As a Scrum Master there is one big part of my job that I just love. It’s the bit where you know you can make a personal difference to people in your team, which of course then has a knock on benefit for everyone, including the business. To me, Scrum truly is about people over processes, despite my cheeky little pokes at the devs to update JIRA.
So, with that in mind, today I just feel like sharing some of the things that I really feel are amazing about Scrum : )
- The process means that it’s harder for anyone to dump stuff on dev teams at the last minute – this makes for happier devs and happier delivery teams all round. (And it does bring a sense of ‘order’ to the business at large). I like that.
- Team members who ‘own’ a lot of knowledge are expected to talk more, share more, help more…which means they can eventually take guilt free time off (holidays!!) as they won’t be the only ones who know ‘abc’ about ‘x’. How nice is that.
- Team members are encouraged to step away from doing over time for the sprints – otherwise, how is the team going to know what they are realistically capable of achieving during the working hours available in a sprint? It’s a change in mind-set and for some it’s often a lifestyle change (coding is life!), but it’s been tear jerking (slight exaggeration, but you get the picture) to see over-worked devs go home with the knowledge that they are freeeeeeeeeeee!
- The move to sharing knowledge (like your job depends on it) means that there will be continuation for the business, should a team member leave. There is security in that for the team, too. People therefore worry less.
- When the over-time expectation stops, people get time to indulge in personal passions/interests when they go home. Example: the other day one of our devs left for the day making the comment, “Manjit won’t let me work over time now, so what the hell am I supposed to do”. Our response was something along the lines of, “You can go book and take those test drives on all those motorbikes you’re into. You have the time.” That is happy stuff right there.
- There is a need for an almost accelerated level of learning and ‘success’, and often this can mean having good reason to try out new languages, approaches etc. that previously would have been harder to get agreement on. With the sprint duration being so short, it’s easier to take those risks now. As for the learning aspect, no one likes to feel like the opportunity isn’t there, and Scrum, thanks to those retrospectives, gives everyone a platform to push for upping their game on all levels, pretty much all the time.
- Due to the above, you get some work/life balance…and it probably gives some people the motivation to stay in places where they would otherwise want to leave sooner.
- I believe it can, and sometimes does, shake up management for the better…and it further enhances those who are already good at it.
- There’s no ‘them’ and ‘us’ – we’re pretty much all in it together!
I am sure it’s not just Scrum that allows all of this to happen, but in my journey so far, I’ve never come across a framework for a way of working that can be such a powerful change agent. I think it’s brilliant. It brings positive change to people on a personal level, whilst still letting the business achieve on a wider level. People, as a collective, are essentially being gently coached into developing a mind-set which results in working smarter, not harder.
Do you have an awesome number 10?