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Slides from my talks at VSLive Redmond 2012

Thanks to everyone who came to my talks at VSLive Redmond 2012.  As promised, here are the slides for my talks.

Top 10 Ways to Go from Good to Great Scrum Master

The Scrum Master role in an organization can be difficult. You live between a rock and a hard place. You’re influential but you probably don’t have any real power. You’re not a project manager but you’re on the hook for delivering. You’re asked to promise dates when the best you can give is a forecast. You’re long on responsibility and short on power. (Awesome.) But you do it because it’s a great job, right? There’s nothing like helping your team come together and deliver actual working software.

It takes a special kind of person to be Scrum Master — Nerves of steel, a lot of finesse, and some ridiculously great people skills. It’s a lot of knowing what to look for and knowing how to fix it. Even better if you can anticipate issues and get in front of them. What can you do to help keep everything on track? How do you have the difficult conversations when things are ‘sub-optimal’? From that lazy guy on your team, to the Product Owner who doesn’t like to estimate, to you losing your mind because you’re always picking up the slack. How do you help your team to solve problems and really sing? You’re a good Scrum Master. Come find out how to be great.


10 Ways to Get Your Project Started Right

We’ve all been on projects that suck, right? The team is super late. You’re working 27 hours per day, 9 days a week and you don’t have a prayer of delivering even close to on-time or on-budget. Everyone knows (but no one dares mention) that the code is garbage. You can’t even get a stable demo build. Your boss is angry. The customer is beyond angry. You hate your life and it’s bad, kid. Real bad.

Ever stop to think about how the project got that way? I mean, no one ever starts a new project thinking “yup, this one’s definitely going to eat it.”

In this session, we’ll talk about 10 different things you can do to get your project started right. From thoughts on databases, to automated builds, to requirements management, to just what the heck “done” means. We’ll cover these and more so you can do things right the first time and avoid yet another disaster project.

(Slides) (Sample PowerPoint Storyboard)



— Looking for help getting your project started right?  Want to hear some more about the new PowerPoint Storyboarding features of Visual Studio 2012?  Need some training on Scrum?  Drop us a line at


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