Mike Cohn

Mike Cohn

Mike Cohn is the author of three best-selling books on agile (User Stories Applied for Agile Software Development, Agile Estimating and Planning, and Succeeding with Agile). He is also a Certified Scrum Trainer, keynote speaker, and an in-demand coach to companies throughout the United States and around the world.

As the founder of Mountain Goat Software, Mike specializes in helping companies adopt and improve their use of agile processes and techniques in order to build extremely high-performance development organizations. His weekly email tips on succeeding with agile are read by over 100,000 people.

With more than 20 years of experience, Mike has previously been a technology executive in companies of various sizes, from startup to Fortune 40. He is a co-founder of both the Scrum Alliance and the Agile Alliance, the home of the Agile Manifesto. Mike Cohn


Do you want to be a great Scrum Master?
I hope so. (Well, unless you’re a product owner or in some other role!) I’ve spent over 20 years as a Scrum Master. Over that time, I’ve given and collected quite a lot of advice. I’ve distilled it down to the ten best bits for you.


While cleaning my home office recently, I decided I would listen to all of the Beatles’ albums. I’d start with “Please, Please Me” from 1963 and work my way to 1970’s “Let It Be.” My goal was to finish cleaning before the Beatles ended with “Get Back.” In doing so, I realized that much of what I know about agile, I learned from the Beatles. In particular, here are the top ten things I learned from Beatles songs.


There are three main reasons to estimate a product backlog. First, it allows a team and its product owner to make longer term predictions about how much can be delivered by when.Second, it aides product owners in making prioritization decisions. Priorities should be set based on the expected benefits and costs of the product backlog items. A product backlog item estimated at 3 story points, days, or whatever units you use, is typically a higher priority than it would be if it were estimated at 100.

About Best Agile Articles Project

Best Agile Articles is a collaborative project of the Agile community to bring you the best of the best publications each year. Our goal in publishing these yearly editions is to cull through the many articles that are published each year and provide you with a curated set of high-quality articles that capture the latest knowledge and experience of the agile community in one compact volume.
Our purpose is twofold. First, we understand that it’s hard to figure out where to go when looking for ideas and answers. There are thousands of blogs, videos, books and other resources available at the click of a mouse. But that can be a lot to sort through. So, we thought we could be of some help. Second, we wanted to bring some visibility to many people who are doing outstanding work in this field and are providing helpful resources. We hope that this publication will help them connect to you, the ones they are writing for.
Our intention is that this publication is to be by the agile community as a service to the agile community and for the agile community. With that in mind, we pulled together a great group of volunteers to help get this work into your hands.

The articles in this volume were selected by:
• A diverse Volunteer Committee of sixteen people with expertise in a variety of areas related to agile.
• The agile community. A call for article nominations went out in early 2020 and several dozen 2019 articles were nominated by the community.

The articles themselves cover a wide variety of topics including organizational structure, culture, and agile leadership. There is something for almost everyone here. All editions of the Best Agile Articles publication are available on Amazon and free to download on the Best Agile Article site.
We are thankful for the great participation by the agile community at large. If you would like to participate in delivering this publication in future years, we would welcome hearing from you.

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