sante Vergini

Product Owner

Scrum Alliance Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO)
Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner (A-CSPO)
Certified Scrum Professional Product Owner (CSP-PO)
Scrum Alliance Product Owner Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO I)
Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO II)
Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO III) Product Owner
SCRUMstudy Scrum Product Owner Certified (SPOC)
Scaled Scrum Product Owner Certified (SSPOC)


Scrum Alliance Certified Scrum Developer (CSD)
Certified Scrum Professional (CSP)
Scrum Alliance Developer Professional Scrum Developer (PSD) Developer
SCRUMstudy Scrum Developer Certified (SDC) SCRUMstudy

Other certification

Scrum Alliance Certified Team Coach (CTC)
Certified Enterprise Coach Certified Scrum Trainer (CST)
Certified Agile Leadership (CAL I)
Certified Agile Leadership (CAL II)
Scrum Alliance Agile Leadership Professional Scrum with Kanban Certification (PSK)
Professional Agile Leadership (PAL I) Agile Leadership
SCRUMstudy Scrum Fundamentals Certified (SFC)
SCRUMstudy Certified Trainer (SCT)
SCRUMstudy Certified Agile Coach (SCAC)
SCRUMstudy Agile Master Certified (SAMC)


Certification Program

Scrum Alliance Initial certification
It is mandatory to complete a CST taught 2-day training before taking the exam. Depending on your country and setup you will be set back a rough 1200-1400 Euros or 1000-1200 US Dollars.

It is mandatory to keep learning and remain active once you have earned a certification. You need to pay a renewal fee (100$ for a two-year period) and obtain sufficient Scrum Education Units (SEUs). Check the current requisites. Initial certification
It is not mandatory to complete a training before taking the exam. You can immediately enroll online and buy an exam, the costs depend on the exam and vary between 150-500 US Dollars.

Certifications are for life, so no renewel fee or extra study credits are applicable.

SCRUMstudy Initial certification
It is not mandatory to complete a training before taking the exam. You can immediately enroll online and buy an exam, the costs depend on the exam and vary between 450-600 US Dollars.
It is mandatory to keep learning and remain active once you have earned a certification. There is no additional renewel fee applicable but you do have to obtain sufficient Re-certification Units (RCUs). Check the current requisites.

Scrum - Organizations

INTRO – the top three international Scrum organizations at this time are described below. An overview of their certification programs can be found here: Certification Overview. That does not mean there are no excellent smaller – often local oriented – players out there.

Scrum Alliance
This is the first office Scrum body that was founded in 2001. Among the founders were Jeff Sutherland & Ken Schwaber. They have created the first Scrum courses and certification programs. Also from their hands are the Scrum Gatherings – large Scrum events to support the communities – taking place around the globe nowadays.

Scrum Alliance was founded in 2009 by Ken Schwaber when he was no longer satisfied by the course the Scrum Alliance was going. Differences were related to the way the training & certification program was setup and the primary branche for using Scrum. See below for some articles related to more details of the chasm. By now offers it’s own array of training’s and certification program.
Loved by many, ridiculed by some. As SCRUMstudy was not founded by one of the original creators of Scrum, they have attracted quite a bit of skepticism. They have created however, an impressive network of trainers and partners. They even claim to have topped both Scrum Alliance & in number of trainees and some other quotas. In order to support trainees and their communities the have created a Scrum Body of Knowledge (SBOK).

Team Coaching - Books

Coaching Agile Teams, Lyssa Adkins
The book from 2010 is still a very good start in exploring ways to help your teams forward. It is not only aimed at teams but also at you, the coach, Scrum Master or manager.
Coaching Agile Teams
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni
Although Patrick Lencioni has written over ten books in the last decades, this is his most well known from 2002. If you are enthusiastic then we definitely recommend Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team from 2005 as an follow up.
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

Continuous Improvement - Books

Agile Retrospectives, Esther Derby & Diana Larsen
This is a practical book, written to continuously improve your development project. Based on the authors experiences in real world situations.
Agile Retrospectives
Liberating Structures, Keith McCandless & Henri Lipmanowicz
The last few years these guys have gained substantial traction with their development of getting the most when working in and with large groups. The book is a real gain for people who love to read from good old paper. The accompanying website is perfect for looking up formats or digging through all of them.
Liberating Structures
Getting value out of Agile retrospectives, Ben Linders & Luis Goncalves
Ben Linders and Luis Goncalves put together a nice book on running retrospectives. A little about the how and why of actually investing time in doing retrospectives. Besides the theory there are over 13 retro formats covered. You can download this book free from InfoQ.
Getting Value out of Agile Retrospectives
Fifty ideas to improve your retrospectives, Ben Williams & Tom Roden
For a mere 10 dollars you can read up on a digital version from Epub and learn from the 50 ideas from Ben en Tom.
Fifty quick ideas to improve your retrospectives
Become a retrospective rockstar, 21 different authors
This booklet is also available for free! Download a copy from Retrium and learn from the experiences from over 15 authors.
Become a retrospective rockstar

Continuous Improvement - Formats

Retrospective websites
Below our collection of sites with multiple ideas, variations and exercises to run your next retro. Of course there will be some overlap, but stay open for new ideas.

Website Organization / author(s) Paulo Caroli & Taina Caetano Luis Goncalves Ben Linders Corinna Baldauf a.o. Keith McCandless & Henri Lipmanowicz Box Uk

Individual formats:
Here you’ll find some stand alone pages containing just one straight to the point format.

Subject Author(s)
Visualising Scrum Values Steve Trapps (
Team Communication and Personalities
Small setup with instructions to guide people to elaborate on their personalities by reflecting on free test results.
Sjors Meekels (Agitma)
All the materials and game instructions can be downloaded for free.
Agile Practice

Tips & Tricks
A few blogs containing general pointers in organization your retro

Subject Author(s)
A simple way to run a sprint retrospective Mike Cohn (Mountain goat software)
What I gained from 100 retrospectives Sjors Meekels (Agitma)
Scrum retrospectives tips Luis Goncalves

Lean - Books

The Machine that Changed the World, James Womack, Daniel Jones & Roos
If you are new to Lean this is the book you could start from. It came out in 2007 and has great reviews. In an in-depth analysis on the automobile industry – based on Toyota of course – the authors describe the principles of lean production
The Machine that Changed the Wolrd
Lean Software Development, Mary & Tom Poppendieck
In this book the couple Poppendieck made a strong translation from lean in production environments into the world of software development. It still is a solid work that provides enough insights to improve one’s organization or team’s setup.
Lean Software Development
Lean Startup, Eric Ries
In his 2011 book Ries shares his learnings and ideas on the way startups should manage there often turbulent first years.
The Lean Startup