Tips for Better Scrum Management
Scrum makes life easier for project managers who want to get the job done as efficient as possible. However, there are more tips that can be applied to make the framework run smoother.
What is Scrum?
Scrum is the most popular Agile framework out there designed to take on complex projects. Initially, scrum was created with software development in mind. It is now being used in any industry that can make use of the framework.
History of Scrum
Dr. Jeff Sutherland is one of the great minds behind the Scrum software development process. He is also one of the many responsible for the Agile Manifesto published in 2001. The term scrum was taken by Dr. Sutherland in a 1986 study that used the word to compare Rugby teams that perform well.
What Does Scrum Do?
Huge and complex projects can basically be broken down into smaller fragments. Team members are then assigned to each of the smaller tasks that are required to be finished in weekly or monthly sprints.
By chomping down on the project requirements little by little, Scrum assures that there is progress. The cycle of Scrum is repeated until all features or all goals have been achieved by the team.
How to Scrum?
One should be designated as the ScrumMaster. This is often the project manager since they will be overseeing the scope of the work. Being ScrumMaster is not an exemption in doing tasks for the project itself.
The ScrumMaster makes sure that the team members report everyday through the daily Scrum meeting. In this meeting, each one reports what they did the day before and what their tasks are for the current day. Any concerns or blockers are also discussed as to keep the project moving. This way, the progress can be clearly seen and any potential problems can be mitigated immediately.
Scrum notes are also a common requirement for those using the framework. The notes can serve as a guide and a checklist for the ScrumMaster every sprint.
Tips for Better Scrum
One of the common mistakes for teams that want to try out Scrum for the betterment of their project is that they just try. Some teams get tired of the daily standups and notes after a few days or weeks.
Everyone, especially the project manager, should be committed in doing the Scrum Agile framework for their project. Standups should be done every day as to keep everyone in check.
Another common error is team members claiming that their task is “done” even if only an aspect was truly finished. The ScrumMaster should set a clear definition of what constitutes a finished task.
This helps avoid tasks that are half-baked and prevents team members from being complacent just because they have “finished” more tasks than the others. The ScrumMaster should be firm in checking whether the tasks are really done.
The ScrumMaster should know each one in the team. He/she should be knowledgeable about their strengths and weaknesses especially when assigning tasks. This is besides the basic information about their role specializations and credentials.
By having a good grasp of who can handle what in a team, the ScrumMaster will be able to lead better in the completion of the project. It will also help avoid any mismatches in the compatibility of the tasks and requirements with regards to the skillsets and capabilities.
Everyone should keep an open line of communication with each other regardless of whether there are offshore teams or not. If there are problems, they should immediately be raised.
Updates can also be reported outside of the daily Scrum meeting. Team members can use communication apps such as Slack, Skype, or even Telegram to send and receive messages faster. Face to face conversations are still preferred, but they can be distracting if done too much. Emails are also a good alternative for those who are working with others outside the office or department.
At the beginning of the day, the ScrumMaster’s job is to make sure that everybody’s goals are aligned and that deadlines are met. The bottomline should be the shippable product or service with as less bugs as possible.