Wow. What a world we live in.
[Full Disclosure ON]
I have worked with Ken in the past and he has personally given me the “Certified Scrum Trainer“ label. Any references to him in this posting will be in the name of fun, and I hope you (and ummmmm Ken) see the humor in it all. The example used in the cartoon above is one Ken uses in various training and presentation materials on a regular basis. Tony and I took some artistic license on the topic and produced what you see here.
[Ahh shoot… everything I say here is in full disclosure, so I cannot turn it OFF]
Have you ever really wondered how Scrum gets started in an organization? I mean reallllllllllllly….
It is usually one of two ways, and today I will write about one of them…
A Senior Chicken meets someone on a plane or hears about it at a conference.
There. That’s all. Strange?
It is that easy. Wow. The secret is out.
Darn. Kinda anti-climactic, huh?
Well, for those of you looking for more information about what happens after this initial introduction, please read on. For those of you who just want to send the comic strip to your friends, please go for it and thanks for reading this far (let me know who you are emailing about this, I’d love to hear)!
Still with me? Cool. I love the smart ones who stick around. Thanks by the way.
OK… so let’s assume a CxO (for “x” substitute E, I, T, or any other acronym that is used in your organization) gets off the plane after hearing about how this Silver Bullet can help save the organization. Upon return to the office (or maybe while surfing the net in their stretch limo), they google “Scrum Home Page”. The cool thing is now I am on the first page for that search, something the CxO types love (as I am also finding out). O… go back a few sentences… Scrum, as I hope you have learned, is not a Silver Bullet by the way.
After reading some great sound bites on Scrum, the CxO Chicken is now sufficiently buzzword compliant and able to bamboozle his or her peers with this newfound language. In addition to being able to bamboozle peers, the CxO Chicken then starts talking about it at staff meetings with direct reports. Finally, after sometimes eleven “levels” down, some line manager receives a corporate directive that “you will use this Scrum thing” on some projects. Now [some] Line Manager Chicken has done the same thing as CxO chicken (become buzzword compliant).
Usually by now a call goes out to other line manager peers (sometimes outside their own organizations) asking for people to give them leads on people to help. Calls to recruiters — who are most of the time not buzzword compliant and don’t care about even getting there — ensue and sometimes calls come directly to people like me. The different Recruiter Chickens (remember, their “stake” is now tied directly to placing a head, any head sometimes (don’t get me started sigh) look on the web for Scrum and usually finds the same list of “Certified ScrumMasters” online.
Mental note // golden nugget of information included here (this alone is worth the price of this posting!):
… having a label of “Certified ScrumMaster” does not make a person an “expert” at this.
This label means that a person has gone through a two day course (I call it a workshop) and has successfully not been booted out of it (by reading email, pissing people off, or whatever).
Now, of course, this course is important. I teach it and certify people pretty regularly, so I do believe it is a great first step in the journey.
But remember, look out for people preaching that this is a silver bullet or a total Scrum zealot.
Do your due diligence. Talk to people. Stay leery of people I affectionately call “Sales-Holes” (a story for another day).
Contact me for recommendations; I have worked with great and not-so-good ScrumMasters. It truly is a small world.
Now, assume that an experienced external Certified ScrumMaster has been found. Or, as more often happens, some poor schmoe (a PMI-Certified-Project-Manager-Newbie) is sent to a CSM Course. Either way (um, think about what way you’d like to do this!), assume that a Certified ScrumMaster is available to you.
Say this to yourself in your best Yoda voice: “Start not without one, young Jedi.” Do it. Really. In the Yoda voice. Now stop laughing and get back to reading this….
Ig, this is getting kind of long already, and there is so much more to write on this topic.
OK… for now… take a deep breat…. and LISTEN to me as I WRITE this and you READ this…. (did you yawn?)…
DO NOT start five, fifteen, or fifty projects at once. You will cause much pain and Scrum will die on the vine. Trust me.
“But Mike….” some people say to me, “WE are different.”
Of course you are different. Duh. But last I checked, we are all human (and if a non-human is reading this, let me know).
But, LISTEN to me… start with ONE project with your “A” players and start tasting success. The reason for the pilot, and the main reason for any pilot, is to work out the kinks in the process — ANY process.
This is where an experienced Certified ScrumMaster can help.
Because guess what… Scrum has a lot less to do with techno-bla-bla than it does dealing with people. Real people. On a daily basis.
More on that at another time.
November 6, 2006
December 12, 2006