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.