Practicing Scrum Well

Just like any sports team. there can be the winners like the ones who go to the super bowl, or those that get kicked out each year right before the playoffs even start. ( If you don’t know American Football you may not get this point. I live in Seattle where football is a big deal ).

Anyways, it is up to the team and the coach to work together to produce a great product.This simplicity of Scrum becomes the reason where teams feel Scrum is not working. 

There are some necessary conditions for doing Scrum Well.

Energized And Empowered Scrum Team – On top of the list is how energized and empowered team members are to ship quality products out of the door.

The entire goal of Scrum is to create a direct relationship between the stakeholders who seek value and the people to can create value.

There should be a Culture that Values Transparency – In Organizations that do not value truth and transparency, Scrum may not add much value.

Management does not micromanage – Top down command & control and the Scrum culture of openness and honesty often contradict each other. In fact, more than 50 percent of Agile Transformations today fail because of the middle management’s inability to let go.

Have a Sense of Urgency: Scrum works well when the organizations feel the urgency to do things faster, and of higher quality. In places where there is no pressure to ship anything and where quality is not important, Scrum does not work well.

Jeff Sutherland, one of the co-creators of Scrum Suggests the following steps

  1. Get Started with Stable Teams.
  2. Look at Yesterday’s weather to successfully pull backlog items into a Sprint.
  3. Swarm with One-Piece Continuous Flow.
  4. Allot time for interrupts and do not allow the time to be exceeded during the Sprint. See Illegitimus non-Interruptus Pattern.
  5. Write Daily Clean code by following XP Practices.
  6. When things go wrong do something about it immediately (See Emergency Procedure).
  7. Find out what one improvement will increase the happiness of the team the most, and implement that improvement in the next Sprint.
  8. How do you get teams to have fun? (Happiness Metric).
  9. Teams that finish early accelerate faster. Take less work into a Sprint.

Ref: http://www.scrumplop.org

Sometimes the teams give up on Scrum too soon saying “Scrum is not working, let’s try the other new framework”. You should try Scrum for at least one release cycle or a few sprints before changing anything. 

In this early stage do not change anything. Scrum is really good at exposing the mess in an organization. If your organization is afraid to fix the mess Scrum exposes, then it may be tough to use.

Remember the 10 things in Scrum are the simple rules of Scrum. Don’t change them.

Also, there are many other techniques e.g., Kanban. Feel free to evolve your process and use other Agile Practices as well.

Scrumtuphobia!  Fear of doing Scrum Wrong.  HENRIK KNIBERG

As a general guideline, as you master Scrum, you can always subscribe to practices from any of the Agile frameworks to become Agile.