In the game of rugby, a Scrum refers to a special move that involves teammates huddling together in order to get the ball from one end of the field to the other – it’s teamwork at it’s best. So it’s no wonder that businesses have adopted both the term and the concept of moving the “ball” as a team.
But even in the game of rugby, a Scrum can go terribly wrong if it’s not executed properly.
If you’re holding weekly Scrum meetings and you aren’t seeing much progress, you might be making some very common mistakes. Take a look at these obstacles that might be getting in the way of moving that ball forward, and let your entire team know how to run a Scrum more effectively.
1.Not realizing what the true goal of a Scrum meeting is. This meeting serves one direct purpose: to see whether or not a team is headed in the right direction and towards the right goal. Frequently, Scrum meetings are used as a way for managers (or ‘ScrumMasters’) to check in on employee productivity, but micromanaging should be kept for another time.
2.Asking people to prove productivity during the meeting. Many managers will ask team members to talk about current projects during a Scrum meeting. Since asking people to bring proof of productivity often creates defensiveness, this is not an effective way to run this type of meeting. Instead, team members should be bringing up collective goals, talking about obstacles, and working together (as a team – not as individuals) to complete a project or accomplish a task.
3.Failing to make a Scrum meeting interactive. This is the time to put down the laptops and stand in front of a white board with team members. Think of a Scrum meeting like you would think of a Rugby play – the whole team has to gather around a visual in order to see how a project will come together.
4.Neglecting to save new tasks and projects for a later time. Scrum meetings should be focused on a current goal or project that the whole team is focused on completing. This is not the time for new tools or to add to team member workloads.
5.Not standing up! Have you ever seen rugby players sit down on the field to run a Scrum play? A Scrum meeting is a shot and effective meeting that should be held standing up. Why? Not only will standing make meetings shorter and more effective, but standing while discussing tends to increase energy levels resulting in a better overall meeting.
Build a Better Scrum
Common meeting courtesy applies to Scrum meetings too. Meeting members should be on time, distractions (cell phones and laptops especially) should be put away, and this meeting should be kept short (15 minutes is a good goal). When you build a better Scrum, you’ll get to the other end of that field a lot faster!