After a successful and enlightening Scrum Day London last year, I thought it was well worth a visit again in 2019 - but this time with 5 of us from Adatis instead of 2, and the opportunity to present at one of the keynotes!
This is the only conference in London that’s solely dedicated to Scrum, so it’s great to bring so many of us together and based on experience from last year, it’s well worth it to hear about other peoples stories.
There was an incredible array and diversity of speakers which I can honestly say provoked some real thought about the way we work - from understanding the way customers think - to how important our culture is - to understanding self-organising teams.
I always hope to leave events taking away a couple of key learning and things to go away and think about, so here's a look at how the day went and some of my highlights.
Marnie McCormack: Get customers involved as early as we can in what we’re building. It's so important to ensure we're producing the right product. There's a strong imbalance between those that produce the product and those than use it. We often try and bridge this gap with a Product Owner but we should be asking our Product Owner to invite customers to work with us to stop them being invisible and causing disconnected goals.
Ade Shokoya: I’ve always enjoy listening to Ades talks and genuinely look forward to them as there’s so much passion and thought provoking content. This time it was all about Culture and how do we adapt to environments where we don't know what we don't know? We are individually complicated and every team will work in different ways - we can't just copy others because we don't know if it's going to work. Ade gave a great talk about why we need to embed culture in what we do and avoid using ‘zombie scrum’. Here’s some ways we can do this:
1) We need to create psychological and emotional safety: Somewhere we can express our thoughts and opinions, where people feel safe to be themselves.
2) Show vulnerability: We’ve all made mistakes – it’s how we learn. It’s fine to say we’re vulnerable instead of a know-it-all.
3) Purpose: People are not resources - we feel and act differently thorough the day. How many of us want to get to work at 9am, head down, 5pm go home with nothing exciting, innovative, creating happing? A person should recognize and celebrate their successes, have space to think, innovate and help others.
We need culture to support our business and if we create a good culture within our teams, that will radiate beyond just development but to our customers, recruitment, retainment and wellbeing.
Kamil Sabatowski: Self Organising teams are something we strive for and not something to achieve and walk away from. If we achieve the right culture - we are half way there but even if the ideal team become self-organising - will that remain the case and our work is done? No. Even if we achieve the ultimate self-organising team we can still lose it. So it's something we strive for, and when we get there - hold on to it and always find ways we can improve.
Martin Hinshelwood: Scrum vs Kanban or Scrum and Kanban: Here I learnt how we can use Scrum and Kanban together to create better focus. This is not a simple approach for new teams but is complex and rewarding. In Scrum anyone can pick up a task and work on it but we can effectively use Kanban to create better focus on higher priorities during the sprint by a) Limit work in progress – have a set number of tasks in each state at a given time b) Those items in Progress are actively being worked on and addressed by the team c) Inspect & Adapt – constantly improving and refining our stories and process to see what is the ideal theme for the team
It was an incredibly well organised event that had an amazing atmosphere and everyone seemed to have been left with food for thought. From the moment tickets were bought we were kept up to date with the latest developments and schedule. The organising team created an uplifting and positive vibe all day long which keeps a smile on every ones faces after a long day of learning!
Food was outstanding and plentiful with an endless supply of coffee and plenty of beer and wine to finish off with at the end.
It was great to have so many Scrum Masters in one place and mix with others from different countries and industries and learn about their experiences. I look forward to trying out and sharing some new ideas with my teams over the next few months.
Thank you Adkaditi for organising – see you next year!!