When do we consciously slip from Scrum

When do we consciously slip from Scrum

Scrum is an agile framework with very strict boundaries and plenty of freedom and flexibility within these boundaries. Scrum does have solutions to most team dysfunctions. Slipping from scrum should be a conscious decision taken by mature agile teams only! Daily Scrum starting time (Daily Standup) Scrum strongly suggests to never change the time and place of the Standup in order to reduce complexity. One of Standup’s main benefits is synchronization between team members. If a team member can not make it to the Standup, for any reason, its value obviously is less than optimal. We consciously choose to change the time of the Standup to ensure full attendance. This is easier to do in small teams, since in larger teams the effect of changing everyone’s schedule may outweigh the benefit of full participation. Dangers when slipping: On a non mature agile team, delaying the Daily Standup occasionally, may be seen as if it’s not required to be on time. Also, delaying the standup may de-motivate and confuse people who are always on time. Events Maximum Duration All events in Scrum have a maximum duration, strictly set based on the Sprint duration. For 2 week Sprints, the suggested timeboxes are: 4 hours for Planning, 2 hours for Review, 1.5 hours for Retrospectives. We have multiple Scrum teams, that share many common stakeholders. We consciously reduced the timebox of Sprint Reviews in 1 hour, and have all 8 Sprint Reviews from the Scrum Teams of the Department happening in the mornings of 2 consecutive days every 2 weeks. This way it is easier for many stakeholders to attend all sprint reviews. We...
Where do we religiously follow Scrum

Where do we religiously follow Scrum

First of all the title is wrong! You either do or do not follow Scrum religiously. After a 2 year experience in Scrum, our organization has inevitably slipped from Scrum many times and most of the times we regret it and switch back to discipline. There are some things though that we never compromise: Steady Cadence We started Scrum with one week Sprints and when the teams matured we switched to 2 week sprints. So in 2 years most of the teams have only changed their Cadence once. Changing the Cadence is a decision that came organically from the teams not necessarily in the same period. But having a standard day and time when the events take place is non negotiable, even when stress and pressures comes from above. Scrum Events Every sprint ends with a Sprint Review followed by a Sprint Retrospective and starts with a Sprint Planning Meeting. Sometimes, many team members think its better if we skipped this sprint’s retrospective. In this case I choose to make the meeting much shorter and ensure that we get out of it with at least one action item that most of the team agrees is important to deliver. Daily Scrums (standup meetings) take place on the same time and place every day and never last more than 15 minutes. When valuable conversations arise, we arrange a meeting right after the stand up which most of the times does not need to include the whole team. When someone doesn’t appear in stand up, they have to send an email to the team answering the Daily Scrum’s 3 questions. Well I’m pretty confident that breaking...
Is your next meeting a discussion or a dialogue?

Is your next meeting a discussion or a dialogue?

Having your day packed with meetings is a common scenario in business today. Most likely, many of these meetings, are unproductive, for many – if not all – of the attendees. There is a lot of bibliography of tips and tricks you can do, in order to improve the quality of your meetings and these will not be provided in this article. Instead the different aspects of conversation types will be analyzed, as a structural element of meetings. Discussion is the act of people talking in order to reach a decision. When discussing, people defend their position trying to convince the group for the direction that should be taken. In a discussion, the position or title of the members within the organization, affects the gravity of their arguments. Towards the end of the meeting decisions have been taken and the team proceeds accordingly. Dialogue (greek διάλογος, δια: through, λόγος: speech, reason) is a free flow of meaning that comes through the words being spoken. When dialoguing the group has left their positions/titles outside the meeting room. What is being said is important, not who said it. At the end of a dialogue session the group has identified the deeper causes of why a system reacts the way it does. Therefore the group has gained more insight to improve predictability and take more solid decisions later. A meeting can switch between dialogue and discussion. An example of such a meeting in Scrum is the Sprint Retrospective, an event that occurs at the end of each Sprint that aims to improve the way the Scrum Team works together. This event is...