Problems with Scrum?

Problem
Is your company cannibalising itself over how to apply Scrum?
Is everyone in your company trying to out-master each other at Scrum by sending links they found on google back and forward?

About the guy who’s article you are about to read to get some insight:
I am a professional Scrum master and product owner certified agile practitioner of almost 20 years. Project, program, portfolio and PMO manager for large and small companies. Certified PMP, and expert at Jira, MS Project, project online and jira portfolio usage. Above all, an expert in streamlining company processes so that they can focus on productivity and making money.

Solution
The solution is simple. Forget Scrum.
Start fresh, like from the beginning.

Go throw the following points in the checklist to help you determine how to set up the agile circuit that makes sense for your organisation.

Steps 

  1. Forget the context tools. Don’t try to set your work flows and processes based on the organisation / collaboration tool that you have at hand: (Jira, trello, asana, project online, excel, pivotal tracker, etc). Think of what the process should be, first on paper, then focus on setting up the tool(s) that facilitate that process, not the other way around
  2. Forget Scrum, kanban, SixSigma, PMI, prince2, ITIL, forget them all and the indoctrination that comes with them. We will use the parts of each that best apply to our business, and we will do so in a non-fanatical way. No more arguments about how scrum is applied,  how PMI is applied, how this or that is applied, fresh cut.
    It is very sad to me to see companies turn these project management frameworks into religious / political fanaticism.
  3. Forget trying to get this circuit perfectly right the first time. There is no such thing. Just allow for a process that allows the circuit to “self heal”, when ever a gap is identified. This can be easily achieved with a clear, inclusive and regular process of change management to the circuit.
  4. List the types of works that your team(s) do.
  5. List the workflows for each one of those types of work
  6. List the actors involved in this circuit. Who can do what? What work type can they process and in which workflow step?
  7. List the things that are working on your circuit and the things that aren’t. Keep the ones that do
  8. Now let’s look at Scrum. Does a 2-4 week iteration make sense for your team(s)? is it dynamic enough? Are there too many interruptions to the planned sprints? Is it almost impossible for teams to complete their burn down charts, even when they have been using scrum for months or years? Maybe your team needs to drop Scrum and move to Kanban.
    Analyse which of the Scrum ceremonies is actually adding value to your team(s) and keep the ceremonies under Kanban. No one says you can’t do it.
  9. Draw your circuit on paper in the form of boards per focus area. Each board focuses on an specific group of people that will do an specific work on those work pieces at that stage. These boards will have the columns or states that make sense at that stage. You can draw this circuit to be a continuous workflow so that when a ticket is in a certain state, it is only available to a certain board / group of people. Some states will be available in more than one board to maintain the continuity of the work flow.
  10. Go over the circuit with the groups of people at each stage. Avoid making a huge forum with people from all stages in one meeting. It will drive everyone nuts. If all groups agree on their respective stage flow, you have a winning formula.
  11. Set limits of work packages and time caps that each step should take at any one time. This helps set the proper expectations and measure weaknesses or areas of improvements on the circuit.
  12. Check out your project management context tool and see if it supports this new flow. We always recommend Jira because it is the tool that allows for more interesting configurations. Determine if the tool you have is the tool for your new circuit. If it is not, see another tool that can do it. This is a place where most people need professional help or expertise in the context tool.
  13. Implement your new circuit on the context tool
  14. Give training to all parties in the circuit. Create easily accesible SOP (Standard operating procedures) documents that everyone can access, create frequently asked questions and troubleshooting repositories that everyone in the circuit can access and contribute to. Add any and all means for information on the circuit to be always available and be easily consumed by all parties in the circuit.
  15. Setup an auditing SOP and designate roles and responsibilities for this circuit, including the role of guardians of the circuit, auditing, change control board, etc.
  16. Migrate data from old context to new
  17. Kickoff the new circuit.

Without a proper way of working, it is a certainty that your company will be underusing the capacity of its resources, that it will be delivering at lesser quality, that it will be wasting time and money and not having a proper work environment where the resources can show their true potential.

We are passionate about helping companies achieve their maximum potential. This is why we write as many free articles as we can, to help out on the most common problems company face.

If companies do not want to spend time on this and would rather externalise the streamlining of their processes. we either offer our services, or refer them to other companies that might be able to do the job better than us, for example in very specialised areas.

Hope this helped

 

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