Today and tomorrow I live and breathe the world of Scrum, a framework for getting valuable things done in a creative workplace. The Hotel Fira Palace in Barcelona is hosting a worldwide gathering of the Scrum Alliance, 330 people from over 25 countries dedicated to sharing tools, information and examples of success using the management framework.
Scrum is most often applied to software development projects, but can be used to manage any type of team-based project. As a storycraft consultant, I use Scrum with most of my clients to manage deliverables. Compared to the options for managing workflow in other ways, I find consistent validation within Scrum that we are creating high business value quickly. This makes me want to use it as much as possible. Here’s why, more specifically:
Transparency: The Scrum framework makes it automatically visible, not just to the main point person I’m working with but to the whole company that hires me, what we are working on together and how it solves problems and creates value.
Velocity: During September, a new client and I collaborated on business proposals and letters of inquiry for new sources of funding. At the end of a ten-day sprint, based on what was delivered, the client’s feedback was: “Wow…phenomenal!” As a consultant it feels great to accomplish a lot in just a little bit of time, especially when it motivates the client to want to set up three more months of sprint-cycles and releases!
Focus: Every workplace has a host of competing priorities. Scrum keeps stakeholders and problem-solvers in the same conversation. This helps everyone understand what is being accomplished and why it’s important.
Solutions that Work: Individuals, teams and organizations learn to recognize when a chunk of value has been delivered because, quite simply, it works. A deliverable is “done” when it works to satisfy a client’s problem. This may take several iterations.
Perfect as a Verb: Scrum allows teams – and in my case the “team” is the consultant plus the client – to constantly perfect both the quality of what we produce and the process of how it gets delivered. We do this through retrospectives and adaptive planning.
If you are curious to learn more about Scrum, go to scrumalliance.org. Or…to Barcelona! (Las Vegas….Paris….Berlin…..)