Saturday, May 10, 2014

Work Done doesn't matter

It was a small company which just decided to transition towards SCRUM.

The team I coached was highly competent, they actually did a good job. I was serving them as a SCRUM Master and I actively engaged in daily business, conducting story-related admin activity as well.

SCRUM was really good for the team: Impediments surfaced left and right, we started resolving year-old stuff and really tuned up the velocity quickly.
In the first Review, I took the liberty of inviting all the relevant stakeholders.

Here is how the Review went:
Everyone just gathered in front of the SCRUM board and reported which tasks were "Done".
Nobody sat at a computer, and withing 5 minutes, the first attendants were already fiddling with their watches and phones.

The team was not capable of producing "visible results", and even if the results were visible, they were only talking about them rather than demonstrating them.

My lesson:
A team is still focused around Tasks and Work may be applying SCRUM, but is focused on the wrong deliverable.
In traditional management, reporting the "Work Done" is very important. We neither report about how hard and/or much we worked, nor do we deliver "work".

Our result is working stuff. For developers, that's the new software product. For server admins, it may be a piece of hardware where the developers can now install the product. For a marketing team, it may be the new product's homepage.
But for nobody, it's a bunch of completed task cards.

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