Confession of a Productive andHappy Scrum Team Alida Cheung 2012 @AlidaCheung
Not your usual retrospectiveIn April 2012, I facilitated an unusual retrospective for a mature and self- organized team, the Desktop Solutions Team at salesforce.com.I interviewed them, like a journalist.
The Team• Has been using Scrum for five years• Has eight team members• Team composition changed over time. In fact, only one original member remains on the team• While team members came and left, the self-organizing, trust, and collaborative culture stays!
What makes you a good Scrum Team?• Good communication• Mutual support on our tasks• We are not afraid of raising concerns in our daily Scrum• Being honest with each other• We work hard• We plan carefully so that we don’t get overwhelmed
What motivates you as a Team or as a Team Member?• We care about the quality of our work• We like our work• We are proud of our product; our customers like it• We feel accountable to each other• Taking ownership and accountability and seeing it to the end
What are you most proud of as a Team or as a Team Member? • “My deliverable is my identity!” • Customers like our product • Everyone knows what my Team does • Working with a great group of people
What was your initial reaction towards Scrum? How in the world I like the sound of it but the part that worried me was that we are moving soare we going to do fast. Do we execute before thinking? that?the original team member wondered at the genesis of the team Oh my god, they are I like it from the beginning. actually doing it! Coming out of college, I read about these things. To actually see it in action and one team member secretly said to seeing it done well is himself when he joined the Team amazing!
What got you over the chasm? An open mind - “Funny how the thing you think would be a problem turned out not to be.” Seeing the results - “It was a little hard for the team but the difference was amazing. Complete transparency!!”Transparency -“Productivity shot through the roof. Everyone sees what I do everyday. Things start to move very fast.” The realization that frequently inspect and adapt means the team won’t be off track beyond control and can always recover from mistakes.
What is the hardest to learn or adopt?• Breaking up features into stories• As a new team member, picking up the next available task even if I don’t feel comfortable working on it• Be true and honest to the Definition of Done
What do you like about Scrum / Agile?• Working towards the Definition of Done• Know where we are every week, not just at the end• Each little piece of Scrum has it’s own purpose• The transparency
Along the journey, what good practices have you picked up?• Make the tasks so small that we don’t have to spend time estimating them• Short and productive planning meeting• Not going into details in the daily standup• Adjust the process along the way as needed to improve
What advice would you give to a new Scrum Team? • Stay true to yourself • Be honest with each other and yourself • Trust each other • Handle conflicts • Follow Scrum. They are done for a reason. They do work • Don’t be afraid to step up • Su-Ha-Ri • Observe how other teams operate • Build you own team culture • Get a good ScrumMaster
That’s what real life Scrum looks like. Real simple!