Every organization has its culture that you can see when you observe people at their daily work. This observed culture should be aligned with, or congruent to, the official organizational culture. In reality there is often a gap between the intended culture and the real observed one. For example, management might say that quality is above everything else, while pushing to release new versions of low quality product riddled with defects. Or an organization touts its focus on learning and removing impediments, while the reality is the complete opposite. This post discusses the impact and importance of cultural alignment.
Doing the same thing every day for a long time can get boring. You might even forget why you started doing it in the first place; you just keep doing the same thing, and don’t reflect on what you are getting out of it. The scrum meeting at my current client had gotten into this rut, it had devolved into a status meeting. The participants routinely answered the three questions; what I did yesterday, what I’m going to do today and what impediments I have, but they didn’t really tell each other much about what they had actually done, or what they were planning to do today. They almost never reported any impediments either.
This team has been using Scrum for almost two years. It is a very well working team from a technical perspective; they produced an even amount of user stories each sprint with a high level of quality. But they had lost the energy in the scrum implementation. They felt that they could do more; that they could perform even better if they just could just somehow improve their scrum implementation.
We started working on the daily scrum meeting. Our goal was to use the meeting to give the team a good start to the day with energy and desire to start working on the tasks discussed during the meeting. In order to do this we made a few changes, both large and small in how we perform the meeting.
- The structure of the scrum board
- The process of how we perform the scrum meeting
- The location of the scrum board and the meeting
- The metric that we uses to monitor how we are improving the meeting