» Scrum Framework
Several years ago I had the opportunity to support a growing consulting firm to move from waterfall to the Scrum Framework. It's been exciting to watch Highland Solutions learn, adapt, and grow as a team in their ability to organize and deliver great client solutions. The attached Case Study on Transition to Scrum describes the approach that Highland used to move to Agile and Scrum, and some of the things that they learned along the way. It also highlights the significant benefits they've seen as a result of their Agile Transformation.
We’ve all seen it - Scrum Gone Bad
I think we have all seen Bad Scrum and misuse of the Scrum Framework. Sometimes Scrum started out good with a solid understanding of Scrum, good leadership, an effective Scrum Master, an engaged and empowered Product Owner and a hopeful and open-minded Dev Team. But then somewhere along the way it went bad. Maybe the leadership changed or changed their mind. Perhaps the skillful Scrum Master left and was replaced by one who was ineffective. The team may have soured or felt like Scrum was used against them.
Inevitably, when working with organizations and helping them move from Waterfall to the Scrum Framework, there is a lot of confusion about the Scrum Master role. One of the most common questions I get is, What does a Scrum Master do? People often ask the follow-up question, Can we make our Project Managers the Scrum Masters? (Yes you can but no you should absolutely not.) And third, Do we need a full-time Scrum Master?
The new Scrum Guide, the definitive reference for the Scrum Framework, is out. As of November 7, Scrum co-creators Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber have published an updated version of the Scrum Guide. The last three revisions were in 2011, 2013 and 2016 so this is a relatively fast update since July 2016.
I have a client that has been using Agile and the Scrum Framework for the last 3 years. Let me restate that, this client has been using A.I.N.O. (Agile in name only) for the last 3 years. I am working with him to implement Scrum and eventually embrace a full Agile Transformation. With him and his team I have to refer to this as implementing a "more disciplined Scrum" because unfortunately, everyone believes they are already using Scrum.
I always thought that crew looked like a cool sport and I've admired crew teams. In crew, team members in lightweight boats race to go as fast as possible. It is hard work! I think the crew team is a useful metaphor for Scrum teams.
Crew teams strive for speed so they keep everything as light as possible by eliminating anything heavy or unecessary. The more strong people that are rowing, relative to the weight of the boat and everything on it, the faster the boat will go.
People don't use the pigs and chicken metaphor in the Scrum Framework much anymore. I tend to agree with the reasons for avoiding it - it tends to create an Us vs. Them mentality.
Us is the Scrum Team, or the pigs. The "committed" individuals who are responsible for delivering the solution. "Them" is anyone else - the chickens. The chickens are only involved and not committed like the pigs.
A few years back my son was playing as the catcher for his high school baseball team. There had just been a close play at first base, and my son was picking up the bat for the opposing team and returning it to their dugout. It seemed like a nice thing to do, so I was surprised and won't soon forget when his coach yelled out "Hey Mersino, you're not their bat boy". The point the coach was making was that it was not my sons job to pick up the bat, he had more important things to do and focus on.
One of the most common conversations I’ve had with clients over the last few years is how to move from waterfall development to using the Scrum Framework. Based on those discussions and years of experience leading and supporting these transformations for my clients, I’ve compiled this short guide on planning and executing an agile pilot or an agile transformation in your organization.