Saturday, March 17, 2012

Do Scrum or be Scrum – remembering Scrum Values and other aspects in Scrum

When you discuss with people in an organization which claims they do Scrum, what do you observe? Typically, I see a lot of Scrum “process” mindset. Yes, there is sprint planning, sprint review and daily scrum. And yet, once I look closer, it appears to me rather “hollow”, superficial.

The other/softer areas such as a scrum team is cross-functional, self-organization and scrum values are often ignored, yet essential in order to achieve the desired business goals. And it is those business goals which you try to achieve by means of doing and being scrum.

A scrum team is supposed to be cross-functional i.e. the people in the team have competence in architecture, design, coding and testing – do you see all of those in a single team? The worst case I have seen is a dedicated “scrum” team for architects, developers and tester. This is not scrum.

Self-organization is often another area of confusion. What does it mean to be self-organized? How to get there? Those are big questions, they deal with how much responsibility one is willing to take and how much managers are willing to let go. Nevertheless of the difficulties, self-organization is key for a team to become a high-performing team.

Did you remember that Scrum contains also values? Those Scrum values are:

Often, people are not aware of them. And if, then the interpretations on what they mean differ from person to person. Similar to a previous post on Agile manifesto and principles, I suggest that you discuss those values in your organization and figure out what they mean for you – better even if you can invite an Agile Coach from the outside, to get a out-of-the-box view compared to your own.

When looking at various Scrum training materials I have been missing those values – they are simply ignored. And then, I just tried to check them from and … nada – nothing there either (ok, maybe I might have not spend enough time for searching, however it seems that all the certificates are more important then the scrum values).

What can I do to help this? In future scrum courses, I will put more focus on those other/soft aspects.

p.s. I just saw a job add for a “Scrum of Scrums Master” - OMG!

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