4 Scrum Team Tips

Following are four Scrum team tips I came up with for a colleague in the Agile .Net Practitioners group I moderate on LinkedIn. In his case, team-members were resistent to their experiment using Scrum for a host of reasons. We had a general discussion about what was working and what wasn’t working.

I suggested four things to try:

  1. Maintain an Impediments List
  2. Maintain a Technical Debt List
  3. Maintain an Inter-Personal Debt List
  4. Allow for Developer Stories

One of the roles of the ScrumMaster is clearing impediments. I favor a visible impediments list hung adjacent to the story wall. The Dev Team contributes to the impediments list, but the ScrumMaster works the issues then reports progress during Scrum.

Technical Debt

Developers frequently feel their concerns are glossed over. I favor a visible Tech Debt List, also hung adjacent to the story wall. Here developers list concerns that’ll create long term detriment to quality or progress. The team acknowledges new Technical Debt during Scrum and subsequently assesses the list during Sprint Retrospectives.

Inter-Personal Debt

Teams develop inter-personal friction. The Inter-Personal Debt “List” is a series of emails (for semi-anonymity, rather than public display) kept by the ScrumMaster. Team members send issues to the ScrumMaster. The ScrumMaster addresses inter-personal issues as they arise during the next Scrum or, at the latest, during Sprint retrospectives.

Developer Stories

During Scrum planning, I favor making an allowance for at least one developer story (e.g., something a developer believes need to be worked or perhaps refactored). Developers must be able to articulate the value to the Product Owner since the Product Owner ultimately prioritizes that story with all the others (and either includes in the immediate Sprint or puts it in the Backlog).

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