Starting a Grassroots Movement Toward Scrum

Nate Oster:  “Most executives don’t care about the jargon [agile or Scrum methodology]; they care about the results. If the results get considerably better [by using Scrum or agile practices], then they may be more open to learning about the reasons why.”

Al Shalloway: “Executives care about the delivery of business value quickly. The thing about Scrum is it’s really brilliant because it eliminates most of the causes of delay in a [software] delivery. Like most waste in software is because of delays in workflow, or delays in feedback, or lack of collaboration, or not having the right people. With a Scrum team, you have all that right there!”

Jared Richardson: “Start with time box iterations – if you have a big 3 month task, break it down into 1 – 2 week deliverables so you can understand if you’re succeeding or failing.  Even if management doesn’t know you’re doing these iterations, you’ll be bringing feedback to them more quickly. [By using Scrum] you’ll get a reputation for discovering problems early, bringing them to management’s attention, and giving them an opportunity to solve the problem before it derails the team.”

Ardita Karaj: “Retrospectives definitely help, it is one technique that usually is forgotten. You learn so much just by getting together and thinking what did we do right and what can we do better. You can learn earlier, fix it and go forward faster.

Mike Vizdos:Find someone from the business or operations side that’s going to be able to support [your Scrum movement], and assign that person to be product owner. Really have them drive delivery to your end users or customers.”

Pete Behrens: “Grassroots agile is a common technique. One of the fundamental principles of Scrum is: do what’s possible. Do [Scrum] on a team… essentially we do it on our own. What will make [Scrum] effective is transparency. Communicate up the chain why we’re doing this and the values that we’re seeing. The most effective organizational change is going to be both bottom up and top down.”

Jeff Dalton:“Engage with Senior Management, and convince them through education, motivation, evangelization, to adopt some Scrum or agile values.”

Joe Justice: “Make a commitment with Middle Management to show them what you’re working on each week. Agree to deliver towards the predated plan if they’re not willing to be flexible there… that way [Scrum] speeds things up and the delivery comes faster.



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