Scrum is gaining popularity due to its benefits in making a team more adaptive and responsive to its ever-changing environment, such as volatile user changes, technology advancement & etc. In the nutshell, Scrum is to make a team be self-organized. An self-organized team able to deliver results with higher customer satisfaction and better client engagement.
Introducing Scrum Role
More and more organizations introduce a role named Scrum Master (SM). This role is a Scrum evangelist in the organization. He/ she does not have any authority over the team and only facilitates the team to be self-organized. The first expected benefit is the team won't cause any headache to the management team, particularly in managing their works in a team. The communication within the team is open and transparent. Thus, everyone has a happier life.
Back to reality, many organizations pro-claimed they are using Scrum or have roles of SM/ Product Owner (PO). However, these roles expects the team can deliver faster under the flag of Scrum, despite the fundamental working arrangements are status-quo (i.e. prior introduction of Scrum). The SM/ PO holds responsibilities of typical team lead or manager. They dictate how the team doing their works, which is contradicting to Scrum approach - make the team self-organized. Due to various reason, they refused to claim they failed in using Scrum, they said they "adapted" Scrum.
"Adapted" Scrum - The Destroyer
Let's have a quick reality check, whether your organization or team has "adapted" Scrum in a counter-productive way:-
- The team size is too small - ideal team size is 3 to 7 person.
- Someone dictate of how a job is done - definition of done should agreed up front.
- Estimation of each work is done by someone - estimation should solicit from the team as they know their stuffs well.
- Someone assigns the works to each team member - as self-organized team, the team is empowered with commitment to their taken jobs.
- Sprint Backlog is owned by someone and not the team - Sprint Backlog is ownership of the team and their prioritize their works to meet the ultimate goal.
- Changes are frequently interrupted a sprint in progress - this hinder the concentration of the team and their progress.
- Daily Scrum (a.k.a. stand up meeting) is omitted and replaced with lengthy project status meeting - daily Scrum is an avenue to make the communication crisp and transparent.
Scrum is designed to make the team self-organized. Such self-organized team won't happen overnight and it takes time to nurture them. Once they are matured, an organization can harvest maximum benefits of such self-organized team.
When the "adapted" Scrum unable to make your team self-organized, it must be something wrong. Take a step back and look on what you really want from Scrum. It requires change of mindset and ways of working. A proper transition plan is needed to ensure everyone (beside the team) understand how to make Scrum works. It should follow-up with a monitoring stage to ensure the organization/ team practice Scrum to its fullest.