Embrace Scrum at an Organizational Level

The Agile Principles and Scrum has been around a while now. If you take folks in the tech industry most of them have worked or been connected with a Scrum team sometime in their career. There are also many who will say they followed a Hybrid model and some would say they just follow the ‘Spirit of Agile’. Having more than one recognized certification body in the world for Scrum also opens more discussions on how and why and which way. All in the best interest of improving what they do.

There are also people who rally behind the Scaled Agile Framework while some who say the whole concept of scaling defeats the purpose of Agile. Some would even say that distributed teams are a complete NO for Agile and at the same time recognize that it is a necessary evil to deliver products and projects in today’s age and time. The fact is that there will be debates and difference of opinions when you have a model where you are given ample room to innovate and continuously improve while following the basic rules and principles. That is what Agile is all about. But here we are specifically going to talk of SCRUM and why organizations should embrace SCRUM, that philosophy of teamwork and alignment.

Over years to working on projects walking (or sprinting) on the pavements of the Agile, Scrum, Hybrid, Spirit of Agile and ‘our own Scrum’ models my take has been that this damn thing works well whatever name we call it as long as we follow the principles. And that is why it is important for companies to embrace it on an organizational level.

The mere psychology of breaking down something large and delivering in small increments to a customer who becomes delighted seeing something working in itself will add such a tremendous productivity over time. It is not a prefect world and we as human beings are a mix of colorful balloons all having a different color and degree of air filled in us but ready to pop anytime. That is what makes the whole Scrum team concept so interesting and lively, at least for me.

As Scrum Masters, Product Owners and Scrum Practitioners we have all had the opportunity to work with teams and stakeholders who all have their own perspective of what needs to be done. We all have come across the debate on what is the ‘Definition of Done’ even in teams who have been practicing Scrum for a while. Yet we see that many of them have moved from competition of individuals to collaboration within and among teams unlike our traditional waterfall methods.

One of the interesting challenges organizations face is that they do not always know if employees are happy, content and doing their best. Processes don’t speak well about the truth of human beings. And the traditional way of understanding the employees have also changed. Added to this companies often have a mix of employees and contractors (from different vendors). The collective happiness index of an organization is the happiness of all these groups added up. But organization wise they often only have systems to take care of employee’s happiness because contractors are always bound by contracts. But given a chance People will always rise above the limitations of company policies and create a better workplace for all.

The value we should see for Agile and Scrum in specific is that it has an inherent ability to infuse collectiveness. Scrum Method allows people in a team to connect and align beyond badges and titles to a common goal in a very close knit environment. If we look we can find that there is more synergy within people working on an Agile project vs. a project in a Traditional Waterfall Method. The sheer commitment to roles and responsibilities over titles.

On a Personal note my passion for the methodology was also developed over a period of time and I have seen that it has created long term meaningful connections with people with whom we work on agile projects. I guess it is because Scrum gives us so many more avenues to interact in person with the team daily. May be the role of being a servant leader also helps in connecting better with the team.

Being a Servant leader should be the goal for every leader because you cannot lead without serving your team. And for organizations who do not follow Agile now, Start a pilot project and feel it evolve. It is not just about fast delivery it is about continuous improvement at both an employee and an organizational level.

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