Have you ever witnessed (or even experienced) a scrum team that had work in Scrum Framework for quite some time but still act like a baby scrum?
I have 🙂
Not in my team, phew… 🙂 But yes…I’ve seen it.
Baby scrum here refers to the condition where the team cannot perform as a self organized team.
They wait for the Scrum Master to feed them with task, remind them to do proper unit test, have no initiative to solve issue among the team, etc.
On the other hand, the team are high talented and skilled people. Their problem is that they can’t (or won’t) manage themselves.
As Scrum Masters, this situation is something we avoid to happen, right?
In this article, I will share some of the things I inspected from other team and how I try to avoid that happen in my team.
If you already have a child, you will understand this. If not, then use your logic 😀
As a mother of two girls, I always train my daughters to be independent.
I told them that they need to be able to manage themselves because I might not always be there for them (let’s say I die tonight :D).
I’m a working mom, which means I cannot always be there at home to help them with homework and test preparations.
They must be able to prepare their school needs by themselves, and if they have issue with that, they know they can contact me anytime to help them.
You might say, “How old are your daughters? I bet they’re big enough so they can do all those by themselves”
By the time this article is written, my girls are 10 and 5 years old.
With my oldest daughter, this condition started when she was 8 years old.
With my younger daughter, this condition started even when she was not 4 years old yet.
I never think of them as “a little kid”.
I often heard people say “She’s still a little kid, she knows nothing yet” or “It’s okay if she’s acting like this now. She will understand when she’s bigger.”
Well I disagree on that.
Kids are smart! They might have a different level of understanding, but they will understand if we say it with the way they understand things.
What Can I Do With My Scrum Team?
You can always relate the analogy of my daughters in your Scrum Team.
As a Scrum Master, I suggest you to treat your Scrum as adults, even though your team might be new in Scrum.
Teach them to be independent and take responsibility on the sprint backlog they agreed in the Sprint Planning. If they don’t complete the sprint backlogs they agreed on, discuss that in the Sprint Retrospective.
Make an agreement and action plans during Sprint Retrospective to “fix” their behavior in the next Sprint.
Use Daily Scrum to remind them to be self organized.
Skip some Daily Scrum to see whether the Development Team still doing that without you or not. Well… scrum guide says a scrum master doesn’t need to be in Daily Scrum, right?
You need also make sure the team know that you will be ready to help them with solving impediments even though you’re not always around.
Just like my daughters know that mommy can always help them even though she’s working and comes home late.
But the most important thing is you need to encourage them to find the solution of the issues that block them.
I know that Stakeholders are waiting for the result to be delivered soon, and taking time to educate your team might slow down the product delivery.
But if you don’t start this as soon as possible, you will just planting a time bomb.
Do you want to “Spoon-feed” your team all the time?
I don’t 🙂
Do you want to be busy assigning task to them all the time until you don’t have time to work on the real Scrum Master task?
I don’t 🙂
Have I Done Something Wrong?
Most common root cause I see is that the Scrum Master is worry that the Sprint execution (more to mechanical) is not smooth, the product delivery is not as planned, even worse… The Scrum Master doesn’t believe that the team can perform without him.
It is time to check on the Agile Manifesto.
One part of Agile manifesto said
Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
Yes, trust is one of the key in making your team success
The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing team
Which means you need to really encourage your team to be self-organized to make them more powerful.
I believe in “Never too late to start” and “Never to soon to start”
If your team is new in Scrum, don’t hesitate to start as soon as possible.
Push them into the cold water, watch them, guide them, trust them.
There’s no such thing as “Never to soon to start”
If your team have been in Scrum for some time but still act like baby scrum,
Educate them, give them responsibilities, trust them.
There’s no such thing as “Never too late to start”
All the best for you and your team 🙂