Developing Scrum Habits… No Developers Needed

Redefining a Product

In The Scrum Guide, a lot of emphasis is put on the idea of creating a “product”, including research, development, release planning, etc. One of the first mental hurdles we had to clear as a team was conceptualizing how Scrum would work for us when our team doesn’t have customers and doesn’t create a product. The answer ended up being that we had to redefine who our “customers” are and what a “product” is for our team.

Goal-Setting

Another challenge we faced was how to operate a Scrum team when its members were brought together from different areas of the company. My team combines operations, human resources, marketing, and tools — a diverse group of people, to say the least. Sprint goals are an important tool that help align a team’s focus during a sprint. For a development-focused team, a goal might look something like “Deliver a working recirculation module for our customer’s website.” For a mixed team such as ours, however, it may not be as straightforward to set that kind of singular goal.

We’re All Developers

When you’re first implementing Scrum on a team, taking in the roles, responsibilities, and events that make Scrum what it is can be a bit overwhelming. In learning all of the details, don’t miss the forest for the trees. As The Scrum Guide notes, “Scrum is not a process, technique, or definitive method. Rather, it is a framework within which you can employ various processes and techniques.” By its nature, this framework is flexible and adaptable to many situations, whether you’re making software, operations decisions, or dinner for your family.

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