On July 7th the Scrum community gathered in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) for the 5th edition of Scrum Day Europe. This years theme was ‘the next iteration’. Therefore we looked back to see what Scrum brought us the last 20 years, but also looked forward into the future of Scrum. Naturally, the evaluation was done via a retrospective. The goal was to generate insights and define improvements for the Scrum framework from the Scrum community. Every participant contributed and provided input; thereby it proved to be a true community event!
The 5 Retrospective Questions
During the day we asked everyone to answer 5 questions:
- What has proven to be the strength of Scrum the past 20 years?
- What should be the focus of Scrum the upcoming 20 years?
- What of Scrum frustrated you the most so far?
- What connects you to Scrum?
- What is a small improvement that could be added to Scrum?
In a series of blog posts I’ll share the answers we’ve received on these questions. This blog post will be about what connected the participants of Scrum Day Europe to Scrum. I’ll share the outcome of the Retrospective and my personal opinion. Of course I’m also interested in your point of view!
The Reasons People Connect to Scrum
According to the participants, what connects them to Scrum is:
- Scrum works, start finishing! (5)
- Collaboration addiction (5)
- Awesome work atmosphere (3)
- Invite people to continuously improve, one small step at a time (3)
- I personally got the fun back into my working life! (2)
- Decentralized decision-making (2)
- My 21 years of working in waterfall
- Common sense-ity of Scrum
- Living it! Using it on work and personally
- Living it! Dealing with unknows
What Connects me to Scrum?
Inspired by the suggestions made by the participants, I’ll share three reasons that connect me to Scrum.
1. Collaboration Addiction
Scrum is all about collaboration. It’s a framework in which collaboration can flourish. The goal of Scrum is to create ‘done’, usable, valuable and potentially releasable increments. Every Sprint. Due this strong focus on delivering done increments collaboration isn’t optional, it’s necessary! The good news is, a focus on done increments will automatically encourage collaboration. Instead of boring mandatory ‘meetings’, the Scrum events will be embraced as opportunities to collaborate and to inspect the progress and adapt accordingly. To deliver a done increment the Scrum Team really has to combine all their strengths and act as a team. This is challenging. It will stretch people and take them out of there comfort zone. But we all know where the magic happens… That’s what connects me to Scrum. Inviting people to leave their comfort zone and encourage them to discover the possibilities of true collaboration!
2. Scrum works, start finishing!
I once read that what demotivates developers most isn’t working too much. It’s continuously building software without the perspective of shipping it. It’s building software that probably will never see the daylight. Taking this into account, Scrum offers developers the perfect solution. Ideally, software is continuously exposed to daylight. During the Sprint Review the developers (yes, they are present at the Sprint Review!) can inspect the increment together with the customer. They can see the customer using the product they’ve build. They can truly experience the joy or disappointment. Both are valuable outcomes! It’s all about gathering feedback. Feedback that can be used to improve collaboration. Feedback that can be used to improve the increment. Scrum is a framework that enables daylight to dispel the dark clouds that still keep hold of too many workplaces. Let start using Scrum the way it’s intended; jointly deliver done increments and bring daylight and sunshine into the workplace!
3. Living it!
For me, Scrum is not only a framework I use within a work environment. I also use it at home with my family. For example, together with my girlfriend we do a weekly Review & Retrospective on Sunday evening. Combined with a good glass of wine we discuss the previous week and create a plan for the upcoming week. Hereby we try to set some clear goals; what is it that we want to achieve as a family? Sometimes we do a lightweight version of the Review & Retrospective with our 3 kids. This is a conversation during which we discuss what they’ve achieved and could improve. During the week we discuss our progress on daily basis. Life with 3 kids, friends, family and your daily job can be tremendously fun but also stressful. The conversations the Scrum events offer really help set priorities and getting in sync with each other. And yes, we also have a “family backlog” with stuff we want to do; it’s a combination of household tasks & a bucket list. To be clear, we don’t act as the Scrum police at home 🙂 We use the framework to deal with the complexity of life and ensure we’re all having a great time!
This is the 4th blog post about the Scrum Day Europe 2016 Retrospective. In the first blog post I’ve described the strength of Scrum. The second blog post was about the desired focus of Scrum. The third blog post described the frustrations people experienced with Scrum so far. This blog post described what people connect to Scrum. I’ve shared three reasons that connect me to Scrum: the focus on collaboration, enabling daylight into workplaces and improving my family-life. Wow, that’s quite something 🙂
What is it that connects you to Scrum?