Seven Steps for Starting Scrum

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Is your project taking a long time to get out of the analysis phase? Is there a lack of transparency or an abundance of ambiguity in all moving parts? Is your team having trouble getting the project to deliver results or finding that it is becoming a money pit?

If you considered answering yes to any of these questions, then it might be time to start using Scrum to help your project. Follow these seven tips and you’ll be on your way to Scrum-induced success.

Understand Scrum: Talk about what Scrum is and what the main benefits are of switching from your current framework. Often-cited benefits of Scrum are incremental and continuous delivery, clarity and increased project transparency, and enhanced control. Not to mention that your team morale can increase while project cost decreases

Get a ScrumMaster: Find an experienced ScrumMaster who can help coach the benefits of Scrum and keep the team from falling back into its old habits. Good Scrum coaches are ones who help the team learn, allow members to make mistakes and then help them get better, educate stakeholders, and review the team’s behavior.

Seek outside guidance: Attend a workshop with your team members or reach out to a mentor or industry contact. This will not only give you a better understanding of how Scrum works but also can give you real-life examples. Outside guidance can help you better understand what to expect when adopting Scrum and identify what current habits are out of place with the new model.

Do it daily: Timebox your meetings and start on time. Give transparency by communicating daily what has been done recently, what you plan to do, and what barriers to success you are facing or perceive as impediments for the future.

Create space: Start using the space around you. Scrum can be noisy and visually heavy. Make sure you communicate with other employees what is going on so they are aware of the possible spikes in noise levels. Also, ensure that using walls and other spaces as work-in-progress boards, project boards, and other visual aids isn’t keeping someone else from doing her job.

Bust out the backlog: Keep a visual list of requirements that are being maintained for the project. Examples are features, bug fixes, and anything else that is needed to deliver a viable product. Then have the product owner order the items in the backlog in the sequence in which he wants them delivered.

Stop doing big design up front: You may get the urge to start designing the solution when the project is still in its infant stages. But don’t. Stop it. It’s likely the requirements will change. As analysis, experience, and understanding are gained, the developers and designers will be able to find a design solution that best fits the product.

By following these steps, you will be closer to becoming one with the Scrum. By adopting Scrum elements, you might be able to save a project or improve upon the success of future projects.

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Cameron Philipp-Edmonds

When not working on his theory of time travel, Cameron T. Philipp-Edmonds is writing for TechWell and its community sites. With a background in advertising and marketing, Cameron is partial to the ways that technology can enhance a company's brand equity. In his personal life, Cameron enjoys long walks on the beach, romantic dinners by candlelight, and playing practical jokes on his coworkers.