Did we Really use Scrum to Build a Car in 1 Day? Yes!

It was so much fun, we did it again the next day!  Collaborative Leadership Team and Keyot sponsored Scrum Inc.’s Joe Justice and Joel Riddle to lead us in an eXtreme Build Parties this week.  CLT and Keyot brought our clients together for the experience ranging from those who have heard about Scrum to those who have been working this way for years.

Regardless of Scrum or Agile experience levels, work history or current “day jobs”, these people had a great time and learned a lot in the process.  When we say eXtreme Build Party, yes it’s a party.  Complete with dance music, synced lights and beer.  The atmosphere energized people and helped them feel open to the learning experience and as Justice points out, there has never been an injury working this way.  Treat people like adults, they act responsibly.

Both parties were closed with a commitment circle where participants were asked to take 1 idea from the experience back into their work environments to help with everything from team work, increased communication and making work visible.  Here are the biggest “Ah-Ha!” moments from the crowd:

Scrum is Simple: Scrum is really only 3 roles, 5 events, 5 values and 3 Artifacts.  At the start of each day, Joe and Joel lead a brief Scrum overview and asked the participants how long it typically takes to spin up project teams.  The answers ranged anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months!  Joe facilitated each days’ participants into self-organizing into cross-functional teams of no more than 5 people.  Each day this was accomplished in 7 minutes or less!

Scrum is Disruptive: Joe provided a word of caution to those newer to Scrum.  “Initially things may feel exactly like chaos.  And that’s perfectly normal,” he added.  Traditional ways of working focus on having the right plan.  The only problem is change happens.  Scrum teaches us to inspect, adapt and provide transparency which is really about continual planning.  Everyone did a great job of demonstrating the Scrum value of Openness, however nervous, heading into Sprint 1 planning.  By the end of the first Sprint, there were cheers, high fives and celebratory music for passed tests and getting Product Backlog Items to “Done”.

Scrum Breeds Productivity and Innovation: The number of participants who had never built a car far outweighed those in attendance who had any automotive experience.  And yet, each team on each day continued to gain Velocity – “clicking” as a high performing team and accomplishing work more quickly.  Rather than reach for new Product Backlog Items that were not yet “Ready”, Joe taught them to help the other teams out so that all Sprint Goals could be accomplished.  Not only did more work get done, “cross-pollination” occurred, spreading knowledge across teams rather than it remaining in “siloes”.  As teams picked up steam and worked together to accomplish the planned tasks, they were then able to add new items to the Product Backlog that were innovators – improving the base product.

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