Posted in My Scrum Notes, Scrum

Scrum Considerations

Delivery of Value

Delivery Logistics

  • How frequent is delivery to the customer?
  • Is there an approval process to get to live
  • How are live releases conducted? Test customers? Downtime?

Sprint Outcome

  • Do the team deliver the sprint goal?
  • Is an increment delivered? (i.e. a ‘done’ potentially releasable step towards the product goal)

Value Focus

  • Does the team deliver what the business most needs?
  • How is ‘most valuable’ decided?
  • How are deliveries verified as achieving value?

Supporting Process Improvements

  • How are the Scrum team continuously improving?
  • Read through recent retrospective notes (if they exist) 
  • What challenges have they recently faced/ overcome?
  • Have there been changes across the organisation?

Previous performance (2)

  • How has this organisation performed in the past? How do people in the organisation think it has performed? 
  • If performance has been good, why has that been the case? 
  • What have been the relative contributions of strategy, structure, systems, talent bases, culture, and politics? 
  • If performance has been poor, why has that been the case? Do the primary issues reside in the organisation’s strategy? Its structure? Its technical capabilities? Its culture? Its politics? 

Scrum Events

Daily Scrum 

  • Does it happen every day at the same time and place?
  • Does the whole team participate? Are there any external people that participate/ observe?
  • Are problems/ impediments surfaced?
  • How are impediments left at the end of the event?
  • Is the Sprint Goal used as an anchor for the conversation?
  • Does someone facilitate the event or keep an eye on the team working agreements?

Sprint Planning

  • Does the PO participate? How do they communicate what is priority?
  • Do all the developers attend and participate?
  • Does it result in a Sprint Backlog and Sprint Goal?
  • Does the whole team believe the plan is achievable?
  • Are any forecasting metrics used, e.g. velocity from story points?

Sprint Review

  • Does this happen after every sprint?
  • (For scaling) Is the Sprint Review for the team only, or is it combined with other teams?
  • Are the right stakeholders in the room? Are there observers who don’t feedback or questions left for those outside the room?
  • Is feedback given and adaptations discussed?
  • What is the format? Is it a working session or a presentation?
  • Are challenges or adaptations during the sprint discussed? Is this done with transparency and safety?
  • Is this event used as a sign off for releases?
  • Is there an inspection of the Product Backlog?
  • Is the Definition of Done used to inspect the increment?
  • Is the increment ‘done’?

Sprint Retrospective

  • Does it result in concrete improvement proposals?
  • Do some proposals get implemented?
  • Does the whole team and the PO participate? Are there other observers either in the meeting or expecting notes afterwards?
  • Is there a nominated facilitator or note taker?
  • Is there an elephant in the room?
  • What are the current improvements/ impediments?
  • Are the team free to experiment? Is innovation celebrated?
  • How do they manage failure?

Sprint

  • How long is a Sprint?
  • (For scaling) Does sprint start/ end times correlate with other teams? Are they in sync or staggered? 
  • Is Sprint length consistent? How are public holidays handled?
  • Are sprints cancelled? Why and by whom?

Artefacts

Sprint Backlog

  • Where is it? Is it highly visible?
  • Who looks at it?
  • Do the team actually use it, or is it a burden to them?
  • Do external stakeholders use it?
  • Do the team own it?

Product Backlog

  • Where is it? Is it highly visible?
  • Are the PBIs prioritised? How are they prioritised and by whom? Is there a process?
  • Are estimates used?
  • How is the Product Backlog used for forecasting?
  • How are the estimates done?
  • How are the PBIs refined? Who refines them? Are there any team standards as to what refined means?
  • Does the PO understand all of the PBIs and is able to prioritise? Is the backlog bloated with junk?

Definition Done

  • Does one exist?
  • Who wrote it/ owns it?
  • (Scaling) Are there shared standards/ definitions?
  • Does it evolve?

References

  1. Henrik Kniberg’s checklist
  2. The First 90 days by Michael D. Watkins

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