How a Web Team Manager can roll into SCRUM

It’s time to FLY now, isn’t it?

I’ve been working in “Agile” environments for over 5 years now. When the company I worked for first rolled out the idea to use SCRUM it seemed like another “hot” item management wanted to say we did – but didn’t do.  Of course we had no dedicated SCRUM MASTER, yet were all told to work as if we did – take internal classes on Agile and Scrum the company offered – YET no Scrum Master – so that didn’t really work at all.

Instead, What I did was, I went through all the company training and took my own training on Agile and Scrum.  This year I was certified and found I was really closely aligned to SCRUM for the last 5 years and didn’t realize how close I was.

As a web manager, my team was filled with wonderful and competent, reliable and knowledgeable developers.  They worked together well, helped each other out and were always accountable. I found the best thing I could do for them was try to block all the “noise” around them so they could focus on their work, coach them on issues that came up, jump to resolve conflicts in the group, and help everyone understand the amount of work we did.  Logging and sizing all projects meticulously so in to get production quarterly reports and evaluate if workload was increasing or decreasing and the averages the team could take in – in each sprint.

I made them decline meetings that were not relevant, and I took the meetings and worked with the Product and Business Managers to clarify what they wanted and get everything in the project ready for them to tackle. Developers should never be on calls where owners are discussing messaging, copy or design.  Only exception to that is if the owners are working in a system that has restrictive templates and they don’t understand them – which I facilitated answers for.

I also worked on creating technical documentation for both my team and the content providers so this helped speed up project turn around – when the content providers used the correct copy templates —- now that is another story.  Also getting the team to maintain the project tracking tools, there were many days when I went through and put status on things, but the group quickly realized this was important and started to update our project tracker more regularly.

The transition was easy and though there is a lot more to SCRUM then these things, you need to start with the basics, get them to work with your group –  and work your way up.  It’s been a long road but I’m learning more every day and proud of what my team accomplished.

Essentials from – SCRUM HUB article below.

Scrum Masters…

  • Take on the administrative, coaching and leadership roles that make Scrum development possible.
  • Ensure the Scrum process doesn’t impede team progress.
  • Act as a buffer between the team and process overhead, so each team member can focus on shipping the software on time. (for my team this step was – publishing and finishing page designs by launch date)

read more on their site – https://www.scrumhub.com/what-does-a-scrum-master-do-all-day/

Also there is a nice slide here on the things a SCRUM MASTER does – the responsibilities, that blends well into exactly what Web Team managers do – by Ashley-Christian Hardy, and this really sums it up for me.

 

Full slide share here –

 

Last note –

The thing we kept trying to get right, but never did – to my SATISFACTION were Sprint Retrospectives – We never seemed to improve on the RETROSPECTIVES but I always fielded it up the chain – to managers above us – and never got anywhere with any action items there that should have been done. That was a work in progress, that they will have to figure out, as I’m no longer with that company.  I think in this instance upper management has to have buy in – and dedication to making SCRUM work in an organization – to actually have it fully succeed.