Wednesday, July 27, 2011

SCRUM Survival - Need for SCRUM Evangelists

If you are like me who believe SCRUM not only will solve the current project problems but also give a good and sound structure for building a high performance team and you are the first proponents in your team/organization, Read On....

SCRUM way of working requires a "cultural" change. It, hence requires mindset change, belief in common sense that at times are counter intuitive, letting go of control and living always in middle of collaborating and democratizing decision making and importantly needs backing of the entire organization structure to support it.

SCRUM is not a start and stop application. It requires calibration till the "cultural adaptation" meets Agile goals as per the SCRUM framework and enables you to achieve results quickly, with all round satisfaction and happiness.

How do you initiate SCRUM in your organization ? How well and how much do you require to sustain it ? When do you have to push SCRUM mainstream ? How do you address skeptics, fence sitters and passive supporters ? Where does the critical mass lie ? When can a SCRUM implementation move beyond "you" to a culture that you have enabled multiple evangelists?

The series of blog posts seeks to address these burning desires. Some of the points in these posts will show a bias towards my personal thoughts and tribulations in my trial runs by fire with one and only belief that

"SCRUM is a GREAT philosophy to execute WELL-RUN projects"

Part 1: Need for a SCRUM Evangelist:
SCRUM literature does not speak about it. The belief is that roles in SCRUM would be their own evangelists. However in practice, it is important to seek one. Here is a first pitch job description of a SCRUM Evangelist.

1. Must believe and understand the Agile Manifesto. Important to repeat it atleast once a day. Speak about it in meetings when resolving decisions and issues.
2. Must be a signatory to the "declaration of inter-dependence"
3. First should be able to learn to adapt and then to introduce rules. Have seen SCRUM Masters come in and say, we do not need Project Managers. First death knell for any initiative is to remotely associate and introduce insecurity in workplace in taking an initiative.

4. Can demonstrate ability to resist temptations to

4.1 Move back to old ways of working.
4.2 Being dogmatic about SCRUM rules and thereby be inflexible

5. Fearless for loss of job, failure and share success. SCRUM Evangelist must be driven by motive and attempts made with every learning to make SCRUM successful for future benefits.
6. Should be a prolific writer who can identify success stories and propogate them with tying in relationships to SCRUM methodologies through presentations and articles.
7. Make sure to customize SCRUM over and above SCRUM mandated policies. It is required. SCRUM may not answer say the budgetary spends or for that matter, the remaining time to completion vs the time a story is dormant in a queue. (Burndown charts have their own limitation).

8. Should be a person who does not rely on tools and does manual work, if necessary multiple times. Start with available tools (Excel, Paper, Charts, Post Its, etc). Then introduce tools that make more sense to the culture.
9. Must be a person who can think "culture" and not "process"
10. Conduct Retrospectives and document and share learnings across teams.
11. Constantly speak the SCRUM lingo for any reference to make people imbibe the SCRUM way of working.
12. Should be able to build a name-product association with SCRUM. Think Agile, SCRUM, Think "You" the evangelist.

How else have you evangelised and introduced SCRUM in your organization ?

Top Agile Blogs