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This is a translation of a prior post in Swedish. Se originalinlägget på svenska här >

This post is about the most common way of working for an agile team, namely the Scrum framework. Scrum is a minimal, lightweight framework that gives good support for both new teams and more experienced teams, as well as for organisations with many teams, under the name Scrum at Scale. In this post I show the basics of Scrum, but if you are interested to know more and get the latest correct updates, I recommend the official Scrum Guide >

Scrum is based on empiricism and lean thinking. It provides good support to deliver solutions to complex problems where we cannot predict whether the solution will produce the effect we want. It has become by far the most popular Agile way of working over the past 20 years.

The team can work within software development, product development, or as managers in any sort of organisation. Even functions like HR can benefit greatly from this way of working, or why not healthcare or construction projects? Anyone who works with complex problems where they cannot predict if the solution will achieve the desired result, and cannot plan more than one week in advance, will benefit from working this way of working.

Download the poster on Agile working for teams in a nutshell in English as high resolution PDF.

Share Values in the Agile Team

The 5 Scrum values give the team the conditions needed to build a high performing team. If these values are not lived by the team, they will not be able to build and maintain an Agile approach either. Process alone will not bring a team all the way to agility.

Focus
All in the Agile team focus on the work in the sprint or the goal for the team.

Courage
Agile team members have the courage to do the right thing and work to solve tough problems.

Openness
The Agile team and its stakeholders agree to be transparent with all work and challenges that come with doing it.

Commitment
Individuals in the Agile team personally commit to achieve their shared goal as a team.

Respect
The members in the Agile team respect each other and have trust that all are capable, independent people.

Agile way of working for teams

The process is simple and has few elements and rules, as well as only 3 roles; Product Owner, Scrum Master and Team Member. Regardless of what the team is working on, these roles are used, but depending on what the team’s mission is, the team members have different competencies (more on that below).

Product Owner
Responsible for optimising value that the team and organisation deliver. Owns the product backlog, product vision, and has the mandate to make business decisions. NOT a project manager.

Scrum Master
A coaching leader for the team and PO. Responsible for facilitating work processes and optimising flow in the team. Helps the team to improve and build a mature and strong team. NOT managing anyone.

Team Members
A self-organising team is responsible for “the what” – i.e. the solution. The team works together with the PO to understand the business and customer value and is responsible for how the solution will work to solve the prioritised problem. NOT with individual goals and priorities.

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The challenge

How do I do a retrospective that feels like a live meeting though we are distributed?

I have recently started working with a new team. We are distributed in two locations with a 7-hour time difference. We have not met in person (yet). We use slack for our daily communication, using it both for text communication and audio calls. In the retrospectives we always use video since it’s so much better to get the feeling of being closer to each other.

My team had a history of using the 4L retrospective technique every sprint for a long time. They used slack video call and confluence for documentation during the meeting.

I wanted to do something different, and I wanted the retro to be as much like a live meeting as possible.

The solution

I read about the Speedboat retro and really wanted to try it, but I was not sure how I could make it work with the team being distributed.

I had a vision of us using an online sticky tool and putting our stickies on the picture of the pirate ship.

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This is a poster I made for a Agile intro class at Hyper Island Digital Business class 2017 where I and my colleague Per Lundholm was last week. The class was as big as 40 people, and covering from a couple of experts to mostly total novelty, which is usually the most difficult type of situation for a teacher or coach. But it went well, maybe not all thanks to the poster 😉 but it sure made it a lot easier for both me and Per as teachers, as well as the students who could follow more easily as well as take notes.

Free poster on Agile in a Nutshell
Agile in a Nutshell poster - Free download

Free Download of the poster on Agile in a Nutshell here (PDF)

EDIT 1: Due to some companies restricted IT policies the poster is now available directly here in the blogpost and not in Dropbox. Thank you for that feedback!

This poster covers both briefly the background to why we work Agile, some history and problems as well as values and principles. It also covers the difference between waterfall development and Agile in two aspects and the most common Agile practice, basic Scrum. Also I added some Lean practices to the mix to add a more advanced level to it.
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Cross functional teams are complete in expertise but not necessarily collaborative. Sometimes team members hold on to their expertise too much and the team does not perform to its potential. This Lego game illuminates the difference when members allow themselves to take on tasks outside their expertise, being so called T-shaped. Play the game to kick-start your change and create collaboration.

This post was first published on the Crisp blog when Mia Kolmodin was a Crisp consultant.

Collected downloads from this post – updated June 2017
X-team Facilitators Instructions as PDF >
The X team silos game poster in PDF >

Playing the game.

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Teachers: Jenny Persson, Mia Kolmodin
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