During our Certified Scrum Meetup yesterday I explained that I find it valuable to cover the Scrum approach with my team at the start of every new Scrum project. Even when people say they have a good understanding of Scrum there is always value in taking people back to the basic principles of Scrum, knowing they may have moved away from and lost sight of some aspects in day to day project life.
Lyssa Adkins in her video The Scrum Framework recommends that every Scrum Master and Agile Coach should be able to summarise Scrum or their chosen Agile approach in 10 minutes to their teams and executives. She then goes on to draw and present the Scrum framework in 10 minutes.
So for this Certified Scrum Meetup Julien and I thought it would be useful to also recap the foundations of Scrum for this group. While the audience are all Certified ScrumMasters or Certified Scrum Product Owners and all are experienced in working with Scrum and Agile, they also face the reality of project life where often aspects of Scrum are not used or their projects get caught in Water-Scrum-Fall (which Julien describes as the worst of both worlds).
During the discussion I focused on the Scrum values, the Scrum roles of Product Owner, Scrum Master, and the cross-functional Team, and the Scrum artefacts of Product Backlog and Sprint Backlog. Julien covered the Scrum events of sprint planning, sprint, stand-up, review and retrospective.
There was useful discussion around retrospectives and this was one Scrum event that some teams were not consistently performing. Some of the attendees talked about the need to keep retrospectives fresh and interesting to encourage involvement and to avoid the same points being raised each time. I pointed the group to Retromat as an excellent resource for new ideas and approaches for making retrospectives fresh, engaging and valuable.
Julien also covered some of the important concepts such as 'definition of ready', 'definition of done' and 'potentially shippable increment'. Finally there was some discussion led by Julien on including some stories in sprint backlogs that focus on getting better (what Julien referred to as 'product 2'), such as improving the team approach, automating testing or reducing technical debt.
Kirstin Donaldson is a Principal Consultant with expertise in Agile and leadership coaching and training, based in our Wellington office.
Julien Thomas is a Principal Agile Consultant who helps organisations blend technical and people aspects, with a focus on business and customer outcomes.