Scrum is a framework with a series of pillars, roles, and ceremonies. Here we cover 5 vital characteristics that will help you succeed with your projects.
Beyond the type of methodology followed by the project that you are participating in or the role you play in it, there is room to adopt some ideas that will undoubtedly enhance the work done by the team, thereby increasing the final value of the product.
Many times, it is not possible for us to choose the methodology we would like to carry out in our projects. Without going into the different causes, we can at least suggest small practices to improve the work environment, leading to an increase in productivity and tangible results in the short term.
Scrum is a framework with a series of pillars, roles, and ceremonies, but in this article, we are going to focus on 5 characteristics that we would all like to have in our projects. It is never a bad time to reflect and take steps to improve.
Would you invest 15 minutes a day if you were assured that the team would be in sync, any type of blockage would be resolved, and the status of short-term commitments would be reviewed? Surely this is a price we are all willing to pay for as little as 15 minutes per day. The benefits of this often undervalued, overlooked meeting are substantial. The team will listen attentively to what their colleagues have to say and will be able to organize themselves in the best way to meet the objectives. In turn, it increases peer-to-peer trust by giving the whole team a chance to be together and observe how the others are doing. It ensures that everyone is focused on the same goal. Even if there are a few minutes to spare, it is a good idea to use them, as long as it occurs naturally, for a “coffee chat”. Getting to know your colleagues personally transforms people by generating empathy.
All these small actions will undeniably have a positive effect on information transparency, self-determination, and empowerment of the team, as well as on the evolution of the product — with only 15 minutes a day.
CONSTANT COMMUNICATION WITH STAKEHOLDERS
What could be better than getting quick and early feedback on the work we are doing directly from key stakeholders? The time interval can be flexible and adapted to the particular needs of the project, but periodically having a meeting where you can show the progress and have a conversation with the stakeholders of the project will certainly increase the chances of success. In addition to getting to know them and both parties understanding the way they think and how they carry out their tasks and the business, what is achieved is enriching the work backlog and generating unity. Some of the challenges we will face in this type of meeting is the presence of stakeholders and their attention. This is where the planning of what you want to show plays a fundamental role. It will depend a lot on the context. There is no rule that covers all cases, but it is still worth the time and effort with all the benefits it can bring us.
REAL PERCEPTION OF VALUE ITERATION BY ITERATION
Having short goals where value is delivered to the customer makes the customer happy and makes them notice above all that there are people behind the product who care about making it evolve.
Having the customer at the center of our thoughts will make it so that everything we do is always prioritized with them in mind. We proactively push ourselves to listen to their comments, thus giving us one more source of constructive feedback. Ideally, throughout the lifecycle of the project, we will involve the client, and when we observe that their wishes are actively reflected in the ongoing development, it will result in a harmony that benefits all involved.
We all want to work in a pleasant environment, and the best way to achieve this is to generate change from within. A single hour every few weeks to do an analysis of what happened in the last interval, to think about how to improve, and to see how the team is evolving and improving generates many benefits. The key is to be able to create a safe space where everyone can and will share their opinions without it leading to catharsis or blame. A well-conducted Retro ensures incredible motivation in the team, strengthens cohesion, and leads to personal and group satisfaction. There is nothing nicer than to be listened to, to think together how to improve, to see that things are actually accomplished, and to perceive how one helped the change. There are many techniques for different types of situations and some will definitely suit your reality.
QUICK REACTION AND FLEXIBILITY IN THE FACE OF CHANGE
Not everything is rosy; unforeseen events can happen in the project and context where we work. Faced with these types of issues, you should not go crazy or rush out to plug holes. It is advisable to stop and think about how urgent the change is compared to other issues that may be in progress or compromised. Proactively accept that there will be changes and be prepared to address them, always keeping everyone involved informed. No one likes surprises, and transparency is one of the pillars that Scrum encourages. It is clear that change is not free, and it may be necessary to educate everyone involved about this. We irrefutably want to and will demonstrate that we are open to address it because if we are really willing to pay the price, it is because it is worth it.
If you are not using Scrum in your project, now is a good opportunity to take a few minutes and think if this is a change that can enhance your work. Maybe there is no need to follow it to the letter, but there is a need to adopt some practices that can generate benefits.
On the other hand, if your project is already applying it, it never hurts to take the time to reflect on whether there are things that can be improved. Often, things are done in such a way because they have been done that way for a long time but without really understanding the reason.
Whatever situation you find yourself in, introspection, learning, and improving on past mistakes is always a good idea.
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