Monday, May 5, 2014

Scrum: A Universal Process for Organizational Success




















VisionLink studies manufacturing processes and team best practices to inform the way we operate. Many of our teams use the agile methodology Scrum as a structure, but we rely upon our experience with collaborative work to make this approach work smoothly.

Here are a few of the key ideas we integrate into our work. When done correctly, collaborative workflows can achieve the best results, the most reliable timelines, and the happiest teams. These can be applied to any organization, no matter the methodology.


Shared Vision
It’s important to share a vision of what the goals of the project are and what success will look like. Taking the time to come together on a vision leads to the best outcomes in the long run.

Well Defined Tasks
Each task should be well-defined so that the team can be sure of completing it correctly.

Team Approach
Teams should be cross-functional, involving people from each aspect of the organization that has a stake in the outcome. This involvement leads to better results and team unity.

Prioritized Work
Maintaining work in a ruthlessly prioritized backlog ensures that the right tasks are completed first.

Retrospectives
After completing a project, a quick, simple conversation about what worked well and what needs improvement can expose potential flaws in your process and new insights for future projects.

Visible Work Log
Current tasks and their status (to do, in progress, complete) should be visible to all. This can even be done with sticky notes and some columns on a wall.

Measured progress
Consistently tracking work done relative to the goal can help set reasonable deadlines and serve as an early warning when progress is slower than projected.

Time Boxing
Setting tasks within a certain time period makes them more likely to be completed, rather than continually refined past the point of diminishing returns.

Breaking Up Tasks
Breaking up a large, general project into smaller tasks can make the project clearer, allowing everyone to work on different aspects more efficiently.

Limit Work in Progress
Before beginning new tasks, team members should check to see whether they can lend help to other team members. With work prioritized, this leads to the important tasks being finished first.

Stand Up Meetings
When crunch time hits, short stand up meeting as part of the daily process can bring issues to the surface that would normally fall through the cracks.

Craig Quincy
VP of Engineering
VisionLink