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Agile Rookie: Making your Scrum work

„Scrum Masters, please don‘t touch the task board. It (and the items on it) do not belong to you.“ – Michele Sliger

 

Let’s make it clear – doing your job efficiently in turbulent times is really challenging, right? But, Agile is the new normal. And that’s the main fact. Being aware of the significance of Agile for every company, project or team is priceless.

Actually, getting out of your comfort zone is the best way to feel great about things that are good for you. More and more companies are using Scrum as the most beloved Agile framework. But, most of them are using Scrum not so well or in inefficient ways. Some researches show that many companies claim that Scrum isn’t for them (not because they’re not adequate for Agile) but mainly because some other frameworks work better. The context for an Agile Mindset has changed a lot. Really a lot. We can distinguish the development of Agile in the past, then how it really works in present after defining of Agile Manifesto and what are predictions for the future. You can see that the changes are inevitable and these changes are recommended and in the spirit of Agile mindset.

In the previous articles about Scrum and its interesting (and very attractive) facts we find out that this framework is nowadays extremely popular with lots of advantages. As we said, Scrum is the most beloved Agile framework.

 

Making your Scrum work? How’s that?

 

Scrum implies an equation – a framework that helps the team to work together. While Scrum is most frequently used by software development teams, its lessons can be applied to all kinds of teamwork. This is one of the reasons scrum is so popular. Often thought of as an Agile project management framework, scrum describes a set of meetings, tools, and roles that work in concert to help teams structure and manage their work.

 

#1 Scrum consists of three roles

 

1a) Scrum Master is a servant leader, someone who is responsible for the process, setting up the team, sprint meeting and removes obstacles;

1b) Product Owner is responsible for Product and all of its aspects. He/she creates product backlog, prioritizes the backlog and is responsible for the delivery of the functionality at each iteration;

1c) Scrum Team consists of different vocations and manages and organizes the work to complete the sprint. That’s why they called self-organizing teams.

 

#2 And how about Scrum Practices?

 

They are equally important for each Role. So, we have Sprint planning, Sprint, Daily Standup Meeting, Sprint Review Meeting and Sprint Retrospective Meeting. Each of them is crucial for understanding how the team works and was the sprint successful. But, a very meaningful event is…

 

 

 

 

 

#3 Daily Standup Meeting

 

The Daily Scrum is a 15-minute meeting/event of the Scrum team. This meeting’s flavor is unique to each team, and there are three simple questions to generate structure:

  • What did I work on yesterday?
  • What am I working on today?
  • What issues are blocking me and how do I work despite them?

This ceremony is quite useful in order to inform your teamsters how they can help you to finish tasks and sprint successful.

 

#4 But, the process flow is everything

 

So, that’s why each part of the Scrum framework is necessary. Each iteration in Scrum is called Sprint. Because of that, we have a Product Backlog as a list where all details are entered in order to get a proper product. Team works as a cross-functional, checking their activities on Daily Standup and delivers Product at the end of the Sprint.


 

In the end, Agile is a colorful umbrella with so many valuable frameworks. Which one do you choose? We wanted to offer you some great options and hopefully, you’ll find them helpful. Just tell us how can we assist you in this process and the rest is going to be fantastic! And, don’t forget to follow our Agile & THE Frameworks training in order to learn from the best about this business mindset.

 

Go for it, Agile Rookies!

This article is inspired and published on www.guru99.com and  www.atlassian.com blogs. Thank you for your inspiration and guidelines. 

Agile Rookie: Agile… why not?

„There is a way to do it better – find it!“ – Albert Einstein

 

Let’s make it clear – doing your job efficiently in turbulent times is really challenging, right? But, Agile is the new normal. And that’s the main fact. Being aware of the significance of Agile for every company, project or team is priceless.

Actually, getting out of your comfort zone is the best way to feel great about things that are good for you. More and more companies are using Scrum as the most beloved Agile framework. But, most of them are using Scrum not so well or in inefficient ways. Some researches show that many companies claim that Scrum isn’t for them (not because they’re not predestined for Agile) but mainly some other frameworks work better. The context for an Agile Mindset has changed a lot. Really a lot. We can distinguish the development of Agile in the past, then how it really works in present after defining of Agile Manifesto and what are predictions for the future. You can see that changes are inevitable and those changes are recommended and in the spirit of Agile mindset.

 

Agile… why not?

 

For all Agile Rookies we have an important message – don’t be afraid. Everything is going to be fantastic. So, we wanna give you some fantastic reasons why Agile mindset is the best solution for your company, organization, project and team:

 

#1 Agile increases satisfaction, for everyone – employees, employers and stakeholders

 

During the Agile development process, all parties are involved – employees, employers and stakeholders. All of them have significant roles. Employees – in taking and making decisions. Employers – in providing trust and support to the team. Stakeholders (users, customers) are giving valuable feedback.

 

#2 Agile reduces costs… significantly

 

Maybe one of the most significant benefits of Agility to a business is that the Agile processes can reduce costs. It does this in a variety of ways, some of which will be reasons for using Agile in their own way, but specifically Agile allows clients, customers and Product Owners to get exactly what they want.

 

 

 

#3 Agile saves money… a lot

 

By lowering risk, involving stakeholders and having faster time to market — businesses save money by building the right product rather than basing development on assumptions. The team is productive and they feel completely engaged in the process.

 

#4 Agile allows efficiency and innovations

 

And it does that on so many efficient levels. Agile is creative; it encourages free-thinking. By freeing teams from pre-determined set tasks that could take months – often asking them to work continuous overtime in order to achieve them – you allow room for innovation. A sustainable development environment through Agile approaches encourages collaboration.

 

#5 Agile allows faster time to market

 

Agile frameworks emphasize the value of the Product/Service at the market. Mainly, the Agile framework emphasizes working in short iterations. Each iteration ends in a potentially shippable product increment, which affords a business the ability to incrementally release.


 

In the end, Agile is a colorful umbrella with so many valuable frameworks. Which one do you choose? We wanna give you some great options and here you can see them. Just tell us how can we assist you in this process and the rest is going to be fantastic! And, did you hear about Agile & THE Frameworks Training

 

Go for it, Agile Rookies!

 

This article is inspired and published on TheScrumMaster.co.uk and Celerity.com blogs. Thank you for your inspiration and guidelines.

Did you ever think of these unusual things in Scrum?

„If you focus on the strength of the team, you will begin to find work as a positive challenge.“ – Salil Jha

 

Imagine this situation: you came to the office and started your working day. Tasks are coming, meetings are (in most cases) boring, you have a weekly or monthly schedule and reports, but still something is missing.

Having Scrum in your organization is a fresh and currently a very interesting change. Or you don’t think that? But, if your organization finds a lot of benefits of the Scrum, you’ll be definitely surprised by these interesting facts about Scrum:

 

 

#1 Why standups? Really standing or…?

 

Someone would say those daily standup meetings are pointless. But, besides the fact you’re standing during this 15-minute meeting, there’s a good reason for that: researches show that standing between people (and in front of Scrum board) increases productivity by 15%. All team members are moving and trying to give their best in order to accomplish the goals.

 

#2 Who is grooming in Scrum?

 

There are hairy things in Scrum, but not with real hair.  😊
Backlog Grooming is an important session where backlog items are reviewed and prioritized by Product Owners, and the rest of the team in order to keep the backlog up-to-date. This step is necessary to ensure that next sprints will contain valuable user stories. Also, by grooming we’re getting a proper Sprint Backlog with important updates and activities.

 

#3 Review and Retrospective, wait what?

 

These meetings can sometimes be painful (not that pain!). They’re similar, but with meaningful differences. Sprint review is a meeting at the end of the Sprint where team members are discussing what they did the best, good or terrible (yeah, terrible). Immediately after the Review comes the Retrospective – the long meeting about what went well and wrong during the Sprint and what can be improved in the next one. And yes – both events are crucial in understanding why Scrum helps teams and organizations across the globe.

 

#4 You’re confused with self-organizing and cross-functional moments?

 

This actually isn’t so confusing because cross-functional teams must be self-organizing during the whole Sprint. Cross-functional teams are group of people from different areas of the company – we have for example specialists in sales, customer care, marketing and IT. On the other hand, self-organizing team doesn’t wait for the managers to organize, identify and manage all tasks that are required. They’re doing that on their own.


And look for these amazing guys, how they handle their Daily meetings:

So tell us: what can you improve while you’re doing Scrum? Are you interested enough in understanding why things are functioning in this way? Higher productivity and higher quality are just small parts of the benefits that this framework includes and we hope that Scrum gives you the best performances for you and your teamsters.

What also makes perfect sense in Scrum?

Importance of Scrum Certification or Scrum training

How much is important for your career in Scrum to have officially recognized certification? What is Scrum Certification? There is no clear definition, but we could say Scrum certification is a course where attendees are groomed to become self-motivated and become keen to accept greater responsibility. The certification serves to prove the credentials of the skills in Scrum terminology, practices, and principles.

Certificates for the main Scrum roles are issued by relevant institutions, such as Scrum Alliance or Scrum.org and others. Only these certificates are recognized internationally, and they are proven records of proper Scrum training and education. Furthermore, they are confirmation of Scrum theory and practice knowledge for the owner of these certificates.

 

Being a part of the Scrum team

Belonging to the Scrum team means to accept self-organization and responsibility. It also means the importance of self-confidence which points to becoming a self-organized individual in one’s life. Scrum certification emphasizes the importance of self-organization which ultimately results in the following:
1. Team participation and a feeling of self-ownership in members;
2. Employees are self-motivated which can lead to improved performance in a team;
3. New environment that is preferable for growth.

Being a part of the self-organized team does not mean that any team member can act in their way. Still the most important within any Scrum team are two roles, Scrum Master and Product Owner. These are the most concerned team members, who take responsibility for the whole team to be always noted and in-line with the common goals. So, what certification means for them?

 

How certification improves the practice

For the beginning, after certification, you will be much more clear about Scrum values and ceremonies. One of the greatest advantages of Scrum certification or Scrum training is that in the execution of Sprint if any of the team members require help for finishing the assigned tasks. Leading roles improve their skills of the regular interaction with the team, which is a must during the Daily Meetings.

There are so many questions about why meetings are so inefficient, they often take more than 15 minutes, Scrum team member fail with following Scrum rules. That’s why it is very important for the main roles to be well trained and to accept all values and principles prescribed by Scrum. The best opportunity to build a basis for successful Scrum in practice is exactly certified Scrum courses.

The core team of Scrum also works very closely with important stakeholders for making changes and better improvements. Experience from the certification helps team members to improve their practices with potential new ideas and approaches. That way the Scrum team can implement required changes and improvements needed, and design the product or service according to the client’s needs.

 

From a Scrum Master’s point of view

A Scrum Master certification proves that you have the necessary skills and practices that companies are looking for in this role. Agile project realization requires a dedicated person who can run and efficiently perform all operations, leading people and processes. That’s why there is an increasing demand for Scrum Masters, especially those outstanding. The certification is a milestone in reaching that level.

There are so many reasons why certification could be helpful in the Scrum Master career. It helps the practitioner to acquire and effectively use Scrum, whether as a beginner, or a professional who has executed Scrum before. Certification expands Scrum knowledge and can help you overcome obstacles. If you’re managing large teams across complex organizations, then even better.

After certification, you can significantly improve team communication and collaboration, motivating and leading team members. Scrum Master makes influence to the Scrum team with its skills helping the team to move away from the phase of storming to successful performing. Earned credentials showcase your team members that you have the experience and skills to lead an Agile team successfully.

Becoming a Certified Scrum Master can significantly expand your career opportunities because it proves that you have an Agile mindset, that is advantageous to your organization. You will enable the right skills needed to contribute to organizational change and fulfilling the business’s goals. The certification will make you more marketable in your field, bringing you more other career benefits regarding higher salary, etc. To be clear, we are speaking about recognized certificates, not about local or limited confirmations.

 

From a Product Owner’s point of view

The Product Owner needs skills such as facilitation, conflict management, creative thinking, and the ability to influence the team and other stakeholders. From a business point of view, the role of the Product Owner is very important and challenging. Certification improves the knowledge and experience in handling teams and pressures of the organization and deadlines for any Product Owner. The same as for the Scrum Master that means that you should have recognized certificate from an accredited institution.

This role is a key stakeholder who is responsible for ensuring that each product feature provides maximum value promptly. Because of some of the responsibilities and competencies of the Product Owner role and their similarity to Business Analysis or Product Manager, many times some of these roles become the Product Owner.

A Product Owner’s task as per the content of Scrum certification is to prioritize as this role represents the voice of the Customer. Certification and training are helpful for the Product Owner and Scrum team to deliver products successfully, working efficiently. The same as optimizing the working process by reaching all business goals and obtaining profit.

Since Agile quickly becoming the standard practice, and the Scrum framework has already become the most popular and widely applied Agile framework worldwide, demand for Product Owners is tremendous. Companies and organizations are looking for the perspective and skilled professionals for this role. For sure and the average salary for a Certified Product Owner shows they are appreciated.

 

Final thoughts – to be or not to be (Certified)?

Even if you don’t know much about Scrum, and you are just about to start using it or you have already started, the certification will help you build a solid base of Scrum knowledge and understand the concepts of Scrum framework. Whether you are an experienced practitioner or in the initial stages of using the Agile approach, and in the process of Agile transformation, the certification will provide you with the important knowledge, set of skills and techniques for practice improvement.

You should develop an Agile mindset if you want to work with the Agile and with Scrum effectively. The Agile mindset is a key factor for the teams to achieve a successful Agile and self-sustaining approach. As a member of the Scrum team, you have to think in an Agile way. That will lead to a decrease in disagreements, more successful projects and better team collaboration.

The certifications will provide you with in-depth practical knowledge to improve all these skills necessary to achieve the mentioned goals. Also, it makes you relevant and marketable in your field, since certification is a sign of honor as well. Certifications will improve your career growth across any organization or industry that engages with Agile, enabling your professional and personal development.

So, are these reasons strong enough for you? If yes, you may ask Agile Serbia team for any information you need, about courses, certification process, etc. Many useful answers you can find here, however, do not hesitate to ask a question, it’s our pleasure to support your Agile growth.