Saturday, October 18, 2008

Implimenting SCRUM in my new company

I changed the job.. So what ?????
Changing the job was sort of a nerve breaking decision
But ….I did it again !..
not too bad .. for the 3rd time of my career:-)
With this decision I had to let go many things what I had.. Instead I got very interesting challenges and another new bunch of cool guys to work with....!..
Ok So I started at the new company.. I’m lucky enough it’s a startup so the start was not that hard. Lots of things to do at once… understanding the team members, skills, Projects, conflicts, risks, problems , issues…way forward , new processes (and more than anything getting used to some HR processes which I have never got used to J ) you name it !
I really appreciate the project centric culture which we are trying to build at the new company. But this needs little time to mature… No matter what.. Healthy corporate culture is very important for the people to be focused on their projects and not on other unnecessary facts and politics which I have”0” tolerance level...
Did you ask what I like the most about my new company?? Its my Note book bag.. :D Kind a cute…
Anyway that’s a different story..
What I thought to write here is that the experience of introducing SCRUM as the PM Framework to a totally new organization.
Its really a good experience. I started with one small team.. Who was quite corporative to adopt to a new way of doing things.. We created a very simple product backlog with all the user stories which need them to go through their research work. The PM (New SCRUM master )was very corporative and he found few cards which we could number as the Planning Poker card set. We started to play.. it was bit harder at first time.. But when it comes to 4th or 5th User story level the team was progressing so well. I was so thrilled to see all the silent team members talking in the planning poker session to back their idea about the user story weight.
Once we finished measuring the product backlog team created the Sprint back log. This project has only one sprint and that’s also 10 days.. Im happy that we started with a very small product backlog.
At the time of Sprint back log planning I could see some instant improvements from the team members. They worked so hard and actively as a team to get the sprint backlog planned. They decided to have the scrum meeting at 9 AM every morning..
Ok the very first Scrum day came … I was waiting… to observe their daily scrum meeting..few guys came .. they were having BF.. it was around 9.45AM still some guys are missing.. I thought.. I made a BIIG MISTAKE… Forget about scrum !! It doesn’t work…
I waited patiently till all the team members get together.. Had a very straight forward discussion.. To my surprise every team member accepted the importance of daily meeting at a specific time.. and they decided to have the everyday stand up meeting at 9.30 AM..
Ok lets see..
The next day the situation was so much better.. Almost all the team members were at office on time ready to have the meeting.. I got a skype message from the SCRUM master to come and observe the meeting.. It was a great start.. From that day onward the team progressed very well.. Understood the value of SCRUM, and value of their own team members.. Working on time boxes etc.. Currently they are about to complete the burn down of the sprint and seems they had a very good sprint.
Ok .. I think 10% of things I wanted to do was done with it.. the next task is to standardized the templates, artifacts and document the process and add them to the company process library..
The Next team situation was so much different. The Project was already initiated and that’s bit of a complicated case which I will study more and write in my next post…


Stretching the Project Management Boundries on 2:36 AM said...

It's pleasure to hear that you have successfully implemented SCRUM in an absolutely new company at startup level. I would like to share your experience with regards to the introducing SCRUM to a traditional process oriented organization and keen to know about your research group too

Wish you good luck in your new career with EXCILESOFT …!!!

Thushara Wijewardena, PMP on 9:17 AM said...


First Im very happy that you are also into some agile PM work? is there any Sri Lankan scrum community?

About introducing agile to a traditional process oriented organization... It will not be easy...

If they are 100 percent ok with their traditional mgt , then actually I dont think they need any Agile mgt. Bottom line is the success of the project.. there are many ways to go there..

What you can do is.. find the current project issues and map it with SCRUM and see whether those can be overcome by practicing SCRUM.

If Yes then you are convinced and easy to convince others.. Still if somebody object Im sure thats due to dogmatism which you will have to address separately using your PM softskills..

Sometimes it wont be easy even though the organization is new, because PMs, teams and the management has got exposure to traditional Mgt methods over years..


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