5 Scrum Principles to Increase Your Team’s Productivity

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Scrum is a pearl among project managers. Once you master this methodology, you will find several options to display results faster and more efficiently.

The goal to create the Scrum methodology was to make developments of projects more agile and reliable and become it in an efficient and productive way of working.

This is crucial to promote overcoming failures, self-organization of work, self-correction of problems, and self-adaptation of the team during the development of the work.

Scrum is a revolution in the traditional way of managing projects. From the immense plans developed by experts, in multidisciplinary teams, with high productivity, and high commitment to the product, the project, and the customers, in order to eliminate the meticulous measures of time and the plotting of huge Gantt Charts.

When Scrum came to life to improve productivity

There was a lack of efficiency in organizational work before Scrum had existed. This tool is important to avoid project delays, budget overruns, and failures in the result. Jeff Sutherland is responsible for creating Scrum, which is an efficient and fast method of managing and planning projects.

With it, it is possible to check each step to be performed, techniques to be used, and it is also possible to measure problems and repair them in real-time, avoiding that it is only noticed at the end of the project where the damage would already be done.

A team works on a part of the project, delivers it, and then evaluates it for future optimized projects. No fear of modifying the steps of the process as the objective is to be in constant optimization.

One of the notable points of Scrum is the prototyping and feedback cycle. In Scrum, the work is focused so that, at each sprint, it is possible to have a small part of the project ready or a new functionality implemented.

The goal of the job is always to create something that customers can see, use and give back feedback.

In Scrum, the product is constantly submitted to the customer’s scrutiny, so that any need for change or adaptation is carried out right after it is verified. When we think about the productivity of a Scrum development team, we may think about velocity, the metric used to measure how much the team gets done in an iteration.

However, the velocity is used to determine how much point a team can achieve on average on a normal sprint and then determines how many points they will agree to achieve in the next sprint iteration. The velocity should not be used to determine if the team is productive or not, it’s just a simple indicator based on past sprints.

If you want to increase the velocity of your team, you should focus on the optimal velocity over time rather than maximized velocity, which considers the quality of the end product. To help your team to be more productive, let’s review 5 principles that can help you power up your team’s productivity!

Here are 5 Scrum principles to increase productivity

1. PRODUCT BACKLOG

The construction of the Task Backlog is part of a kick-off meeting of the project, which involves all the Stakeholders that are part of the process.

In this meeting, a “brainstorming” is carried out to map the product requirements, and, from there, the team goes hunting for all the documentation, drafts, and emails available, in order to complement the information collected in the meeting.

Together, the project team, Product Owner, and Scrum Master consolidate the requirements into the “stories” that will be developed by the team from that moment on.

2. BUILDING STORIES

Stories are composed of a group of tasks and tasks, in turn, are consolidated into post-its that will carry the following information: The description of the task to be performed; The completion and acceptance criteria of this task, and; The relative sizing of the task.

From there, post-its are prioritized so that the tasks that generate the most value for customers are carried out first and, at the same time, require less effort to be developed.

3. PLANNING MEETING

The Planning Meeting marks the beginning of a new Sprint, is conducted by the Product Owner, and serves to define the activities that will be developed in the next work cycle.

In this meeting, the project team transfers to the “to do” column all the activities that can be performed in that work Sprint.

Thereafter, no activities are replaced and no additional activities enter the Sprint.

If there is this type of need, the Product Owner should add a new task to the Backlog at the next Sprint Review and Planning meeting.

Furthermore, activities are only placed in the “done” column from the moment they can be tested by the customer!

Scrum requires constant feedback!

4. RETROSPECTIVE MEETING

At the end of each Sprint, in the Retrospective Meeting, each team member answers three questions:

Is there anything we can do differently to speed up the work? Can we get rid of any items from the backlog? Is there anything we can delegate to other teams? Is it possible not to do some things? Can we reduce the scope of the project, even minimally?

From there, the Scrum board receives a window where the obstacles faced by the team are consolidated and the Scrum Master starts to work intensely in order to solve them.

5. DAILY MEETINGS

Daily Sprint Meetings are held for a maximum of 15 minutes and at the beginning of each workday.

At this meeting, the entire team involved in the project gathers standing in front of the task board, and, led by the Scrum Master, they quickly answer a few questions: What did you do yesterday to help the team complete the Sprint tasks? What will you do today to help the team complete the Sprint tasks? Which obstacles are hindering the team?

The purpose of daily meetings is not to point out the culprits but to level knowledge and identify bottlenecks in the process.

Important extra tips to find better results with Scrum

When you run Scrum teams, you have to deal with maintenance and delivering new features. It can be an urgent bug that’s been reported or another team that requires a developer to help them. It’s impossible to ignore the rest of the world when delivering a product. You have to deal with these interruptions in the current sprint.

What matters is your ability to face this kind of situation. If you schedule a buffer in all your sprints could help you avoid scope changes.  The number of points depends on the number and time consumed by your current interruptions.

In case no interruption occurs, this time can be used at the end of the sprint to help on other tickets or even better, let a developer do some R&D for the project.

It’s a known fact that making your work visible helps the team to be more responsible for the delivery. Having metrics and other charts printed and displayed on walls also helps stakeholders and colleagues to know how the product is moving forward.

Update the burndown chart on a daily basis, display the Kaizen you want to achieve, show the customer or team satisfaction. You can also display the roadmap of what you are building to share the vision. There is plenty of information you can display that will help everybody get the idea of how things are going in a second.

Make all information visible to everyone on a wall. Displaying data helps the team to deliver quality and involves all the company.

Multi-tasking happens all the time, companies praise it. But multitasking reduces productivity and the quality of the end result.

When a developer starts working on a task and has to stop for something else to finally go back to the original task, he lost all the time he spent understanding the software. Asking someone to give up what he is currently doing has an invisible cost that you should be aware of.

It’s a good habit to limit our work in progress and focus on finishing work, not starting work.

GitScrum has plenty of Scrum features to help you produce more!

If you want to increase productivity in your team, GitScrum offers the best Scrum features to help you reach the best results!

Have questions on how to be more productive with Scrum?
Visit us at www.gitscrum.com or e-mail us at customer.service@gitscrum.com