Hackernoon logoA Manual For Leading Scrum Teams To Maturity by@ilonacodes

A Manual For Leading Scrum Teams To Maturity

Author profile picture

@ilonacodesIlona Codes

Software Engineer 👩‍💻

If teams are not disciplined about the process, or not technically mature enough to actually deliver the work committed to a sprint, scrum processes are bound to fail.
This is why Scrum probably works best with teams comprising at least of people who are at a similar maturity level.
Scrum is not a project management process, but a product development framework, therefore, it might be better to start measuring the effectiveness of the outcome of each sprint.
How much end-user value is being added to the product in every sprint?
Then, let the team figure out what they would need to measure themselves to improve the value.

What do I actually mean by maturity here?

Let me quickly explain a few KPIs that will show you how Scrum teams are progressing.

Velocity

This is the trend that seems too high for a while once the team gets the ball rolling and has no significant obstacles stopping them from accelerating.
For software developers, velocity is represented through the number of stories the team delivers each sprint.
In this way, story points would be a great tool to help teams estimate a problem within sharing the understanding of the story by each team member. So that the team can classify the story and label with “complex,” “bug,” “chore,” “needs research (spike),” “easy.”
And this kind of prioritization allows teams not only to evaluate the time estimation precisely with an accurate story points number for each user story but also to make them happier and more focused on the end value during the sprint.

The Relationship in the Team

Here, I mean a relationship between Scrum master, lead engineer, development team, and product owner.
If the separation of concerns is well understood, the ticket with the task is described and written clearly. Each team player knows what the other is supposed to do, and brings to the table the end-value to the user at the end of the sprint.
Then you get a team that is relatively mature and will execute fairly successfully.
Whether it is a small startup or a big corporation, team building can help grow the relationships of the team.
According to the University of California:
“Team building is an ongoing process that helps a work group evolve into a cohesive unit. The team members not only share expectations for accomplishing group tasks but trust and support one another and respect one another’s individual differences.”
Because of the dramatic global issue, we all have to work remotely which makes teambuilding events offline impossible.
And still, there’s no reason for not having a virtual one! Here are 5 virtual team-building activities to grow a strong remote team.

Retrospective Matter

This is how the team uses retrospectives and how effective they utilize it through learning and incremental improvements. The retrospective is one of the most essential scrum processes if the team cares about growth and continuous work improvement.
Throughout the retrospective meeting, teams figure out what went well, what went wrong last spring, and what could be done better in the future.
The main goal of these weekly/biweekly meetings is to recognize what the team is doing poorly, and stop doing that or adjust, recognize what the team is doing well, and do more of it.
Additionally, if some part of the process is not working well in the team context, choose a different practice, method, etc. that delivers the same value to the team, but fits much better the team’s context.
The main result of the retrospective is the list of action items that are assigned to the whole group, subgroup, or a single person.
However, there are many useful tools on the market, here are a few techniques that can be used for retrospective meetings:

Classic “happy/meh/sad” agile retrospectives:

Measurable Metrics

Does the team have effective and impactful metrics and are they aware of why they are trying to improve the measurement while contributing to it?
The ideal case would be if a scrum team looks at customer product usage and customer behavior. In essence, user flows, for example, through in-app analytics, feedback messages, customer requests via chatbots, or reviews on the product.
Just answering the question: “Is your customer happy?” because the primary criterion of becoming agile by using scrum is this.
On the other hand, there are common metrics for performance improvement plans like velocity mentioned before, burn down charts, etc. You can read about famous bad and good Agile metrics here.

Crises on the Team

In my opinion, it starts with the micromanagement of each other within the team. And it’s only started within the team when there is no trust between members.
You can easily recognize that if you notice absurdly frequent meetings about the ticket status and numerous talks about removing impediments. And it’s hard for people who are good at what they do. It will be insulting to them to have to spend hours or even days justifying their work.
So, it’s crucial to know and acknowledge a team crisis existence and be prepared to deal with it as soon as possible. It will make the team highly meshed, mature, and experienced.

Conclusion

Unfortunately, though, lots of times, measurements are focused on the speed and efficiency of a product without measuring the effectiveness.
If we are not building the right thing (not being effective), we will never be able to increase the product development speed.
Otherwise, product development is only like a hamster in the hamster wheel. Moving fast, without moving forward.
Thank you for reading!
Now, it’s your turn. I am curious about how the scrum process leads to team maturity at your company?

Tags

The Noonification banner

Subscribe to get your daily round-up of top tech stories!