Talk Agility with Vivek – 21-Aug-2018

Talk Agility with Vivek – 21-Aug-2018

Vivek Jayaraman
1st Mar, 2019

Talk Agility with Vivek - 21 Aug 2018

On Aug-21, on Talk Agility with Vivek, the below questions were discussed.

How to deal with Scope change in Sprint?

Change is inevitable and scope changes can crawl in at any point in time. It may happen because of lot many reasons like change in market dynamics, change in the need of customers, wrong understanding of specs, Speculations from the Product owner, and so on. Understand the need before accepting or rejecting the scope change.

Check with your product owner on what’s the priority of the change and what’s the cost of delay for the change if it is not hitting the market soon. Depending on the priority of the incoming scope change, decide whether it can be addressed in the current sprint by making some changes to the committed PBIs or by canceling the current sprint to change the sprint for working on the new scope.

Who estimates the work?

Many organizations believe that project managers should estimate, and project leads or senior technical members in the team should estimate. The majority of the time, the development team gets squeezed because someone thought certain things can be done in a certain time.

Take an example of any other profession like masonry, it’s the workers who decide when the work can be done. It depends on factors like the complexity involved, uncertainty factors, and the amount of work. 

To conclude, the team who does the actual work gets to estimate it as well. If someone else, does on behalf of the team, it will not be efficient.

As Scrum Master, can you get involved in Decision Making?

In Scrum, there are two roles and only two of them can make decisions. The first one is the Product Owner who is the primary decision maker. He/she decides everything about the product and is the sole decision maker in the Scrum Team.

Product Owners can decide and cancel a sprint, cancel a release, or sometimes can cancel an entire product. Next is the Development team, while they don’t have the ultimate decision-making like the Product Owner, they decide how to build the product. While the Product owner decides what goes in a product, he/she cannot tell the team on how to build the product.

Coming back, does Scrum Master get to make decisions? Yes, but not in terms of product or how to build it. The decision-making for Scrum Master will be on the system within which the team is building the product. 

Scrum Master decides the best process, and policies for the team to perform well where they can fail & learn without getting punished.

What is the difference between Agile and Scrum and why do people get confused?

Scrum is a framework where people can solve complex problems and deliver products of high value. Scrum has 3 pillars that stand tall and those are transparent, constantly inspecting & adapting at frequent intervals, and thereby failing faster.

Agile is a philosophy because it is in everyone’s way of life. Agility is part of everyone’s life and Scrum is one of the ways to achieve agility. If you ask me what Agility is, I would say “Common Sense”. 

Doing what is necessary or addressing the need of the hour matters the most than following a framework.

How do you measure team performance?

There is no magic variable where you can just get a value for it and measure a team’s effort or performance. A team’s performance is directly proportional to Organization’s outcome. 

How you can measure it is based on how they achieve their team goal. Their participation in events, and their results are based on Sprint's commitment, their accountability for the actions, and so on.

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