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					     Top Tips - How To Be a More Productive
                  Scrum Team

Tip 1. Know The Scrum Guide Inside Out

This may seem almost obvious, but you would be surprised at the number of people that are
employed as scrum masters but really do not have a rock solid knowledge on the simple
fundamentals of scrum. Unfortunately, many people today are project managers who get the
"jist" of scrum or know a few practices. With that said, my first tip is to simply read and
understand the scrum rules, based not only on experience and word of mouth, but on Ken
Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland's official scrum guide. I have found that most people learned
scrum based on their experiences in companies, what they have read in books and what they
have been told by others. This guide is the final word from the people who created the
framework.

Tip 2. Stick To The Rules (Come What May)

This tip is very closely related to starting with the scrum rules, but subtly different. Whereas that
rule was about starting on the correct foundation, this rule is all about sticking to that foundation
throughout thick and thin. It may seem as if simple rules are easy to stick to, but any experienced
scrum practitioner will tell you that "simple to understand" does not necessarily equal "easy to
put into practice".

Tip 3. Trust The Scrum Framework (and Learn how to Leverage It)

Again, moving slightly on from the issue of sticking to the rules, my next tip is one of the most
helpful ones in terms of achieving productivity in the simplest way possible. The beauty of this is
that it arms us with the minimum set of tools we need to keep a project running smoothly.
Communication is managed through a 15 minute daily meeting, sprint review (demo) and
retrospective. New features, risks, absenteeism and bugs are managed through a backlog, sprints
and sprint planning every one to four weeks. Therefore, the framework is equipped to deal with
any change on a daily basis and then review after each sprint.

Tip 4. Complement with the Agile Toolkit

Although there is a process and method involved in carrying out the framework, it is clearly
described as a framework. The practices and rules are not the end of the story, just the beginning.
To make a project potentially shippable, complement with practices such as: Test Driven
Development, Pair Programming, Automated Testing and Continuous Build.

Tip 5. Trust the Team and learn how to leverage them

One major difference between scrum and many of its predecessors is the emphasis on the team as
opposed to the other roles. Scrum empowers teams to organise themselves, make decisions and
solve problems.

Tip 6. Respect motivates teams

Getting the most out of any project usually means getting the best out of the team involved. In
my experience, I have discovered that teams will rarely work hard for people they do not respect.
This can apply equally to anyone who interfaces with the project team.

Tip 7. Common Sense is the Golden Rule

The one rule that trumps all the other rules is the rule of common sense. Dont get me wrong. I
am a strong believer that rules are NOT made to be broken. However there are specific times
when specific practices do not make sense. In my experience I have never been forced to
abandon any scrum rule or practice in the name of common sense. I think the beauty of the
framework is that in general, it IS common sense.

				
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posted:9/9/2012
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