A fundamental element to understand and introject ideas, frameworks or philosophies of thought are the pillars. According to the strict meaning of the word, the pillar refers to a resistant structural element that has a supporting function and, applied to humans, is the basis of our knowledge, experience and expertise. Feeling secure in our pillars allows us to develop the virtue of expressing what we think explicitly and bluntly. In the Scrum universe the pillars focus on three basic concepts:
«Transparency: requires those aspects be defined by a common standard so observers share a common understanding of what is being seen.
Inspection: users must frequently inspect Scrum artifacts and progress toward a Sprint Goal to detect undesirable variances. Their inspection should not be so frequent that inspection gets in the way of the work. Inspections are most beneficial when diligently performed by skilled inspectors at the point of work.
Adaptation: If an inspector determines that one or more aspects of a process deviate outside acceptable limits, and that the resulting product will be unacceptable, the process or the material being processed must be adjusted. An adjustment must be made as soon as possible to minimize further deviation.» 1
It is also good to take into account a couple of essential Lean concepts such as maximizing the flow of value and eliminating the eight types of waste.2
The revision of the pillars proposed by the Scrum 2017 guide will be the central axis of this second round of reflections.
You can see the first installment here: Scrum Guide 2017. Some reflections part I
Why should the Sprint be a maximum of one month?
In order to inspect and adapt the results to the feedback obtained. Working for short periods allows for continuous observation, testing, and review; This allows you to correct the course wherever you want whenever necessary.
What are Scrum events for?
To motivate and articulate the 3 pillars:
- Sprint Planning: We inspect needs and adapt work to how we can generate the most value with the least effort.
- Daily Scrum : The team transparently inspects daily work and adapts to what generates the most value in that context.
- Sprint Review: It facilitates the transparency of the work, with the Product owner and Stake holders (interested), and allows receiving early feedback for the continuous adaptation of the product to the needs of the business.
- Sprint Retrospective: It facilitates transparency, inspection and adaptation in the work team to become, increasingly, a generator of value and have greater well-being.
Why is it the Daily Daily and not between everyday or Weelkly?
To be able to inspect and adapt. This avoids wasting time on error correction or refocusing activities. The longer we wait to know where the job is going (inspection), the longer it can take to correct it (adaptation).
How to choose and guide the use of artifacts?
Artifacts such as the Burndown chart, Burn UP Chart, or the Kanban board contribute to the fulfillment of the three basic pillars proposed by the Scrum: transparency, inspection, and adaptation. It is the decision of each team to choose the ones that are best adapted to their context. Artifacts allow transparency by being visible at all times to the entire team and those involved; By observing them, you can clearly see whether progress is being made or not.
The evolution of the Product Backlog:
“The Product Backlog evolves as the product and the environment in which it will be used evolves. The Product Backlog is dynamic; it constantly changes to identify what the product needs to be appropriate, competitive, and useful.” 3
To this extent, the product list is refined through constant inspection and adaptation by the Product Owner taking into account the changing conditions and needs of the product and the environment.
A final thought: Scum and VUCA
One of the reasons why Scrum is so widely and rapidly disseminated today is the rapid and continuous deliveries that allow us constant inspection and adaptation. In times of realities VUCA 4, where we face complex problems and situations, that is: where we cannot know if the result is good or bad until we prove it; only constant adaptation allows you to stay on course. fast and continuous deliveries allow us constant inspection and adaptation.
Why is Scrum and generally agile methods adapted to this environment?
Because by relying on inspection and adaptation, by making incremental, early and continuous deliveries, this framework allows the results to be inspected and the actions of the work team adapted according to the feedback received.
Do you want to contribute to these reflections? How do you think we can apply them?
1 From: https://www.scrumguides.org/scrum-guide.html
2 The eight types of waste raised by Lean are: Overproduction, waiting, reprocessing, inventory, motion, transportation, defects and waste of talent. Learn more about this topic at: https://theleanway.net/The-8-Wastes-of-Lean
3 From: https://www.scrumguides.org/scrum-guide.html
4 VUCA is an acronym used to describe or reflect volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity of conditions and situations. The notion of VUCA was created by the U.S. Army War College to describe the volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity of the world that emerged after the end of the Cold War. The term began to be used widely in the 1990s and is now used in some fields of business strategy.