There are multiple reasons why people want to implement Scrum like:
- increase efficiency,
- improve work
- create better products
- become more interesting for clients
- Better market position
- Scrum and Agile are fancy
- my boss told me to change something
- it’s an interesting idea, so why not?
You have your own reason but still don’t know how to start? Here you can find some tips.
No matter why you decided to implement Scrum in your company, you need to start from the basics - learning about Scrum and Agile. I recommend you to read my other post with First steps to learn Scrum where you can find all what you need at the beginning of your Scrum journey.
Once you have all basic knowledge about Scrum, it’s time to understand why you want to implement Scrum in your company. Define your goal before you will start other actions. You will use it later for inspection and verification if you are going in the right direction. List also all benefits that you believe Scrum will bring into your company/team. Believe me, you will need them soon.
3. FIND YOUR ALLIES
In order to implement Scrum in your company, you will need to have allies who will support your decisions and help you. I know that this part can be really difficult in old traditionally managed organizations.
Likely, you will need to show higher management why Scrum is the good idea for your company and what its benefits are. This is the moment when you can use the list that I mentioned about in the previous paragraph. If you answered to yourself why you want to implement Scrum and how it will impact the company, you shouldn’t have a problem with explaining it to the management. The key is to convince yourself first and be confident about it.
4. SPREAD THE KNOWLEDGE AND COLLABORATE
In this article, I assume that Scrum is a totally new idea in your company. Before you will start using Scrum, you need to teach others. Spread the knowledge that you already have, print multiple copies of Scrum Guide and give it to your colleagues at work.
It will be also good to do the same as you did with higher management - explain to your co-workers why you think it is a good idea to implement Scrum and how it will help them. Remember that Scrum promotes collaboration. Before any action, ask your team, what they are thinking about it, write down all concerns, pros and cons. It will bring them on-board and will help in commitment to all future actions.
5. DEFINE TERMS AND ACTIONS
If you are on the same page with your colleagues and you all agreed to implement Scrum, it’s time to have some agreements.
Scrum Team roles and responsibilities
- In order to start using Scrum, you need to create the Scrum Team in your company. At the beginning it will probably be a team that is working on the same product. I would recommend starting from one Scrum Team at the beginning and test how it works for you and your company. Remember that team size should be from 3 to 9 people.
- In the next step you need to decide about roles in the Scrum Team - who will be the Product Owner, Scrum Master, Development Team. It is also important to define responsibilities and expectations from each team member.
- Analyze with your team what each Scrum Value means for you. How do you plan to use them in daily work?
- What is the purpose of each of the events? Where and when will you organize them? What will be your Sprint length?
- How do you plan to communicate with each other- face to face, email, phone, calls, communicators (Whatsapp, Slack etc)?
- What about communication with the client/business? Who will be doing it and how?
- Talk about tools related to Product Backlog management. Do you plan to use flipchart and sticky notes or online tools like Microsoft Teams, Jira etc?
- It is also important to define work items in the Product Backlog. Do you plan to use Epics, Features, User Stories, Tasks, Bugs, Impediments? If yes, define each of them. Of course, the Product Owner is the person responsible for managing the backlog, but the whole team needs to be aware of rules and definitions around it.
Boards and work tools
- What about visual reflection of the work - boards? Do you plan to track your work using Kanban Board? Do you want to use online tools or stick with a simple paper board?
- If you decide on a type of board, define all columns or sections included on the board. For example you can have columns: “To do, Active, Test, Done”. What does it mean for you that the work item is in each of those columns? When you can move items between columns?
6. DO IT!
Uff… I know that the list above can be a little bit overwhelming, but it is crucial to have all above actions done in order to implement Scrum. I know from experience that lack of all definitions and common understanding of Scrum related terms can create a lot of issues during development. Once you clarify it, work can be much easier.
If you’ve done all above, let’s Scrum it!
Don’t wait for the moment when everything will be perfect, just try, learn from your experience and adjust if you need it. Good luck on the wonderful Scrum journey!