Because Scrum is easy to understand yet difficult to master, rooms for improvement are still possible to increase your team productivity and creativity.
With this page, I’m aiming to first remind the underlying principles of Scrum, and then invite you for a reflection with open questions.
Scrum is lightweight with only 11 elements:
- 3 artefacts: Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog and Product Increment,
- 3 roles: Product Owner, Development Team and Scrum Master,
- 5 events: Sprint, Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective.
Scrum, actually, gives you a minimal structure and boundaries to self-organize and add complementary practices adapted to your context.
Scrum is not restrictive or perspective.
Scrum is a way to implement agility by increasing your ability to adapt to new changes. This adaptation ability is made possible by the frequent “Inspection & Adaptation” opportunities provided by the Scrum events.
Missing one of the Scrum events is a lost opportunity to adaptation.
An effective “Inspection & Adaptation” is only made possible with available transparent information. Imagine how a thermostat is able to inspect & adapt the room temperature having a wet washcloth over it! Transparency in Scrum is provided by the 3 artifacts.
Inspection & Adaptation without Transparency is useless.
The Inspection & Adaptation are made by the 3 roles. The Scrum Team members are the inspectors.
Frequent repetition of “Transparency + Inspection + Adaptation” process, made by diligent inspectors, is an effective way to deal with complexity. Software development is a complex domain (more unknown than known).
Behaviors over processes
Good behavior makes possible a process success. Good behavior makes possible to keep the team spirit alive. Good behavior avoids practicing mechanical Scrum (Zombie Scrum) and simply go through the motions.
The 5 Scrum Values (Courage, Commitment, Focus, Openness and Respect) help shaping the needed behavior for a team success: to continuously improve and maximize value.
The 5 Scrum values will help to build trust so that “Inspection & Adaptation with adequate Transparency” process come to life.
Good behavior is the lifeblood of a Scrum Team.
Good behavior is what makes us professionals.
Invite for reflection to make our use of Scrum more effective
Doing Scrum is not the goal. Doing Scrum is a path made by continuous Inspection & Adaptation.
Doing Scrum is not the point. Maximizing value and enable business agility are the point.
- Is it okay to not always have a “Done” Increment?
- If we are trying, is that good enough? What does ‘trying’ mean? Are we challenging ourselves to go beyond our comfort zone, to try new things, to learn new things?
- Are some defects okay? What are we doing to improve quality? Are we having discussions about expanding/ clarifying DoD? Are we having discussions about different ways of working to always get to “Done?”
- Are our business stakeholders truly engaged? Are they providing meaningful feedback and what are we doing to solicit meaningful feedback? Do we have the right stakeholders involved?
- How do we know users are satisfied? What empirical evidence are we gathering? Do we have a variety of metrics and understand trends? Are we adapting the Product Backlog based on the evidence?
- Where may the Scrum Values be showing up?
- What Scrum Values may not be fully honored?
A team success is made possible by its team members cohesion. Think about the PSG football club case that is made with “stars”. Because of their football players stars are acting more individually than collectively, PSG is struggling with winning European trophies.
A cohesive team embodying the 5 Scrum Values looking for continuous excellence and acting with professionalism to deliver the highest quality products.
Keep doing, keep improving, and have fun.