Selling Scrum to the Business: Explain it to me! Why does Scrum work?
First, I want to say that I really don’t like the term “selling”. As agile or scrum practitioners, we are NOT salespeople and we really want what is best! Therefore when I use the term “sell”, I mean explain or persuade others that scrum is an excellent framework to acheive their goals. When we are influencing others to take part in the scrum framework, we often need to back up our faith in the process with some hard core facts. Although we all know that we are doing the right thing, wouldn’t it be great if we could pull a lots of facts out of the bag at the right moment? Solid facts are what most people in the real world will find convincing especially where the business are concerned. Thinking about this I put together a concise list of facts to use in most situations within a scrum process. In fact I rounded it down to 72 facts. Here are some examples of facts you can use to explain why scrum is so powerfulL
5 reasons why THE SCRUM MASTER ROLE works
1. Dedicated bulldozer: Unlike other frameworks, the role focuses one person on removing obstacles. This means that the team can concentrate on getting the job done.
2. Dedicated coach: The role gives one-person responsibility for coaching others. No one can “pass the buck” on this. Therefore, one person has the focus of helping all members of the organisation to understand the framework.
3. Impartiality: A scrum master can be as helpful to a team as a product owner (see below) without picking sides. The only focus is on making sure the framework and project is successful. This can help solve problems and gain trust.
4. Responsibility for framework not delivery: This is almost reverse psychology. The scrum master is only concerned with making sure the framework is carried out as the scrum rules say. Divorcing the responsibility for the framework from the responsibility to deliver means that he or she can concentrate on making sure that rules are followed which in turn creates a well-oiled machine. If the scrum master’s job is done and everyone in the scrum team is performing their role, then the development team can deliver.
5. No single point of control that could fail: Since a scrum master does not control the team, the absence of one does not leave the team in disarray. The scrum master sets up a system that everyone can follow in his or her absence.
5 reason why THE PRODUCT OWNER ROLE works
1. Time maximised for business return on investment: The product owner is not responsible for delivering the work or maintaining the process but simply for making priority calls and maintaining the requirements backlog. This allows a great deal of focus.
2. Dedicated source of requirements: There is no one else in the organisation that needs to be consulted on a project’s requirements. Senior stakeholder requirements flow through the product owner for a single point of contact.
3. One person responsible for changes in requirements: As the business picture changes only one person needs to capture the new requirements and update them.
4. Achieves the best compromise: Even senior stakeholders will need to trust their product owner with the final decision. This aligns the business and makes appropriate compromises for the good of the product.
5. Aligns the customer and team, daily: This role is the interface between the business and the team. His or her presence at all the scrum meetings means that the team is always acting on the latest information.
5 reasons why THE DEVELOPMENT TEAM ROLE works
1. A group of dedicated experts: Explicitly calling the team out as experts, means that scrum teams are assembled to solve problems on their own. This frees up other roles to focus on their own areas of expertise.
2. Flexible to business needs: Scrum teams adapt to a given situation in order to get a product increment built. Any decisions should be tied only to a business requirement. This in turn gives a business long and short-term flexibility and reduces wasted effort in favour of targeted effort.
3. Lean and cost effective: The small size combined with high degree of expertise means that things get done to a high degree of quality with minimal technical communication.
4. Less management needed: Teams organise themselves. This means that everyone else can concentrate on his or her own role.
5. Highly scalable when given the resource: Large teams can be separated and organised through regular meetings called scrum-of-scrums. The teams each have scrum masters to keep them coordinated. Caveat – when two or more teams work on the same code-base, the team will need to decide if this is feasible.