Dont disturb me scrum at work

I recently attended a recent PMI Ireland chapter seminar on the use of agile principles. The scrum section of the talk focused on the differences between being a project manager and a scrummaster. Nigel Baker from AgileBear Ltd gave a very entertaining presentation that demonstrated how a scrummaster works and the differences between traditional project management and scrum. There are two points that I want to elaborate on from Nigel’s talk. agile scrum principles at work

Don’t disturb me

The scrum process provides for planning at different phases of a project including;

  • Release planning
  • Sprint backlog planning

This enables the delivery team and product owner, facilitated by the scrummaster to define product features with user stories and related definition(s) of ‘done’ for each sprint. With this in hand, the delivery team can achieve momentum to deliver working software with no interference.

No disturbance is maintained unless the product owner wishes to change the feature priorities due to some change in the product vision. Then the sprint is halted and a new sprint backlog is generated.

Also the ‘Do not disturb’ sign prevents personnel changes being made to the delivery team unless absolutely necessary. This helps to build a high performing team who are familiar with the product vision and backlog, as well as each team member’s strengths and weaknesses. agile delivery team supported by scrum

As Mike Cohn wrote “a good scrummaster shelters the team from outside distractions, allowing team members to focus maniacally during the sprint on the goal they have selected”.

Use scrum to rollout scrum

There is no one solution to rolling out scrum in an organisation. This is understandable as each organisation has its own unique characteristics and challenges. Scrum is a different way of organising and completing projects using self-organisation as a principle.

As scrum seeks to complete a project over a series of sprints; organisations can borrow these principles to implement scrum over a series of iterations. Just as a project is not finished in one ‘big-bang’ sprint, all the tools and features of a scrum methodology are not rolled out in one go.

I have found that using scrum to rollout scrum enables organisations to better understand the scrum fundamentals and the lack of disturbances or distractions enables a delivery team to increase velocity delivering working software.

Win-win all round.

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