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Tell the Boss To Get Lost (and Other Scrum Tips)

No doubt companies are still wrestling with implementing Scrum successfully. Many have tried and many have failed. But some have succeeded and you can learn from those who went before you by checking out these recently posted tips:

How I Stole an Office and Fixed our Daily Scrum
Aaron Conoly, a technical writer and Scrum Master, found his team wasn't having productive daily Scrums, so he made some changes that he describes in this Scrum Alliance article. Frst, he moved the meeting time to 9 a.m. "Second, we got rid of the manager. Nothing says 'progress report' more than facing your manager every day and telling them what you've been up to (a whole bunch, I swear!). Instead, I played the Scrum Master card to insist that our manager merely observe … from her office."

Learn the Secrets of Collaboration...From Your Kids
Jason Little, a certified Scrum Master, shared in a recent blog post that he uses penny-flipping games during training exercises and lessons learned from picking up dominos with his kids to show how the team approach facilitates successful projects.

In the penny game, "The goal is to get the pennies facing heads up in 'the product environment' (which is a piece of paper) at the end of the chain," he wrote.

While picking up dominos with his kids, he was surprised to see how this simple chore aligns with Agile project methodology:

"Sounds silly, I know, but the Agile principles were much apparent to me during this clean-up session:

  • all team members understood the goal
  • team members self-organized
  • team members adjusted based on work remaining
  • team members started with highest priority items (as in, we all started with the pile in front of us)
  • we had fun while working! (For those who don't have kids, trying to convince a 3 and 4 year old to clean-up is not really that easy most of the time!)"

Is Your Scrumbut Causing Your Organization to Fail at Scrum?
With Scrum, go all the way or don't go at all, said Misty Faucheux, a self-employed social media specialist, writer and copy writer, in a recent article for Brighthub.com. She warns that going only part-way with Scrum practices can lead to failure.

"This is known as scrumbut, or you implemented scrum in your organization, 'but' you only picked what you wanted to use in the methodology," she wrote. "While scrum should be modified to fit your organization, scrumbut is more than just modification. With scrumbut, only the bare elements of scrum are left. You are more likely doing quasi-scrum rather than having a real scrum methodology."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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