March 8, 2019
From: Business Stakeholder
Subject: Thank You for New System X Functionality!
Dear Scrum Team:
I’m happy to report that the work for the Business Product Board has been completed. We are using the System X process that you worked so hard to put into production. Also, the Product Board is very excited about the additional capabilities that will become available in a few months.
I wanted to thank you for the tremendous initiative, effort, and support that you’ve put into this project. I look forward to working with you on the upcoming business initiatives.
I also wanted to thank you for your patience, agility, and understanding while requirements were developing as the project moved along. Needless to say, this has helped us achieve our goal in such a short amount of time.
Your kindness and thoughtfulness are very much appreciated!
Your Friendly Business Stakeholder
A Happy Outcome
Can a Scrum team ask for better accolades than this? This is the point of why we are a Scrum team: to deliver value that results in a happy outcome for our stakeholders. In this case it was a piece of functionality that saved time and provided valuable data for our business partners. It was crucial for us to deliver this functionality in time for our partner to demonstrate it for the product board. The board’s confidence in our ability to deliver value was increased, which led to their excitement over additional soon-to-be-delivered features. That was a win-win-win outcome for the product board, our business partner, and our Scrum team!
The Good Words
Initiative, Effort, Support, Patience, Agility, Understanding, Kindness, Thoughtfulness
As a Scrum Master, I am downright proud to hear my team described by such words! A team displays such qualities when they feel empowered. It’s then that a team takes initiative and makes “tremendous” effort to support their business partners. It is when they feel trusted and respected as individuals with competent skills and creative abilities that they exercise patience, agility, and understanding when confronted with ambiguous but evolving business requirements. It is then that the best side of human nature presents itself in their kindness and thoughtfulness. Because the reality is this stakeholder, as all stakeholders, is an individual person with concerns, feelings, thoughts, and a job to accomplish. We, as a Scrum team made up of individual persons, care about her. That might sound a bit too fluffy for some people. But look at the outcome in this case.
Let’s Do It Again!
“I look forward to working with you on the upcoming business initiatives.”
Yes, yes, yes! Let’s do it again! And again and again! Is this not exactly what Agile is meant to be? We work closely with the business, learn what they need, develop the solution together, deliver value in a relatively short period of time (two weeks in this case). Then we do it again. Lather, rinse, repeat. We learn as we go. We strive to improve with each iteration. We develop relationships. We make people happy.
I’m happy to share this success story.
(The Scrum Diaries are accounts of my experiences with Scrum teams during an organizational Agile transformation. There have been, and continue to be, many bumps in the road along the way. We are learning and growing together as a team. I am a certified Scrum Master (PSM I) and a developer. I fill both of those roles on my team. These Diaries primarily address topics related to Agile and Scrum.)