How to adopt Scrum in your team

SoftwareDevTools wants to help you adopt Agile methodologies. In this post we'll write about what to do in order to get started with the adoption of Scrum software development & management methodology in your team.

Great Scrum Team

Scrum software development is an Agile methodology to build products and also the perfect way for their product management. Working with Scrum methodology is an iterative and flexible way of delivering great products while learning during the process. Velocity is also key, let's not forget that In Agile as in life, time is precious
In our experience, Scrum software development can be applied to almost any situation and at any point of the product’s lifecycle (In fact, it is argued that Agile is for every industry). To implement Scrum methodology you can start by applying for the fundamental steps and roles in the project and continue learning along the way. Remember, these are short explanations of what we consider the most basic Agile practices. You can read more about the Key Elements of an Agile Culture.

Roles in Scrum Methodology:

The Product Owner

The Product Owner is responsible for the product itself and for leading the team to its vision. Engage the team in the development process and creating a product that meets the customer’s expectations is his priority.

The PO has a clear understanding of the product, its users, and competition. Therefore, he is in charge of creating stories, tasks and prioritizing them in order to lead the product to the sprint planning meeting. His goal is creating a product that meets the customer’s needs.

The Scrum Master

This role is responsible for assisting the team in achieving the goals set by the Product Owner. He is the one following up on the team’s progress and responsible for removing their blockers. Also, he keeps the team focused on the sprint backlog tasks and prevents them from getting distracted.

Small projects don’t usually have a Scrum Master. In such cases, this role’s responsibility commonly falls on the Product Owner.
Scrum team

The Team

These are the individuals working together to create and deliver a great product according to the goals set by the Product Owner and the Scrum Master.
They’re responsible for converting backlog stories to sprint tasks and setting appropriate estimations for each task so they can deliver on schedule.

Fundamental Methodology:

Standup Meetings

These meetings are typically scheduled on a daily basis at the same time, ideally at the start of the day. The purpose of this meeting is to see the team’s efforts by basically taking turns to respond to the following:

  • What they worked on yesterday
  • What they’ll work on today
  • And if they have any blocking issues

A quick but solid standup meeting will make the team have good communication and also a clear understanding of the sprint process by sharing the achievements and what remains to be accomplished. The Scrum Master is responsible for removing any blocking issues, so this meeting is important for the Scrum Master’s leading role in the product’s process and to help the team to achieve their goals. Here you can read 8 tips for standup meetings.

If your team is asynchronous, then it might be hard to find a timeslot for the daily update that is convenient for everyone. We built an automation tool for these teams. A Slack or Atlassian Stride bot that asks the team for updates & blockers. The information is always available for anyone on the team, so the team is always synced and can find out about blockers right away (instead of waiting until next day or so).

Estimation Sessions

Estimation Sessions are usually of not much interest for the team because it can turn into long or “boring” meetings, but they’re an important step in the product development process to avoid over-committing and for the team to be able to meet the schedule.
During the Estimation Sessions, the team looks into the backlog and discusses how much they can deliver for next sprint by rating the tasks on the importance for the project or time needed for completeness.
Using the correct tool will help in making these meetings easier to follow and also in engaging people in the dynamic to plan and execute as a team. Tools like PlanningWith.Cards, Scrum Poker estimates for Confluence or Scrum Poker estimates for Jira will help you in this process by enabling to import your backlog from JIRA, confluence, Trello and other platforms to estimate them. These are collaborative tools to make sure the entire team is making their voice heard, so your organization can have better decision-making.

Retrospective Meetings

Agile Retrospective Meetings are as important as the planning sessions because they will help the team and Scrum Master to know how everything went during the sprint. During these meetings, the team needs to answer the next questions:

  • What went right during iteration?
  • What went wrong during iteration?
  • What could be done differently for improvement?

The outcome of this meeting is recommendations and new ideas to help the team improve. It’s great that all these ideas come from the team to promptly assess issues and improve their own internal processes. Don't forget to establish an appropriate culture by considering the Prime Directive.
This is such an important event, a key to continuous improvement, that we even wrote how you should be having retros, even if you're not in tech.
Running retrospectives can be actually engaging and easy with tools like Retrospectives for Confluence or the newly released Agile Retrospectives for Jira that will help the Scrum Master to collaborate with the team to evaluate the sprint’s results and create action items to follow up on their progress right in your platform of choice! Super helpful to make sure the entire team pitches in and every idea is discussed and considered. And follow-up is super easy, since everybody agrees and assign an owner for each issue.

Remember that Scrum methodologies will help your product development process to be more organized, deliver on time, and have a shorter learning curve that will lead to better results in your product and also your team. Imagine receiving feedback from your customers and being able to meet their needs quickly. Scrum methodology can help you achieve this.

Also, your team will work smoothly by gaining confidence in their work, their self-management ability, identifying, and solving issues. The result will be greater by generating more productivity and engagement in your team on what they’re building.

Planning sessions and retrospectives meetings do not only work for development teams, but also apply for marketing, human resources, and other admin departments. My team wrote a post about why your team should be having retrospectives even if you’re not in the tech industry.

I’ve found that it’s really useful to adopt these Agile methodologies to your day-to-day activities to encourage the team’s improvement and to achieve the company’s goals. Looking back on what you did great and what can be done better, will lead you and your team to the next level together.

Agile basic practices are easy to adopt, but be aware of the Agile anti-patterns also.

Trying to improve your #Agile practices? OR are you getting started with Agile? Are you in a remote team? Check out our products for Agile teams at SoftwareDevTools. We focus on making agile ceremonies more effective and easier to adopt for remote teams.

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