MB is borrowing from the software development world and going “Agile”. We thought it’d be nice to take you along for the ride. If you aren’t familiar with words like “Agile” and “Scrum”, these posts are for you. Have no fear: I’m in the same boat. Let’s just try not to panic.
If you are familiar with Scrum and wondering whether it is a good fit for your SMB or creative team, this series of posts is also for you. When our very own Certified ScrumMaster Paul introduced Scrum at MB, many of us asked about examples of teams like ours who have implemented Scrum. There were a few, but no concrete examples on the interwebs. These posts are all about shedding light on what implementation looks like from inside the MB shop.
Scrum: The Basics
Born from the Agile methodology, Scrum is a set of guidelines that create a flexible project management model. The team members—in this case, a group of project managers, dev people, designers, and content producers—step into a collaborative process, and into cross-functional roles. Scrum provides ample opportunities to reflect on where you can be most useful, based on the defined objective, in order to keep the project moving forward.
Scrum was initially intended to refocus software development projects to produce outcomes with greater business value. That is, the process has to be able to react quickly to changes in scope from clients, and it has to be flexible and non-sequential in order to maintain its agility even in the face of unforeseen challenges. The workflow is defined in initial “Sprint Planning”, and then, it’s a free-for-all and the team aligns with the end goal locked in their sights.
Mainly, I’m in it for the whiteboards and colourful post-its.
Scrum: First Steps
Certified ScrumMaster Paul (it’s got a certain ring to it), hosted a kick-off meeting where, unbeknownst to us, we were being Scrummed! Sneaky ScrumMaster. With the end goal of getting everyone’s buy-in to try Scrum in our shop, Certified ScrumMaster Paul led us through 12-minute “Sprints” to create a micro version of a Scrum process. With everyone’s buy-in, our shop has agreed to move forward and learn more about Scrum. Part of that is a series of introductory lunch-and-learns, and part of it is jumping into Scrum with both feet.
In fitting with this “iterative” model of project management, MB’s first scrum-based project was a relatively modest landing page which is part of a larger project. In order to satisfy our existing project management model, our Scrum projects are currently budgeted inside a traditional project management framework. It’s the matryoshka doll of project management.
Internal training will continue in Lunch-and-Learn settings so that we can take the time we need to learn the ropes. Small teams have been tasked with building Scrum into projects, and the results so far have been really eye-opening.
Stay tuned for more stories from inside our journey to Scrum.