Last night we had wonderful participation for our first Scrum War Stories dinner, with 9 folks from 7 different organizations showing up at West Main. The discussions we had were wide ranging and for me the value was in the interaction with my peers!
The main themes that came up over dinner from my POV were:
Change is hard. People reach a comfort level in their own niche, and don’t see the larger problems challenging the business that they need to change to overcome.
Oldstyle approaches to supervising project teams don’t work. With 3 week Sprints, there isn’t enough time for an outside group to influence the Scrum team. I argued that instead of an outside group supervising/inspecting the Scrum team, they need to merge. They need to be members of the team, or be the Product Owner.
Strong Product Owners are key!
Scott Stults mentioned that the term “Sprint” really is a misnomer, because you aren’t sprinting to a finish line, but instead maintaining a constant pace, that allows time for other things like process improvement, people on vacation, technical development. He proposed the term “Relay”, which I really liked. In a relay, different people handle the baton, and the results aren’t measured on any individuals performance, but the performance of the team as a whole.
Not sure how we get the Scrum world to change from “Sprint” to “Relay”, but I may start trying to use it in everyday speech.
Many thanks to everyone who showed up, and a big thank you to Aaron Buchanan from Inova for cosponsoring the event with me, it wouldn’t have happened without his enthusiasm.