Frequently, students leave our classrooms excited to implement what they’ve learned, only to discover that once they’re back at work they’ve got more questions. Never fear. We’re only a phone call or email away. We thoroughly relish our Q&A sessions with former students and clients. Here’s an excerpt from a recent exchange between a former student, and Dr. Dan Rawsthorne, Senior Scrum Consultant and Trainer. We’re guessing this former student’s not the only one with this question, so thought we’d share this advice with the rest of you.
Former Student: Hi Dan, I have a few questions I would like to have your input on. Our team supports IT security across the organization. So, we get a large volume of tickets from several businesses. In terms of identifying a product owner, should the team leader be the product owner?
Dan: Yes, the PO is a member of the Team, so the Team Leader is a good candidate.
Former Student: We have one individual who has strong opinions that agile is not meant for our team. He has had several dialogues with me and he is also making smaller groups and it is becoming very hard to get everyone together for a team meeting. Any advice on best practices or workarounds to make sure the Team commitment is there and we know where to start?
Dan: Talk to the Team openly about it. Don’t let this situation fester. Call an Intraspective (Retrospective inside the sprint) to address this issue head-on. It’s not you versus this person, it’s this person versus the team.
Former Student: Our estimation of Story Points and writing Stories uses the model “As a Product Owner I want xx so that xx.” We are using JIRA and many of the requests are not written using this language. Should the Sprint planning meeting be the forum to address this or are there other best practices that you would recommend?
Dan: Don’t worry about the format. Is the Story understood? The discussion should be about what Done means, and the Story can be written in any format to get this to happen. Conversation over Artifact — every time.
Former Student: Are there videos of well-executed Daily Scrum, Sprint Planning and Sprint Review meetings that I can take a look at?
Dan: Probably, but I don’t know them. I prefer that a team find its own path then follows others’. Remember that the answer to every question that begins with “How do I..” or “How do we…” is the same: “Ask your team.” And then start inspecting and adapting. Ask your team frequently: “How’s it going?” “What should we change?” and make sure they are focusing on what is good for the organization – for producing value – not on what is good (comfortable) for them.
Dan: My pleasure. Let me know if I can provide further help.
Do you have questions for our Team? We’re here to help.
As Always, Stay Agile.