You may have just returned from an internal meeting where you were given some new orders to “go agile” with your team or group.
You may be responsible for leading an agency (or a professional services team) within your organization to “go agile.”
Your team is responsible to #deliver “using agile” or “using scrum” (This last posting may also help — “Holy CRAP I have to do THIS???”)
Now. The pressure is on for you to do this TODAY.
Your boss — or some other stakeholder — is demanding results. Lucky you!
Do you feel a bit out of control or caught between a rock and a hard place?
Are you STUCK?
Here’s the secret:
You CAN enable the team to run in an agile manner using Scrum (or something like it).
It’s pretty easy actually. In real life, “easy” is anything BUT that (you know there is no Silver Bullet).
Let me help you. Let’s talk.
Here are TEN FREE STEPS to start on your own:
I have this sinking feeling you may want to do this with all your teams and clients across the organization. You want to jump in and scale this agile stuff in a big way and just GO FOR IT.
This is not time for you to panic. This is not the time for you to make a career-limiting-move.
Go for a run to clear your head and listen to the FREE Audio Book of the Scrum Guide.
Here is what you can do.
Identify your most important (valuable?) client today.
Think about the pareto principle (80/20 rule).
You DO have those very valuable 20% of customers who DO provide you with 80% of your success.
Focus on them and use Scrum to #deliver with them.
Actually. Start with just ONE client (or customer).
Yes. This means you will have to say NO to a lot of people.
Remember that 80% of your current clients are keeping you up at night on wasteful non-value-added crap. You may piss them off by saying NO; however, they are probably already pissed off at you and the cost of switching is either too high or they do not really feel enough pain and love blaming someone anyway.
They are not your problem. If you are bleeding now, this is not the time to keep doing whatever it was that you were doing in the past.
Have a real face-to-face conversation with your customer (or client) about playing the role of “Product Owner” for the ONE Scrum Team.
This is a HUGE commitment. Amazing things happen when you ask. I’ve seen it done and have helped others do this. What seems unreasonable today really can happen when you Focus and #deliver together.
Dedicate a team of 5-9 people that can #deliver with your Product Owner on this Scrum Team.
Identify someone to play to role of the ScrumMaster; this person should have real world experience and failures someone else has paid them to make!
Watch the magic happen.
Create an initial Product Backlog together as a Scrum Team. This should be based on the highest value project with a clear vision of the WHY effectively communicated by the Product Owner.
Don’t worry about estimating at this point. Read up on the topic of #noEstimates and learn to Focus and #deliver together… as a real team.
The Product Owner can prioritize the Product Backlog items however they feel is necessary. Use Story Boarding or other ways to tease out the REAL value to your end users. Oh… and do this quickly (think hours or two days MAX because there is no such thing as a “Sprint Zero”).
The Scrum Team can then plan their first Sprint using the Scrum Master as the facilitator. The Development Team can figure out what to commit to (or forecast) for this Sprint (or Iteration).
Here’s the thing… they will be wrong. It’s OK. Focus and #deliver SOMETHING. The weather forecast is rarely right in the real world… but we learn to adjust real life to the real weather conditions as we learn more together.
Have a daily stand-up meeting each day for a short iteration (how about one week to get started!?!?!).
Allow for the team to coordinate on the Sprint Goal and meeting the Definition of Done for the Sprint.
Do the work. Daily. This is where the miracles can happen and will evolve over time as your dedicated team becomes high performing [did I mention this will take time]?
At the end of the Sprint, host a Sprint Review. Demo your Potentially Shippable Software — or Product Increment — together as a Scrum Team. Have your Product Owner stand up and proudly show what the team was able to actually #deliver.
Gather feedback from your key stakeholders, project sponsors, and perhaps even you real world customers (or end users!).
Gather your team for a Sprint Retrospective.
Learn together about what can improved in the next Sprint.
The proverbial shit will probably hit the fan.
Bad things WILL happen.
This is totally normal.
As time takes time, the team DOES #deliver something.
Remember: Delivering the wrong thing TODAY is better than delivering the wrong thing months — or years — from now.
This is all good.
I can help.