The idea to specialize as a Certified Scrum Master originated in 2018 after I moved from a large company with very strict processes and dozens of Development teams to a startup of 7 people.
As we are building a complex platform, during the first month I noticed how unorganized, messy, and not adaptive the work is between the product owner and the development team. So I decided to apply principles and a structure based on the Scrum Framework to optimize processes and help implement the given artifacts.
Which Scrum Master certification program did you choose?
I chose the BVOP Certified Senior Scrum Master program at BVOP.org because it offers an innovative methodology. Reference: https://bvop.org/scrummaster/ BVOP includes Lean, Kaizen, MVP, and Kanban sections in the Scrum Master Certification textbook. I believe that this will bring me many benefits in my real career. Being a Scrum Master certified means that you have to apply many Agile approaches in the daily work of the Development teams.
What do you expect from being a Certified Scrum Master?
The main expectations from taking a position as Scrum Master are mainly related to the principles of the framework. Since the Scrum Master owns the process, I will make sure that the teams monitor the Scrum processes and also work with them to improve them continuously. This also applies to meetings such as the Daily Scrum, where I have to guide the team to meet the meeting time and not lose focus. And this often happens, especially in a startup environment. All this is to optimize time, teamwork, and processes to create the best possible increment based on the tasks. Reference: Certified Scrum Master shares best practices, https://projectmanagement.cloudaccess.host/certified-scrum-master-shares-best-practices/
What are the things that bother you the most at this stage?
Change takes time. I have repeatedly witnessed leaders who try to implement a specific framework or agile processes, but there is a lot of resistance from the team itself, as they are already used to their process and do not want to adapt. This is one of the things that every Scrum Master worries about or finds difficult to implement the framework successfully so that all participants understand and practice it successfully. Reference: The role of the Certified Scrum Master in the Agile organization, https://agileprojectmanagement.home.blog/2020/12/21/the-role-of-the-certified-scrum-master-in-the-agile-organization/
What problems do you think you will have in your work as a certified Scrum Master?
In a startup environment, it often happens that each team member wears several “hats”. In the rush to create a final product for your first customers, you often forget about process optimization and structure work. Simply because one person is responsible not only for gathering information and prioritizing the Product Backlog but sometimes for performing some of the tasks. This makes it difficult to implement the Scrum framework, where each role performs specific things. This is one of the problems that a certified Scrum Master would face at work. Reference: A certified Scrum Master shares the Daily Scrum event, https://projectmanagement.freesite.host/a-certified-scrum-master-shares-the-daily-scrum-event/
Other issues that may arise are related to managing role expectations and last-minute urgent changes during Scrum. It often happens that the director suddenly comes up with a very important idea that comes from our first clients and is set as the number one priority to win short-term victories. This ignores the Scrum Framework and violates the observed timeboxed events. Reference: What is it like to be a Scrum Master?, https://projectmanagers.edublogs.org/2020/09/14/what-is-it-like-to-be-a-scrum-master/
Why should organizations include Scrum in their processes?
Scrum Framework contributes to a lot of improvements in a company. Of course, each business is managed differently and for some, this method of work may not be useful. However, many companies that produce a digital product and have both the necessary resources and teams decide to use it. Some of the reasons an organization decides to include Scrum in its processes are:
When Scrum is used, an Increment is prepared after each Sprint, which contributes to the final product. This method of work helps to produce a finished product faster on the market than it could in a business, which leads to increased revenue.
Control / Transparency:
Every business owner or partner wants to have a look at what’s going on in their business. Because Scrum is a transparent method of work, it allows each member to know exactly what has been done, who is responsible, and why it has been created. In this way, the company can control both the process and the budget.
The transparency and tasks of the Product Backlog help to find a potential risk or problem-related to the Increments to the final product. In this way, the Scrum team can take the necessary measures promptly and control the risk associated with the product.
Scrum events are time-boxed, which means that at a specific time and time you know what needs to be done by the teams. This routine helps members’ productivity and increases team productivity, leading to faster results.
Solving complex processes and projects:
Finally, let’s not forget that the Scrum Framework helps solve complex processes and projects. It often happens in the digital field that a company needs several teams of programmers to create a final product, which requires transparent communication between the teams, specific tasks in the Product Backlog, and Scrum Master to lead the whole process.
Why don’t organizations include Scrum in their processes?
Like everything has positive things, Scrum has shortcomings or simply does not correspond to the business model in the company. That’s why some organizations decide not to work on the Scrum Framework because they do not think it will contribute to the desired results for them. Here are some reasons why a company may not decide to include the work model:
Implementing the Scrum Framework in large companies with many teams is a common, time-consuming, frustrating, and costly challenge. This would be a reason for organizations not to choose to work with the Scrum method.
As already mentioned, Scrum has several events with a specific duration. One of them is the Daily Scrum, in which developers meet every day for 15 minutes to discuss what they did the day before and what will need to be done in the next 24 hours. These frequent meetings sometimes bore the teams because they want to focus entirely on incremental development and see these meetings as unnecessary.
Lack of experienced teams:
One of the most global problems for companies today is the lack of staff. This problem can prevent a business from introducing the Scrum method of work precisely for this reason – the lack of accurate specialists in the team. If the people who work in the development team or lack the Product Owner, then the result of the introduction of Scrum is lost.
What do you think are all the possible difficulties of the organization (at the top management level) in the implementation of Scrum?
To introduce Scrum in an organization, the first and most important rule is for the management team to be convinced of the advantages that will contribute to better results. If they do not understand this way of working, the process will always be disrupted or it will never be applied correctly. Here are some of the difficulties that senior management would face:
If the management team does not understand how Scrum works, then the model of work will be broken, as well as the belief in the advantages.
Disruption of the process:
One of the most common difficulties in implementing Scrum for the management department is that they often violate it. A common example is the team’s desire to influence the prioritization of Increments, and at the last minute, they decide to completely change the order of tasks during Scrum. They also often want to talk to developers, thus disrupting and influencing the impact of their work.
For certain companies, the budget also plays an important role and can affect the implementation of Scrum. If the organization does not have enough resources to hire the right teams, then this will stop the company from working on this method.
If the management team does not have the time to devote to the implementation of this type of work, then this will be another difficulty in working with Scrum.
If a management department has worked on the same method for years, then change for them is something they fear and will affect the implementation of a new model of work.