Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Scrum Transformation: How Transparency Is Offered

I was having a conversation with a good friend of mine over "transparency" and the effect of Social Media. It amazes me how the new generation so easily communicate their day to day activities and how they feel with no fear. With the help of technology they are a generation of openness.
Yet organizations have not caught on to this. To transition to scrum you need a dedication and commitment to transparency. It is not only one of the five scrum values, it is crucial to the success of any transformation. With openness there is trust. Without trust your project is doomed to chaos and potentially fail. In scrum, transparency is offered through the scrum ceremonies. Let's walk through these.
Sprint Planning:
In sprint planning the team and product owner work together in determining what work will get pulled into the sprint. The team should openly communicate when a story is too large or not ready to pull into the sprint. Design approach is established, tasks are openly defined. The team communicates what they plan to deliver. They also communicate what criteria defines done for them.
Daily Stand Up:
The stand up is yet another opportunity for transparency. It is all about sharing information and identifying dependencies. The team should discuss how and what they plan on doing that day. This is all about communicating the plan of the day and what blockers or impediments the team has crossed. The power of the stand up is often under estimated. Many new teams feel it is unnecessary, not really understanding the value it offers.
Demo (Review):
The demo is held at the end of each sprint and facilitated by the product owner or scrum master. It is all about showing the product owner, stakeholders, and or sponsors the work that was completed. The team shares the work that was committed, the challenges over come and listens for feed back. Sponsors, stakeholders, and or product owners provide open feed back to the team. It is important to understand this ceremony is an exchange, and not an opportunity to thrash the team or hide behind requirements. It should have a cooperative and friendly feel.
The retrospective is an opportunity for the team to openly discuss what went wrong, and how they can improve. It is a tool to review and improve the dynamics and processes of the team. This is another ceremony not used properly and sometimes not performed. If used correctly it should motivate and help solidify the team.

By Leonor Urena

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