More with LeSS: Who's on the Scrum Development Team?

More with LeSS: Who's on the Scrum Development Team?

In the first two posts in this series, we explored how to identify the product and how to identify the Product Owner. If you missed these tips, check them out HERE.

Now let’s say you have effectively identified both the Product and the Product Owner. How do you identify the Development Team? Or in the case of BIG products, which this series is focused on, how do you identify multiple Development Teams?

Kanban vs Scrum or...?

If you spend any time on the Internet at all you'll see something that goes like this-

Kanban vs. or Kanban Against or Kanban After…


I feel like all these are just variations of

“how does Kanban compare to what I do already?”

Okay so remember one of the principles is: Start with what you do now.

  • If you're doing Scrum right now that would work just fine.

  • If you're doing Waterfall that would work just fine.

  • If you're doing sAFE that would be just fine.  

The idea isn't in the How, the idea is are we watching our work in such a way to cause us to improve? How many people have gone to a Sprint Retrospective and it's some variation on:

  • What went well?

  • What didn't go well?

  • What do we want to do differently?

Very very traditional approach, right? Now how many teams that you have you seen actually Implement those changes?

Scrum urges us to look for challenges and label them impediments. Stuff that would prevent us from getting our Sprint Goal done. Now the underlying idea here I think is that what we're supposed to be doing in the course of doing our work is to constantly be looking at the ways that our work is challenged or why we can't do something and it's interesting because a lot of times scrum talks about how to identify those Implement but not necessarily how to fix them. Kanban on the other hand says let's look at the work that we're doing and find the areas of opportunity that let us improve using whatever tools or approaches we want to.


One way I like to approach this uses an approach taken from Improv. “Yes, And”

“Yes, And” is a positive way to include in a conversation. In this frame we do Scrum...and. We do Waterfall...and. Kanban provides the model and the ability to predict the effects of change. It shows the areas of opportunity but leaves the type of change to the team.  

So if you'd like to know more we have some upcoming training around Kanban and I'm sure we'll talk about scrum a little bit too check it out here.

How to "DeScale" Scrum- it's not what you think.

How to "DeScale" Scrum- it's not what you think.

This post is the first in a series highlighting the steps that organizations skip when they rush to adopt Scrum. Yet they are critical to “scale” Scrum. The first step skipped, of course, is realizing that the organization doesn’t get bigger- it "descales." A framework for descaling the organization with Scrum described in this series is Large Scale Scrum (LeSS):

Why do so many Scrum Teams “carry over” work from Sprint to Sprint?

Why do so many Scrum Teams “carry over” work from Sprint to Sprint?

What’s intended at Sprint Planning is the break down or decomposition of items pulled from the Product Backlog that the Development Team believes can be completed (that can get to done) during the Sprint. This is called “Topic One” in Sprint Planning or “What can be done this Sprint”?

As a Beginning Scrum Master- I don't just take notes...

Scrum, Daily Scrum, Refinement, Sprint Review, Sprint Retrospective, Sprint, Stand Up, Kanban, Lean, Black Belt..

The list goes on and on. When I started as a ScrumMaster it felt like my head was spinning between the technology terms like “on-prem”, Java and lambdas. Jumping from event management into the world of Scrum is an adventure that continues to teach me new words and ways of work. So let’s break down some of the things that can happen as a beginning ScrumMaster.

You get asked to take notes and set up meetings: This was my first encounter in the Scrum-world. I readily stepped up, excited to learn about making positive change and delighting the customers. Then I quickly become bored and wanted more voice in the conversations going on. Why was that? Just an incorrect role? Misalignment of responsibilities? Did I misunderstand the Certified ScrumMaster class I went to?  

None of the above. As it turns out, a ScrumMaster is not supposed to take notes or set up meetings. Yes, they can help in that way, but so can anyone on the team. As a ScrumMaster, I’ve found that my actual responsibilities include watching and listening for that moment in conversations when things dive too deep, go off-topic or everyone seems to be losing interest. They also include asking the hard questions, like why are we doing this in the first place? What problem are we trying to solve?

In the Daily Scrum or Stand Up in particular, this involves asking questions like, “Are we going to complete the work we initially committed to? If no, why not? Should we really be bringing in different work? Does the Product Owner know that we won’t make our commitment? Why aren’t we swarming to get the work done together, as a team?”

Being a ScrumMaster doesn’t automatically make anyone an expert, specialist or even good at facilitation, strategy or communication. This looks different for each person and each company. However, becoming a ScrumMaster has allowed me to see why facilitation isn’t about taking notes and scheduling meetings. Or how strategy isn’t just high-level executive work, but something that teams need to use in every day development. It has also shown me that communication is so important when it comes to persuading a team to take a risk.

Have you ever thought about how one role can be armchair psychologist and courageous proponent of change at the same time? The Certified ScrumMaster class explains how our interactions directly impact the work being done for our organizations. It teaches us that first we need to trust ourselves, our teams and our organizations and the ScrumMaster is a key part of that.

If you are interested in learning more, click here to connect with our team or see the upcoming classes on the calendar.