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Adopting Scrum Requires Much More Than Just Knowing About Scrum
Bill Hoberecht - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A Scrum implementation is a difficult endeavor that can fracture relationships, diminish team performance, and impact business outcomes.  Or, it can drive teams to higher levels of performance in delivering increased value.  Here are a few tips for a team that can help your Scrum Implementation be successful.

So your team is thinking of implementing an Agile approach and has selected Scrum as your framework!  Ah, the things I wish I had known when I first led a team down this path . . . that would have helped us avoid a fair amount of grief.  Subsequent transformations have each surfaced new difficulties.  Here's my short list of a few tips that might help your Scrum implementation.

Assessing: Is the Team Ready for Agile and Scrum?

You've probably read through many Scrum materials already and have an idea of what you'd like to implement.  No doubt the Manifesto for Agile Software Development and information in the Scrum Guide look appealing, but are they right for your organization?

The team needs to decide if it really wants to be disciplined before ever deciding on the framework or methodology to use.  Will your new Scrum team fit well with the rest of the organization?  Begin your journey by assessing your organization and its readiness for introducing Scrum - here are some areas to examine:

 

Important Knowledge, Skills and Behaviors for Scrum Team Members

The bulk of the Scrum information I've seen does a great job of explaining the operational aspects of Scrum (e.g., events, roles).  Training on Scrum execution surely should be required for all team members.  Beyond this training, there are other aspects of working in a Scrum environment that should be included in a transition to Scrum.

Individuals in traditional software organizations have lived in a constrained world where others make most decisions and empowerment is limited.  The world of Scrum is quite different: The Scrum Team is responsible and accountable for delivering value.  This requires a rather drastic change in how team members view their job and responsibilities.  I would also consider these skills and behaviors as essential in forming a successful Scrum Team:

Parting Thoughts

Transitioning to Scrum is much more than learning the events, roles and artifacts of Scrum.  The more significant aspect of implementing Scrum is understanding and accepting that each team member has a significant responsibility and accountability to the team, based on the principles and values of Scrum.  These responsibilities are different than those of traditionally managed software projects.

If your experiences in implementing Scrum have surfaced other tips that can help teams through the transition, please don't hesitate to send me those tips.  Thank you.

I wish your team well on your journey of implementing Scrum!