May The Force Be With You

 by Marko Majkic in Blog Leave a Comment

Scrum and agile practices are important. They are good for establishing healthy habits and discipline needed for project success.
I am sure that you’ll find them useful, but is there something more there?

On the other hand I’ve seen many teams, putting Scrum practices into work, but still failing. I was thinking about this, talking to people about what they think and feel, gathering all these information to very useful experience, I want to share with you. There can be a lot of reasons why guys with good Scrum practices fail. I will not talk about surface reasons, but instead, I would like to take you to a deep dive path. When talking about how deep something is, I will use Neuro-Logical Levels from Robert Dilts. I won’t get deep into this matter, since it would take too much space and time and I might use it for another article, but I want to explain shortly what it is about.

logical_levels

Seeing this picture we might easily conclude that higher the level of comprehension is, the deeper impact it make. So, when talking about values and beliefs, we are coming to some deep and intimate impact they have in our life, private and business as well. In many articles, impact of company culture and values to individual is described and I want to talk about values impact to software development process and Scrum values impact to Agile/Scrum transition success degree.

As you probably already know, Agile Manifesto defined what we, in Agile world, value and what principles we respect and keep up to. This traced a path to many concrete agile practices, which, further on, brought improvements to many software teams. That’s why Agile Manifesto impacted the software world so hard in extremely positive way. From these values came concrete competences, behaviours and environments which supported and were greatly aligned with these values. Look for a moment at NLN pyramid and you will see that competences, behaviours and environments are manifestations of the implemented values.

With Scrum, more values, which are mirroring Agile values and are fully compatible with them, are introduced. If you can align yourself and your team with these values and all of you truly believe in them, I’m sure that putting Scrum in practice will be much easier for you and for your team.

Acronyms are easier to remember. Besides that I’m great Star Wars fan and I always liked, since my early childhood, Jedi knight greeting each other with “May the Force be with you.” It seemed so noble and positive.

Focus
– Developers are focused on development (technical stuff).
– More developers working together on the same tasks – focus is on getting things done, not on personal agendas.
– Daily Scrums are bringing work and details to the focus.
– Sprint backlog -> we’re focusing on iterative/incremental chunk of product fully developed and deployable.
– PBL refinement -> bringing “closer” user stories to team’s focus
– Sprint planning -> deep focus on detailed technical implementation and even more, splitting to tasks focus even more.
– Sprint retrospective is focusing the team on concrete actions needed to improve.
– Demo – focusing on work delivered and really working features -> valuable feedback from stakeholders
– PO focused on PBL, and bringing valuable user stories to really working state

Openess
– Daily Scrum is open, frenkly sharing of work done and issues met on this path.
– Retrospective – we openly speak about dysfunctions, issues etc.
– PBL and SBL are open to all (permitted) and are subject of change.
– We’re open to all changes, and we openly give arguments pro and cons, openly discussing and accepting neccessary changes.
– Our work is transparent towards our stakeholders and we share what we do on the demos. Also we are accepting all suggestions and ideas, which PO will filter to final user stories.
– PO accepts and discuss ideas about product with the team
– We are reviewing each others code and are accepting suggestions

Respect
– We respect each other in the team. We trust in other team members’ work, we share the code and we’re open to code changes from the others.
– We respect our PO, fully trusting that she made right decision for the product
– PO respects the team and trusts the estimations and the feedback regarding product
– Stakeholders respect the team and the process and not interfering in the development process and leaving the team to develop in peace

Courage
– We have no fear of conflict – we are straight, but stil polite (respect) towards our team members and stakeholders
– We are allowed and encouraged by each other to try the new ideas and there is no fear of fail. The sooner we fail the better for the product.
– We bravely tell if something is wrong with the process, the team, the product or ourselves.
– We have courage to ask for help if needed, since this is better for the product and the team. Getting neccessary help, we learn. Also, we learn helping others.

Engagement (instead of Commitment)
– We do believe in what we do. We believe that we are creating the product of the great importance and which will impact people. We are really engaged in creating and improving great product.
– We are striving towards technical exellence and agile practices are helping us on this path. We are engaged in constant improvement – in technical area as well as in process
– On all our ceremonies, we are engaged and we contribute
– We don’t need commitment and promises. We are honest and we are sincerely engaged. Every day, we are starting our work  with excitement and happiness going through challenges helping each other. We are getting things done, which raises level of engagement for a new work to be done.

Marko MajkicMay The Force Be With You

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