Feb. 24, 2015

Thoughts On Scrum From A Newbie

Scrum isn't something only rugby players do. I had no idea, for example, that Scrum is the most popular approach to agile software development.

Here’s what I understood before attending CSM (Certified ScrumMaster) training earlier this month (a week after I joined agile42):  Scrum is something boys in short shorts do on the rugby field and women do when they’re fighting over a pair of Manolo Blahnik’s on sale.  I went in, suitably garbed in boots and leggings (just in case I had to break out into a sprint) and was surprised to find techy-types in long pants and shirts.  They seemed to me, woefully unprepared.

Training started with Dave separating the class into groups of people who had ‘lots of experience in Scrum/Agile’, ‘some practical experience of Scrum’, ‘some idea of what Scrum is’ and ‘no idea about Scrum’.  I decided there is safety in numbers and joined the ‘I have some idea of what Scrum is’ group.   I, of course, had no idea. 

I had no idea for example that Scrum is the most popular approach to agile software development.  For the first time ever, I heard about Extreme Programming (XP) and learned about Lean, which happily isn’t a weight-loss product but another approach initially adopted by Toyota in 1950’s Japan.  

I have worked in and with teams before and in various roles including coach and facilitator, and am familiar with Tuckman’s Team Development Model.  Teams according to Tuckman’s model move through stages -forming, norming, storming and performing – and the process can take several weeks.   Yet, I became part of  a highly-collaborative Scrum team within hours because when you’re part of a super cool Scrum team, your skills and experience helps the team deliver user stories (those work items that are on a priority list).   This was made especially evident during the (super fun!) Lego City exercise.

In Scrum, everyone is responsible for delivery; there is no such thing as ‘this is my job and that is your job’.   The focus is on the work itself.  The team also has an agreed-upon definition of ‘done’ and a clear understanding of acceptance criteria (clear unambiguous success criteria).

An important part of Agile delivery is the iteration retrospective meetings.  These meetings help the team make corrections to their processes, which is part of the learning-oriented approach.

Despite being completely ignorant of software development processes I could see how the iterative and incremental system of Agile project delivery can be applied to any business.  

Twitter: @ymcadam

Image of ygmcadam

Yolanda McAdam

blog comments powered by Disqus
Image of ygmcadam

Yolanda McAdam

Latest Posts

Workshops on the Certified Agile Leadership pathway

CAL 2 workshops offered in Berlin on Agile Leadership, Organizational Design, Changing Leadership, part of the Certified Agile Leadership program

Image of marion

Marion Eickmann

I am one of the founders and the executive director of agile42. I am supporting strategic product development and leadership challenges for more than 15 years now. Since 2007 I have been realizing local and global agile projects with agile42's international team successfully. You like to talk about: Organic Agility, complexity, resilience, organizational culture & Agile? Just send an email :-)

Exhaustion is Not a Status Symbol

Leverage the agile values to mitigate the risks of exhaustion becoming a status symbol

Image of melissa.boggs

Melissa Boggs

Meet The Coach: Kemmy Raji

Having worked in various sectors from financial institutions to utility companies, meet Kemmy Raji.

Image of agile42


News and views from the Headquarter of the agile42 team

Meet us at Agile People Sweden 2018

Come and join the coaching clinic with agile42 at Agile People Sweden 2018 Conference in Stockholm

Image of sofia.svanback

Sofia Svanbäck

I am the Business Relationship Manager of agile42 in Finland and Sweden. I started working at agile42 in May 2018 and haven’t done anything so interesting before. The decision to join agile42 is a decision I am proud of today. My days are filled with customer related things, like negotiations, offers, and training / coaching bookings to mention a few.

Meet The Coach: Sunny Dhillon

For our Meet The Coach series, agile42 coach Sunny Dhillon talks about his background, his agile journey,  and insights about Agile adoption. 

Image of agile42


News and views from the Headquarter of the agile42 team