Scrum is Agile Leadership – Part 2

How does the Scrum Master lead?

Submitted by Peter Beck on 03/18/2019

Part 1 of this series used two example companies to show how Product Owners lead. The Product Owner is part of an agile leadership system (or management system) that needs to be developed for every organisation. Scrum provides a framework for this leadership system.

This part continues the story of both companies and illustrates how the Scrum Master leads.

Scrum is Agile Leadership – Part 1

How Does the Product Owner Lead?

Submitted by Peter Beck on 01/23/2019

The Scrum roles are prototypes for agile leadership and agile management. The Agile Manifesto was formulated in 2001 with contributions from the two authors of the first Scrum publication. Scrum is a framework used to optimise an organisation to become more agile. In addition to a basic understanding of the artefacts and processes required, the framework also divides leadership duties into three roles. Scrum also follows a lean approach based on the idea that less is more. The framework thus only prescribes rules that are absolutely necessary.

The benefit of this is that each organisation can develop a suitable leadership system tailored to its needs within the triangle of Scrum roles. On the downside, it does make the concept of agile leadership somewhat less accessible and means it is often interpreted in very different ways.

To help clarify matters, in this article – the first of four – I will answer the question How does the Product Owner lead? using two companies as examples.

  • A young, fast-growing company with an initial 20 employees.
  • A medium-sized company that has grown to 450 employees over the course of two decades.

Help, My Organisation is Doing SAFe!

Survival Guide for Agile Coaches

Submitted by Andreas Schliep on 11/20/2016

You have given everything. You have shown in countless meetings, conversations and intranet articles why it makes sense for an organisation to become agile, what being agile means, why defined process protocols don't make sense in a complex context. You have assisted agile teams to formulate a challenging Definition of Done, and helped alleged Product Owners, to contribute as requirements specialists on a team. You insisted that the management take Lean thinking to their heart, you have put a lot of effort into our change, transition or transformation team. Finally everybody agreed that organisations need to become agile nowadays. There even was a big talk by your management with images of oil tankers and speed boats.

And now that: External consultants convinced your management that SAFe - Scaled Agile Framework - is exactly the right solution for your company.

Scrum Guide and Scaling: Part 4 - Scrum Artifacts

Submitted by Peter Beck on 03/24/2015

Scrum artifacts or process documents provide guidance or links in the process framework.

4.1 Product Backlog

The Product Backlog is the core artifact of Scrum. In larger organizations management of the Product Backlog is unnecessarily complicated. What are the key messages, what are the rules for a Product Backlog, which also apply in scaled environments?

First of all, there is only one product backlog. For this there is a very clear statement in the Scrum Guide:  

The Product Backlog lists all features, functions, requirements, enhancements, and fixes that constitute the changes to be made to the product in future releases. […,] Multiple Scrum Teams often work together on the same product. One Product Backlog is used to describe the upcoming work on the product. A Product Backlog attribute that groups items may then be employed.