The Quintessence of a Successful ‘Scrum’ Process
The mantra of successful business today is 'Understanding, acting flexibly and recognising trends and opportunities'. Diagnostics companies, like everyone else, have to follow this principle more than ever if they want to be successful on the market in the long term, because customers today have broad access to information and a solid overview of the competition. It is therefore essential to focus the company on the customer and his needs. Keywords here are 'Lean Management' or 'Agile Project Management'. If the latter is chosen, then 'Scrum' could be used as a method in the area of application, one of the best known and most popular agile methods at present, which, in addition to its main focus on the customer, contains an even more important one that focuses on understanding of all stakeholders in order to be able to act flexibly together and identify trends and opportunities.
A closer inspection on 'Scrum'
‚Scrum' can be understood as an instruction manual which stands for flexible adaptation of work processes to dynamic framework conditions. Due to its simple structures and clearly defined roles (Product Owner, Self-managing Development Team, 'Scrum' Master) it is easy to learn. Complex adaptive tasks can be met by 'Scrum', according to Schwaber and Sutherland (2013), in a productive and creative way, by means of which value-adding products can be created that best serve the highest goal of direct customer orientation. With 'Scrum' the conditions of an agile corporate strategy apply, which achieves the desired result by means of self-organized and interdisciplinary teams. While the goal is given, the teams are completely free to choose the way to achieve it. This independence as well as the heterogeneity of the group lead to highest flexibility, a better time management as well as resource wealth, whereby errors are minimized and results are optimized.
'Scrum' in the application
The assignment of tasks is clearly distributed in the 'Scrum' process. The product owner is responsible for assigning and prioritizing tasks, formulating, communicating and controlling product requirements by constantly realigning the development process with changes relating to the product. This is a maximum of 30 days in which several development cycles (Sprints) are run through. Within this time interval, subgoals are defined whose quality requirements are increased step by step until the final product is available. The 'Scrum' Master, on the other hand, plays an active role in shaping the company-wide introduction of the agile method, monitors compliance with the relevant action practices and their rules and supports the Development Team in detail in its collaborative actions and minimizing errors. All three roles come together in regular sprint meetings (Sprint Planning), discuss the current status and plan the next steps against the background of the overall vision, which must be internalized and yet remain flexible. Daily Scrums can also be held in a more detailed setting, in which daily progress is examined more closely and any process problems are discussed.
The quintessence of 'Scrum'
'Scrum' relies on flat hierarchies whose actors can interact with each other at eye level. In addition, all 'Scrum' users must be passionate, because the method as well as the concept of 'Agility' as such live from openness towards transparency of the individual development steps, adaptability, commitment and initiative. The management must rely on this, because disturbances such as ad-hoc reports, power point presentations or quick alignment calls destroy the sensitive 'Scrum' structure with its agile levels of flow, pull and kaizen. The task of the management level is therefore, in addition to communicating a common vision, above all to protect the individual roles in the 'Scrum' process - the relationships as such are the quintessence of successful management with 'Agile Project Management'. Every company is therefore advised to value and respect its employees and to support them in their individual development in order to promote personal abilities and skills and to unleash their actual potential. Furthermore, to transform their personal attitude, which, depending on age group, is often still characterized by rigid hierarchies, against the background of the advancing digitalization and its framework conditions, and thus to take them into the future, which is more and more already present. The focus on each individual employee is the most valuable factor in the agile development process against the background of customer orientation - the product only as good as the sum of its developers. From the individual the bridge to the team has to be built then. This is to be promoted in its entirety, in order to establish the necessary trust relationship, on which 'Scrum' is dependent. This means a high degree of emotional work, which most companies fail to do, because team emotion is based on the individual characters of its members and their states of mind. But every person has his or her own story, which determines how open, committed or independent he or she is and can be. Listening and understanding are therefore important details in the overall process, in which all levels of the company and the respective actors exist side by side on an equal footing.
Want to share your thoughts on management? Come to DxPx and talk to over 500 C-level executives.