You may be familiar with the concept of Agile project management, and Scrum as a keyword meaning “Dynamic, adaptive team work for the modern workplace”. From my experience, Scrum can range from a well-oiled machine where all parts work in tandem to something resembling a horse-drawn carriage with a few Scrum fanatics dragging everyone else along behind them. If the second analogy feels more familiar, this is the post for you.
The Scrum Lord/Master/Benevolent One is in charge of keeping everything Agile related, on track. They don’t necessarily have to be a project manager or team leader, but it does help. As you’re the one reading this post, that means you’re probably the Scrum Lord, and you should own it! Eventually, all the members in the team will hold their own, but until then you’ll have to step in to keep things going smoothly. ‘Ok, so how do I do that?’ I hear you ask. Well, it’s best done by being knowledgeable about the Scrum process and being available to answer questions, so now’s the time to buff up.
Teams coming from different project management techniques often resist Scrum quite fiercely. “Everything worked fine before, why change?” but stay strong. If you aren’t in charge of the workflow, get those who are on board.
It might be tempting to pull the proverbial band-aid off and hit your team hard with the full whack of Scrum, but sometimes a softer approach is the way to make a big impact on your organisation. Find parts of the Scrum flow that fit in with your current process and implement them. Try bite-size chunks like getting people used to tracking their tasks on a Scrum board, have short meetings to discuss everyone's tasks for the day or even get people to estimate the amount of time a task is going to take when you give them their tasks.
There are so many facets to Agile, but as long as you stick to the essentials, you’ll start to see the benefits quickly and bag some easy wins.
Regular Standups: Best results vary on your organization, try 1 minute per person daily in the morning and tweak as you go.
Research Time: This is an important one and often missed, make sure people have time to prep to get the most out of your standups.
A Scrum Board: A visual overview of what’s going on is immeasurably useful in any industry. Running out of space? Try taking your board online with a tool like Trello.