Scrum has the best chance of success in agile enterprises as there is a natural fit between business and IT. For the rest of us, below are lessons/tips learnt from 29-month experience as Scrum Developer and Scrum Master in an offshore development team of pension company and from other students of a Scrum Master course in 2013.
If you work in an IT organization with low trust, then building trust is most important as adopting any new idea requires a leap of faith. Some of actions for IT organization to build trust in the eyes of business people are
- Build rapport, e.g. addressing business users’ concerns
- Diplomatic approach
- Establish credibility, e.g. create some successes
- Conflict resolution, e.g. finding similarities between conflicting goals and demands
- Strong communicator, e.g. communicate alignment between business and IT regularly
- First few projects
Most will advocate to try Scrum on a small and trivial development project. While it is comforting to have early success, to ‘bake’ Scrum into IT organization, in second or third Scrum trial projects, some real-world challenges need to be overcome, e.g. distributed team, outsourcing team. Below are some of articles that may be useful in tackling these issues.
Having experienced Scrum members in the team helps a lot.
- Organizational structure & culture
Let’s face it, it is great to hear a self-organizing team has completed a mission. However we cannot ignore internal hurdles.
- Senior people do not prefer tasks usually carried out by junior IT staff, e.g. programming by solutions architect, developing front-end feature by senior back-end developer. This issue can be alleviated by changing performance appraisal criteria, e.g. considering product success, peer feedback, self-development and management tasks in individual performance appraisal.
- If you cannot promise deliverables by certain date, your project is no-go. In Scrum, product owner estimates release date using these product backlog estimation tactics.
- Right people
Scrum emphasizes team performance over individual performance. However we cannot ignore some tasks/projects require people with more experience and knowledge. Scrum needs more servant leaders in the team and not just those with Scrum Master title.
Does a change management program help in introducing Scrum?