Monday, March 22, 2010

Additional Value from the Scrum course

In the prior post, I spoke of a simple way of measuring the value of a scrum course. And the real subtext was: You must measure velocity (productivity) and you must increase velocity dramatically. (And, oh, by the way, a course might help you do that.)

But aside from velocity, does the CSM course provide other values?

I think yes.

So, what might they be? I would be very interested to hear how you would put this (or these).

X has already mentioned that it bring a common terminology. This is very helpful. In many ways, and to many different people.

I have heard a senior manager say: "If they only thing I get is greater visibility into where we are, that's plenty. I don't have to have anything else get better." And while the Scrum course won't guarantee that, one of the main benefits of Scrum is that, if you do it right, everyone gets greater visibility. [Now, we are concerned that some managers will meddle more, in a hurtful way, if they get greater visibility, but almost always the meddling goes down some, at least.]

People work less in isolation. I think this is a big improvement. It is a more humane way of working, in this way. Less lonely.

Teams are held accountable for something important, rather than an individual being held accountable for something fairly unimportant and outside his/her control. This is, in general, a big improvement. There are issues, and there are ways that Scrum still holds (appropriately, I think) individuals accountable, so this needs further discussion, but in general, a clear improvement.

More fun. Scrum says that the team must be having fun (well, mostly fun) or its not being done right. And, if it is done with "right" limits, it is always more fun (or so I have found). To me, this is a value on its own.

More focus on impediments. The PMI folks might argue that we always were working impediments, and of course in some sense this is true. But Scrum brings a lot more rigor and effective action and focus on the top impediment, one at a time. Everyone can contribute, the team can identify and prioritize them and devise a plan to remove each one. Even if we don't measure velocity, this is a big value add in many ways (eg, more satisfying and less painful way to work).

So, that's a start. Hardly a complete list of the value. But a start.
You could say that these start to explain how Scrum "magically" leads to greater velocity and a higher delivery of Business Value.

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