I’m sure you know about apples and doctors and whatnot; I’ve also found that Scrums are just like that too. It’s a foundational tool for any team that’s becoming “agile”, and a great starting point to work Scrum principles into an organization for a lot of reasons.
A Scrum is simple and wraps a lot of good ideas into itself. The idea of a 15 minute meeting with a hyper-focused agenda with a few rules is something that can easily be applied in non-technology as well as technology groups. To frame the benefits in a slightly different way:
- You’ll just get things done.
- Information is boiled down to the essentials.
- You can improve morale by empowering team members; they are free to self-organize for the rest of the day with minimal regimentation.
Here are some tips for organizations who want to start introducing Scrum into non-software-engineering teams:
- For project managers acting as Scrum Masters: Focus on impediment identification and resolution (action) as opposed to project plan maintenance (passive).
- For business analysts (or other team members in general) acting as Product Owners: Focus on getting everyone on the same page regardless of role and break out of the siloed information mentality as opposed to creating and maintaining over-wrought documentation.
- For the rest of the team members involved: Focus on progress, momentum, and constructive conflict as opposed to accounting for every minute of one’s time.
I realize that some people might argue:
- What about emergencies? I would say that Scrum Master judgment can intervene to call off the Scrum as needed.
- What about getting to other topics? That is not the point of the meeting!
- How do we make sure everyone has their say? Team members (emphasis on team) will, as long as it’s brief and to the point. Non-team members wait until the “parking lot” time that’s determined by the Scrum Master.
These (and their variations) are all excuses for ScrumBut, a horrible mutation that’s justified with weak rationales and a disdain for other folks’ time. Respect the people you work with, and just don’t do it.