Mar 6, 2020
This week on the podcast, Dan Neumann is joined by Ryan Ripley! Ryan is a Professional Scrum Trainer, the host of the Agile for Humans podcast, and the co-author of the new book, Fixing Your Scrum: Practical Solutions to Common Scrum Problems.
Together, Dan and Ryan dig into his new book to uncover some of these common Scrum problems that hold back teams and what a Scrum Master can do to find them and help their teams get back on the path to delivery. Fixing Your Scrum is all about the steps you can take as a Scrum Master to transform your Scrum practices, bring life back to your Scrum events, and use Scrum as a competitive advantage for your organization.
Tune into this episode to hear all of Ryan’s insights and highly practical (and actionable) tips regarding the Scrum framework!
What does Fixing Your Scrum set out to accomplish? What does it cover?
Helps Scrum teams inspect and adapt the way they’re working and to discover ways that they can improve
Aims to help Scrum teams solve common problems
Focuses on practicality and actionable steps; it’s not another theoretical tome
It’s not about defining agility but rather how to use the Scrum framework to position your teams to have a shot at agility
The book provides ideas and structures; it’s not super prescriptive (i.e. Ryan and Todd take a consulting approach rather than a “thou shalt do this…” approach)
Aims to provoke discovery with suggestions
It is aimed at the Scrum Master to hone their craft
What is the 15% solution approach?
The approach emphasizes not getting overwhelmed with the big things but rather to move the needle a little bit in the direction you want to go
It’s about discovering what your next step is (that could lead to something impactful) instead of trying to plan out the next thousand steps which are going to change as you get feedback, anyway
Diminishing the Scrum Master to an administrative role (they’re supposed to have an impact on the way that the teams are using Scrum and how the organization is using agility)
A commitment to deliver on a specific set of product backlog items in a sprint (there should be a sprint goal that you hold sacred rather than a commitment to a bunch of backlog items)
Change, change, change all at once (changes need time to bake in to ensure that they’re effective)
Teams that are a group of loosely associated people rather than a truly collaborative group working together
Important notes about the Product Owner role and the product backlog:
There’s a misconception about the product backlog that it just needs to be posted somewhere to be transparent, but transparency means whole-team understanding (which requires refinement, continual collaboration, and whole-team discussions)
Go beyond visibility by making sure the product backlog is fully understood by the whole team (by continually refining, enhancing, and sharing your understanding of the product)
The product backlog should represent the future vision of the product
Ruthlessly delete old/unnecessary product backlog items (product backlog items shouldn’t be treated like inventory so don’t be afraid to delete [if it’s a good idea it will come back])
Shift the language around the product backlog — it’s more of a forecast; not a commitment
The importance of implementing Scrum values:
Scrum values change behavior
Without them, every practice that Fixing Your Scrum recommends becomes rote
By bringing Scrum values in, you’re honoring the human side of the work
If you bring them forward correctly, it brings life to the framework
When the values are present, agility becomes possible
Mentioned in this Episode:
Ryan Ripley’s Book Pick:
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