You work for a very young company. Youremployees have been brought up with Agile, and business processes have evolved based on Scrum. Does this sound like you? No? Then read on.

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For many established businesses looking to adopt Scrum, the same key question always comes up. How can I adapt Scrum to suit my business? It might be offshore teams, an inflexible quality management system or rigid document sign-off procedures. There are as many reasons as there are frustrated executives, who can see their competition flourishing.

Scrum works because its ethos, processes and roles are self-supporting. Taking out one of these pillars weakens the whole. You will need to grit your teeth and think about changing the organisation.

Hierarchy

Company hierarchies are often an issue. Decisions and communication flow down the chain. Individuals at the coalface feel frustrated and powerless. With Scrum, the development team becomes more autonomous, and takes more responsibility for deliverables. Getting senior management to buy into this ethos is a critical starting point.

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Roles

Scrum has well-defined roles around the development team. The product owner is a key role in shaping the product, interacting with the business and customers. Maintaining the product backlog, and scoring use cases from a business perspective, are essential.

The Scrum master facilitates communication within the team, at daily Scrum meetings and end of sprint walkthroughs. This is an ideal move for a technical project manager or developer wanting to move into a more managerial role.

Scrum is really a project management process, as Beran Necat writes for the British Computer Society – https://www.bcs.org/content/conWebDoc/15904. Scrum is unlike traditional project planning, however. Scrum masters will need to focus on getting the team to deliver value, delivering incrementally and reviewing at each stage.

Training

Individuals and teams will need to adapt to these working methods and roles. The organisation will benefit from training at all levels, especially the Scrum master. Courses are available, and for Scrum Master Training Dublin is well-served: https://www.althris.com/courses/scrum-master/.

Adapting your organisation

Implementing Agile is not about adapting Scrum to suit your organisation, it’s exactly the opposite. To gain the benefits, you will need to change your organisation. Although this might sound challenging, it will be rewarding. Your business will be better able to respond to the market and your staff will be happier and more productive.

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