Many Project Managers talks about Agile and wish to adopt Scrum Methodology for their organization. But their efforts fall flat when they face team resistance. Find out how to overcome these hurdles in Scrum adoption for a smooth take off.
Agile and Scrum are the two buzzwords in the world of project management today. In some cases there is a genuine desire to reap benefits of the Agile methodologies, whereas others are simply following the industry trends. No matter what’s the motivator, the key to success is in the correct implementation of Agile. The complete adoption of Scrum can result in a major transformation for your entire organization.
Here are the 12 Must do’s for successful adoption of Agile Scrum methodology:
1. Assess Project for readiness & suitability
Agile methodology is helpful in a dynamic environment where customer requirements can change during the project lifecycle (which includes most of the projects) as opposed to Waterfall methodology. The organization should assess if Agile is right for the specific project and if it is ready for the change. It also requires continuous customer involvement and hence the customer willingness should also be reviewed.
2. Identify a ‘Go-Get-It’ team
The organization can form a team of process evangelists to define the plan. Then the organization can involve one of the teams to practice Agile. One of the requirements for first pilots should be ‘everyone in the team had to be open to it working’. Initial resistance might be ok and healthy, but over resistance would impact the entire environment.
3. Pilot when maximum teams are ready to fly
Pilots are supposed to be chaotic, uncertain and messy. People will ask “when’s the decision going to get made to officially adopt Scrum”. Wait to make that decision until there are no more teams lining up to make the change. Then ask yourself what is it about the remaining teams?
4. Convince the party poopers
Some people will be uncomfortable, unhappy and scared. But it’s expected, right? How many management fads have preceded Scrum? Emphasize on the common sense nature of it. We’re not “making a change”… we’re trying a new approach, and deciding whether it’s better than the old way. Some of those people will get past it, some of them won’t.
5. Be Patient while transformation
It is better to make fewer teams more successful than a full blown unplanned rollout. Every team might hit some big bump while adopting scrum. Many will need support, if only moral. In the early days, there are many more evangelists for failure than for success. Even the undecided will assume that an early failure is a strike against scrum. Don’t’ worry its part of the game.
6. Set a high bar and low expectations
It is very easy when evangelizing scrum to set unrealistic expectations. Tell your team members that it’s hard, it involves risk, and it works.
7. Handhold to smoothen friction
Scrum surfaces all sorts of nasty stuff. Make sure people are prepared. Make sure they understand that this is Scrum working, not failing. Help teams learn from each other. Be ready to stage a rescue mission. There are some problems which teams can’t solve by themselves.
8. Be open to Experts’ help
Do not overlook the external experts who can help you with specific practices, training, etc. Perhaps they will be most beneficial in the early days. They have seen this a million times before, and hence can make sure that you don’t forget and slack off something important.
9. Make Good Information More Accessible
As a Scrum rollout picks up momentum, there would be many rumors. Good rumors as well as bad. “You have to release every month”, “You get to release every month!” Start building a fun list of the greatest myths about Scrum and share this information through Email updates. Make sure there’s a constant flow of positive communication during brown-bag lunches and staff meetings.
10. Find Your Evangelists
Build a network that includes every group of the company, and every level. Make sure they’re well educated on reality, and also able to be candid, with you and others. It will be helpful to have few senior executives as advocates for the methodology. With their persona & adept oration, they can set the default management attitude to scrum. Beware getting them TOO excited though.
11. Measure the Results Early and Often
Scrum is in part about making things visible. So measure the results and experiences from a bunch of different angles. Publicize it all - the good, bad and ugly.
12. Be sure what’s Scrum and what’s Not
Everyone has a way to improve Scrum. It’s important to set standards in the beginning and adhere to them. If it isn’t scrum, don’t let people call it Scrum. Protect Scrum’s good name!
Always Remember, Scrum is about people and people could be messy. For this reason, it will never be perfect. Idealists will always be disappointed. Opponents will always have shells. Just keep asking, is it better than before.
Rahul Sudame is the Head of Engineering at Faichi Solutions. Faichi has expertise in product development using Agile / Scrum methodology. Faichi’s industry experts have significant experience in developing offshore development centres, startup teams and transforming a slow organization into an agile and continuously improving organization.