This is the guide that I wish I could read before starting my Scrum journey.
The long story
When I started my first job, I joined a newly created (and the only) software development team in a small company. I was supposed to be a part-time developer, but soon we realized that our biggest challenge was organizing the team and its processes.
After short consideration, we decided to adopt Scrum (I rather won’t talk about the reasons, as they were not good reasons, but nobody knew that at that point). As a part of this decision, I became a Scrum Master for our team.
Scrum was new for me and for everybody on the team, so we had to learn how to do it ourselves. I read a lot of articles and some books about Scrum and agile (I liked Succeeding with Agile, and even more I liked Agile Estimating and Planning because I saw estimating as one of the biggest challenges). I also had a couple of mentoring sessions with a Scrum Master from a different company (although when I think about it now, she was more Project Manager than Scrum Master).
But still, there was something missing.
I went to a couple of local Scrum meetups, but mostly I felt like the challenges we had were more “low-level” than what was discussed there.
You know, you can read/hear all about the mindset, about how the process should ideally look like, but then you find yourself sitting at your desk asking: “What should I do now? What is the concrete step that I can do to achieve XY?" where XY can be something like “promote and support Scrum as defined in the Scrum Guide” (that’s an actual quote from the Scrum Guide).
Essentially, I was missing a more concrete guide. And I ended up writing it myself after learning it all the hard way (ironically, it was during the time when I already knew I wanted to go back to writing code :-) ). Although the actual title is different (for practical reasons), it’s working title was “A Guide to the Scrum Guide”.
Don’t understand me wrong, I don’t doubt the Scrum Guide. I just think that its level of abstraction can raise a lot of questions in people new to Scrum.
Therefore, I tried to be as practical as possible. Well, some creative/human input is required (otherwise we could delegate the process of Scrum adoption to a machine). Of course the guide is not perfect (and our adoption of Scrum was not perfect either), but I believe it can still provide you with some valuable information. It’s more than 8000 words!
Finally, we made it to the end!
This is the article: Scrum and How to Adopt It – the Definitive Guide.
I didn’t find out how to fit this part within the article, so I’ll just put it here as a separate section.
After being in a Scrum Master role for more about a year, I attended a great workshop presented by Richard Ross, its content was so simple and effective. And in terms of what a Scrum Master should do, it was an eye-opener for me.
He talked about some things that some Scrum Masters do, like being involved in technical stuff or being a bit overprotective about “their” developers.
I thought “oh yeah these are the things that I probably do and enjoy most”.
Then he said that he sometimes uses a term Scrum Mama for people who do that. That was an “aha moment” when I realized that I should change the direction of my career. I guess he didn’t expect his (amazing) worskhop to have this kind of consequences.
So, what are the takeaways from this personal story?
- Don’t stop looking for people with whom you can discuss your Scrum questions.
- If you get an opportunity to listen/talk to Richard Ross, go for it.
Last modified on 2021-11-28