Scrum In Practice

When I first heard about Scrum, I decided to educate myself by reading up on it. But the more I read, the more Scrum seemed to be a deeply intuitive framework based on common sense. I wondered, “Why isn’t everyone working this way?” But I didn’t realize just how big of an impact Scrum could make until I attended a ScrumMaster Certification course and had the chance to simulate the Scrum process firsthand.

Suddenly, what appeared straightforward, even obvious when I read about it became complicated. Working with team members who had different levels of experience with Scrum and conflicting ideas about what direction to take the project (in the simulation, a brochure for Martians visiting Earth) meant that we had to really trust the roles and processes of Scrum to lead the team to success. Which is exactly what we did: The Product Owner communicated her vision and the acceptance criteria sheÂ’d be judging our work by. The team then worked to create a brochure that met those criteria, checking with the Product Owner throughout the simulation to ensure that we were staying on track. In all, we replicated an entire sprint over the course of a few hours.

Interestingly, that experience of seeing how ScrumÂ’s processes and principles play out in a team setting was just as valuable as all the reading I had done. Just through a short, hands-on exercise, I saw how self-organization works, how hard it is for a Product Owner to resist micromanaging, and how two-week sprints force teams to get to work, rather than waste time gathering requirements. It prepared me for real world Scrum by showing me the strengths of the framework and the challenges of teamwork.

To those who have been reading a lot about Scrum, but have never practiced it, I would urge you to consider Scrum training. Not only does it provide a foundation of knowledge about Scrum, but it’ll give you your first taste of actually working within a Scrum paradigm. And that experience — even in simulation — brings Scrum’s exciting potential to life.

Posted under Scrum

This post was written by admin on October 13, 2008

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