Archive for May, 2011

Measuring Scrum effectiveness

If you are not new to Agile, you would know that scrum is one of more widely used process a.k.a methodology that many organizations are using today and are seeing significant benefits, not just short-term but also long-term. The Scrum Master, who is the process designate owns the success of the scrum teams. Therefore it becomes very critical on who you select as the Scrum Master. Agile says it is a Servant-Leadership role that can be only played by wise men/women who have a very high level of maturity and display professionalism in handling their role.

The Scrum Master is a tactical player who acts behind the scenes, but is present on the spot to remove impediments. He or she liaises with the management to address organizational issues or issues that impede the Scrum teams productivity. The Scrum Master also is in constant look-out for areas that needs improvements, be it the need for  new tools, new software,  an upgraded hardware, changes in configuration, for that matter even changes in teams and organizational structure. The bottom-line is the Scrum Master shall ensure a smooth-flow of potentially shippable software at the end of each iteration in a manner that cause less irritation and more satisfaction.

Of the many challenges that the Scrum Master faces, the most important is in his/her interaction with the Product Owner in prioritizing features of the highest business value to the end-user and also help the Product Owner focus on the value-stream to ensure an optimal ROI for the project. The Scum master shall also not get too fancy about team velocity as a measure of productivity. Measuring yesterday’s weather is more predictive than measuring weighted average. Spikes in velocity is common, but the key is finding the root-cause for the spike and solve it, thereby helping the team to look at areas that causes waste and eliminate it. Kudos to Lean Thinking.

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