Fix your Scrum with these easy steps
Three things to bring forward
Scrum is a simple framework. It has 5 events, 3 roles, 3 artifacts, 5 values and some additional rules. As simple as it is, reality bites. Things that are simple and lightweight can be very difficult to understand and therefore a pain to be put in practice:
“Scrum is lightweight, simple to understand, difficult to master” — Scrum Guide 2017 (formatting is my adaptation)
To fix a Scrum adoption, I always start with the following easy steps. You can see it as a quick reference if you wish to start using Scrum or if you struggle with Scrum.
1. The ideal Scrum environment
Scrum is a framework to develop, deliver and sustain complex products. Hence you need to assess your product environment is indeed complex. For this, there are handy tools like the Stacey Matrix or Cynefin.
2. The foundation of Scrum
Scrum is built upon empiricism, which means transparency, inspection, adaptation. Empiricism helps you to build products of the highest value in a complex environment.
- Transparency is about having a shared understanding of the state of an item.
- Inspection is about inspecting progress or the state of an item regularly.
- Adaptation is about making adjustments based upon what was perceived during the inspection.
Empiricism ensures that you constantly respond to new insights in a complex environment and that you make decisions based on what is known. This is why it is important to stress the foundation of Scrum — empiricism.
3. Events, artifacts and rules vs empiricism
Next, I bring forward that all events, artifacts and rules that define Scrum are there to serve empiricism. It is vital to understand that the events need to have inspection and adaptation in place:
“Other than the Sprint itself, which is a container for all other events, each event in Scrum is a formal opportunity to inspect and adapt something.” — Scum Guide 2017
The Scrum Guide is just as clear about the Artifacts:
“Scrum’s artifacts represent work or value to provide transparency and opportunities for inspection and adaptation.” — Scrum Guide 2017
This — for me — has proven to be a perfect way to get the teams on the right track with their Scrum adoption. It’s not that with this my work as a Scrum Master is done. But having everyone on this page makes it easier to explain and discuss other facets of Scrum in more detail. It all starts with awareness.