A few weeks ago, we were told that we would be implementing Scrum in our department and this would mean that our departmental sections would meet for up to 15 minutes each day to do the following:

  • Each member reports what they did the previous day
  • Each member reports what they have scheduled to do today
  • Each member reports any obstacles they see to accomplishing their tasks for today

There is a Scrum Master which keeps things going.  Everyone stands, during the Scrum, as this encourages the brevity of the meeting.  If a topic becomes too detailed, the SM calls it to the “parking lot” which means those involved should meet afterwards to continue the discussion in greater detail.  If an item is completely off topic, the SM call it a “rat hole” and you go on to the next topic.  The Scrum is supposed to start on time and everyone is to be on time to participate.

It is only a little over a week and we’ve already had a SM forget the time, and be on a call with someone at Scrum start time.  Several people come to the meeting late.  Several people have other things scheduled and do not show up at all.  And probably the worst, for me, as everyone talks about what they have done & plan to do, I am painfully aware that what they do and what I do have almost nothing to do with each other.  So, rather than engendering collegiality, I feel a sense of isolation as a result of the daily Scrum.  **I’ve asked, is the Scrum supposed to engender collegiality, or be for information sharing, to which I was told, “both.”

Yesterday, I decided to do a little online “Scrum” research.  I quickly realized that what we had implemented as Scrum was totally devoid of the reason why Scrum was invented.  Scrum is a framework in which various processes and techniques are employed with a goal of effective & efficient software/product development.

We are using the interactive techniques, but not with the purpose of reaching a shared goal.  As such, it AIN’T Scrum!  Collegiality and info sharing are by-products of the Scrum process, but the goal is to reach a level of shared “Done”-ness which should be a working software or product.

A Scrum Team should consist of members with skill sets that, in combination, cover all the skills required for a successful Sprint.  A Sprint being a 30 days (or less) window for the process & completion of a “Done” product iteration.  The members agree upon what “Done” means.  **”…the heart of a Scrum is the software/product being worked on…”

I meet with other staff that are working on projects on the Administrative side, not Academic.  If your group is not working on a common project, then each person is focused upon what they are doing/have done and instead of breaking down silos, what could emphasize more, the solitary nature of what each person is working on daily, than to meet to talk about each person’s work?