SCRUM Session IV Feedback

The 4th session of SCRUM was a disaster. Out of 8 participants, only 4 turned up. This really disheartned everyone. 2 of those who did not turn up were busy with deadlines [is there a smell that something is wrong], one just forgot [is that a smell too?] and one was busy with his team [a smell of another kind perhaps?] There was a silver lining however. The 4 participants actually spoke at lengt==h about the problems they face and their skepticism that anything would come out of these trainings. All of them wanted to work with this approach in a project and learn by doing. However, they were “afraid” of their project managers. I spoke to them to use tactics and get their project managers on their side. I don’t think they were at all convinced. However, I knew that getting the team to do that would be virtually impossible. I would need to get them to talk to the senior management and get them the confidence that this is the way to go forward. I tried to tell them that there would be no requests in middle of the day to deliver something at the end of the day leaving aside everything else. There would be test cases written before something is built so that the understanding is clear. And importantly, they would work in a team which coordinates and streamlines its work. They were delighted with this and wanted to know how they could get to this stage. We ended the discussion by agreeing that a meeting with the management needs to be organized and the group will present its case for implementing SCRUM and learn by doing.
After this discussion, we focussed on the team and I introduced some key concepts of Agile to the team – regular code check in, unit tests, refactoring and shared code. The team seemed to warm up to these concepts and was beginning to understand what does “done” means. Refactoring in particular was greeted with nods and lots of questions.
From next week, the team would be attending the course from one of our senior project managers who will expose them to the technical issues that we always face and how to identify and solve them. After each session, we will debate how the teams should organize [methods – examples – studies but not manuals] to take care of these issues. I am myself excited about this. It takes the sessions beyond SCRUM training and involves management as well as we will at least start thinking from a SCRUM perspective on some of the issues we face.
The feedback to the two questions this week is below:
1. Please provide your feedback on the session “The Team”, the last of the 4 SCRUM Sessions

2. What next would you like to learn?

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