The SCRUM training is already finished and now it’s time to start using it. But, how to start? Simple, start now, from where you are.
Your company sent you and your team to attend to a fantastic two days scrum course. Your company knows how important the training is, especially when it’s a matter of change the way you worked since now. Your company also knows that at least for a while, an agile coach should collaborate with your team in order to facilitate the transition, helping you to go through it.
The company, hence, chose a smarter and clever coach
But, now? You could ask….now? It’s your time!
It’s time to start, really, sticking to the rules, participating proactively to the various meetings, using TDD in the right way. It’s time for you and your team to do, for example, more and better pair programming, to work actively with the customer and to reflect on team’s errors, trying to correct them, improving the process. It’s time to effectively communicate, collaborate, demonstrate honestly and frequently your progress.
In one sentence: it’s time to change the way, you all, worked since now…and often (always) that’s the real problem.
I noticed that every scrum class I had, agile and scrum are always well understood and the attendees completely agreed with what was explained. Furthermore, when the training is finished, they are thrilled, really motivated to start adopting it, as soon as possible. Obviously this is always a good news: a first important step toward the right direction.
But it’s not enough.
Infact, typically during the second or third iteration (depending on the duration of each sprint), the team enters in the storming phase (see Tuckman’s stages of group development) and they start to realize that adopting agile is not so simple, because it asks and requests a change, a strong change in their working habits.
Anyone is scared when facing changes: we are called to leave our habits, our certainties in doing things, by moving forward toward a place we don’t know. What the possessed trainer said about scrum, it’s now a foggy memory and the team, unfortunately, starts to think that such a methodology is not so amazing as s/he described.
This is the time when the team starts to use the new knowledge and often these new practices conflict with the old ones.
Some team members remain in any case aligned to what the agile discipline says because they are sure about it (they are the ‘allied‘: take care of them).
Some others complain but continue to stick to it: let the ‘allied’ convice them.
Some others don’t apply the new knowledge: you are directly called to coach these skeptics.
As Tuckman said during the storming phase, the team needs answers to their questions, to be reassured about the results they were promised.
This is a paramount passage and the coach should:
- check and verify how the whole process is applied
- reassure team members about their doubts
- understand what the main problems are
- coach the team, trying to help it to find the right answers
- coach any member who needs dedicated time, helping it to perform better
- proactively assist the team during the retrospective meetings
- reinforce important topics through dedicated training
- be sure that the scrum masters are perfectly aligned with the scrum foundamentals
- identify most motivated members, letting them to spread the knowledge, behaving as change agents
Finally, the coach must take in high consideration the relations with the other external stakeholders.
This means that she must engage them frequently, at least initially, communicating about progress and insisting on having them attending to the demo meetings: witnessing interest, curiosity and commitment.