SCRUM Training Session III – Part A

The third session of “SCRUM training” was interesting. The group was more vocal and participative. It seems that the first hurdle of breaking the ice has been done.

However, it also seems that it will take longer to induce the concepts of SCRUM in the teams and also make them work on these principles. Most of the group seems quite skeptical if something will come out of it at all.

Another of the key problems which seems to be confusing them is how to handle the clients and about clients changing their requests at last minute. As if on cue because this session was about “The team and the Product Owner”. We discussed how the team and clients have drifted apart and how efficient client management is part of a successful project management. It was discussed that the product owner should be asked to prioritize the backlog so that he/ she can maximize the returns on investments. This way the team would also be thinking of Product Owners priority while selecting their sprint backlogs. There were examples showcased to illustrate how every successful project needs a Technical and Marketing leadership. The marketing angle of the project seems to have been a new discovery for most participants. We discussed how ruthless prioritization and leaving anything which can wait out of your horizon helps construct the sprint backlog. Hence, the key idea is to focus on right now.

The team should discuss and revise plans every sprint and take product owner into confidence. The team should also take care that the product owner can maximize the productivity – and team should appear [and also actually do this] as if they are helping the product owner do this. In the same session, a simple product backlog and sprint backlog were also prepared. It seems we need another session on how to construct product backlog and sprint backlog because the teams were taking time to figure out how to place requirements on product and sprint backlog. We can possibly do this next week – we will review some techniques like refactoring, unit testing, emergent design and rapid development. Let’s see if after this the team can come up with a better backlog of items.

In the same session, a brief discussion on how to work with the teams was also held. Motivation and self-discipline – two key principles and pre-requisites of a SCRUM team seem not so easy to achieve after all. It would be interesting to explore on what can we do about this.

Unfortunately, the feedback results for this session have not been compiled as of now – of participant’s thoughts on SCRUM so far. I will put them online as soon as I have them.

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