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For those of you who are unfamiliar to the Scrum Framework, we are not talking rugby. Although the term is borrowed from the Game. Scrum is a Framework used in Agile Development. Iit is something your IT Business system “does”, unless they are still using Traditional Project Management for their Projects. Now you know that this is a method of Working that started in IT Development, you might be questioning why? The answer is easy – the Traditional structure of Organisations needs to Change, and quickly.

In February 2017, Gallup released the third edition of their report on “The State of the American Workplace”. The Chairman and CEO Jim Clifton mentions that “The Very Practice Of Management No Longer Works”. Just one-third of the Workforce is engaged! While this research is based upon the US Workforce, the problem is not distinct to the United States. Gallup provide a solution:- hierarchical Organisational structures do not Work in today’s world. Companies should reorganise themselves into Teams that are Cross-Functional and Collaborative. Such Teams are engaged and highly Productive. As Clifton says, if one can engage at least two-thirds of your Workforce, your Productivity will double.

This is Why Agile and the Scrum Framework are Essential for your Business

Companies where IT has actually embraced the Scrum Framework shake their heads at the weird Team structures and the way things are Done. However most agree on one thing: Work gets Done extremely quickly and according to specs. What’s more, this is not a fad. The Scrum Framework was first explained in the Harvard Business Review in 1986 by Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka in their post “The New Product Development Game”.

It was not until the 1990s that others started putting it into practice. Meanwhile Agile Development was taking shape. It was an advancement of earlier IT practices such as RAD (Rapid Application Development) and XP (Extreme Programming). Today there are many variances of iterative Development that fall under the Agile umbrella. They all abide by the Values and Principles of the Agile Manifesto of 2001. Three of the advocates of Scrum were also signatories to the Manifesto. These were Mike Cohn, Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland. They are still stars in the field.

This extremely short history is to motivate you to consider Scrum as a feasible alternative for the entire Company. The migration will not happen over night. However when you have actually Done, you will have a Company of Self-Organising Teams. Keep in mind that Scrum was not developed specifically for IT. They just took the ball and ran with it. It can be utilized in Enterprise and any situation.

Where to Start with the Scrum Framework?

There are 3 answers to this question:-.

  • If your IT store has not actually adopted an Agile practice of any kind, they must start immediately. What this indicates is that they will not be able to help you to implement Scrum at an Enterprise level. You will require to hire some expert help.
  • Use your IT resources that know and understand Scrum and Agile to assist in a Scrum Project. The Goal is to migrate the Company, a Business unit at a time, to Scrum.
  • If your IT is outsourced and your company are proficient in Scrum, enlist them to assist. Alternatively, discover a Company who can help you make the transition.

Obviously you will need to strategise and Plan this significant overhaul of your Business. It would be smart to begin with one Business unit as a pilot. We will plot out a scenario where this is a Scrum Project and you are going to have the same Roleplayers as in any scrum initiative. We will start with the Product Owner. This will both be an useful application of Scrum and part of the Change at the very same time.

Our Favourite Agile Books

We found these books great for finding out more information on Agile Scrum:

The Scrum Framework Roleplayers.

The three Scrum Roles are exceptionally simple, but challenging for many people to understand. This is due to the fact that they are not hierarchical. While it is not recommended to tamper with the Scrum Framework, you could think about utilizing various names for the Roles below. Use names that resonates with the Enterprise.

Development Team.

The term “Developer” can likewise be complicated. The specific Team member is involved in the Product Development. They will be adding to the abilities needed to finish the Product. In an IT Team, there could be a Business analyst, an Enterprise architect and a database Manager. These team members would all be called Developers. An Enterprise example utilizing marketing could consist of an Event Manager, a Customer experience specialist and an interactions Manager. All team members would be part of the Development Team for the campaign.

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Product Owner.

The Product Owner is someone who comprehends what the Product needs to be. They play a significant Role in the delivery of that Product. The Product Owner owns an Artefact called the Product Backlog. The Product Backlog contains all the info about the Product Requirements in order of priority. It is vital for the Product Owner to have authority over the Product. They should not take directives from the HOD. This could trigger some ructions, however is part of the Change process.

Scrum Master.

This is the most confusing Role for most new comers to the Scrum Framework. This includes whoever you designate as a Scrum Master. The assumption is that this is the new name for a Project Manager, which is not true. The Scrum Master is both a Coach and a “Servant-Leader”. He or she Facilitates the Project and smoothes the method for the Team. They remove barriers and facilitate the Scrum Meetings. These meetings are also known as “Ceremonies”. The Scrum Master is also the steward of the Scrum Principles and practices and guarantees that the Team follows them. As the keeper of Scrum knowledge he likewise educates and advises everyone external to the Project on what the Team are doing and why.

The choice of appropriate Scrum Masters for your Enterprise transition may require the contracting of external resources. These external resources are Masters of Scrum through experience and practice. They may also be found in your IT department.

Establishing the Project: Understanding the Sprint.

The Sprint is a brief burst of energy, ranging from 2-4 weeks, where the Team Designs, Builds, Tests and Delivers a product increment. This is a barebones, MVP (Minimum Viable Product) which does everything that is needed. Clearly, a fast, brief workout like the Sprint brings complete satisfaction both to the Stakeholders (the Enterprise in this case) and the Team. The Team will delight in the fact that they have actually provided value and will attempt to improve in the next Sprint (there is a mechanism for this).

The Work to be Done in the Sprint is decided by the Team, in consultation with the Product Owner. They might over Estimate their abilities in the very first Sprint, but will improve during the next Sprint, as their Estimating and Planning abilities improve. The Sprint Backlog includes the Work to be Done and is drawn from the Product Backlog, in consultation with the Product Owner.

There are some primary guidelines to be observed while running a Sprint.

  • There is no outside interference (the Scrum Master guarantees this).
  • No Changes can be used till the next Sprint. This is why Sprints are of short period; while Changes are invited (as a Principle of the Agile Manifesto), they ought to not affect a Sprint.
  • The Team is Self-Organising and chooses how they will tackle the Work; each Team member chooses which Work they will do.

Our Favourite Agile Books

We found these books great for finding out more information on Agile Scrum:

The Scrum Framework Ceremonies.

Scrum has clearly defined Meetings with time frame and required outcomes. They are Facilitated by the Scrum Master, who is likewise the timekeeper. They guarantee that the results are achieved in the minimum time and according to the Scrum practices.

The Sprint Planning Meeting.

In this Meeting, the Scrum Team meet with the Product Owner and decide which Work will be taken from the Product Backlog and placed in the Sprint Backlog. They also Estimate the time they will take for each product requirement using an Estimation technique based upon each Team member’s view of the complexity of the Work. This Meeting can take up 8 hours in an IT Environment, but ought to take much less time for an Enterprise Sprint, probably 2 hours.

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The Daily Scrum or Stand-Up Meeting.

Each Team member relates what they did in the last 24 hours, what they Plan to do today and what challenges they encountered (which the Scrum Master will attempt to eliminate). The Product Owner might be present as an observer and the Scrum Master is there as an active listener, ensuring that the Meeting does not overrun and keeping in mind any obstacles to be eliminated.

The Sprint Review.

This is a “Show and Tell” Meeting available to all, where the Team explains what they accomplished during the Sprint and what the end Product does. The completed Product is examined according to Acceptance Criteria. This criteria was identified when the Work (or “User Story”) was initially Documented.

The Sprint Retrospective.

This is a “Lessons Learnt” Meeting, held at the end of the Sprint, which can use up to 4 hours. In this Meeting Team members discuss what went well, what might be enhanced and what practices they should improve or embrace for the next Sprint. This Meeting is important to the Scrum Master, as the keeper of the processes and practices of the Scrum Framework.

The Scrum Framework.

While we have not described everything about the content and Artefacts of the Scrum Framework, we have concentrated on the Roles and activities. A Change to Scrum is difficult; it needs a substantial mental shift to adjust to the brand-new method of Working, especially for Teams who do not Work using a Project Framework. Adoption of the Scrum Framework in the Enterprise produces stress and disputes, however it does make everyone question why the Company exists and what contribution they need to make if the Company is to make it through. Any complacency needs to be replaced with interest and urgency, while barriers and silos will fall. The effective outcome will be a flat structure with high-performing empowered and engaged Workers, just what Jim Clifton said the Workplace of today requirements.

The ‘Agile Scrum Master Training Course With 59 Seconds Training‘ is now available for free. This free Scrum Master Certified Online Training Course provides an in-depth understanding of the Agile Scrum Master roles and responsibilities, where you find out what a Scrum Master does and how to do it. During this free course you will learn all of the tools needed to succeed as an Agile Scrum Master.

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