10 Critical Success facors for Scrum Success
Understanding the need to be agile - Why are you trying to be agile?. It could be competitor's activities, market demand, need for better predictability and even, the ability to fail fast etc. Every team / organization have their own reasons to be agile. What is your reason to be agile?. What is the business case for embarking on to the agile journey. A common understanding of this, percolated from top to bottom of the organization is a good catalyst for the agile journey. Do not miss it. It will create a sense of urgency.
Key stakeholder support at all phases - Include all key stakeholders from day#1 of the journey. Many stakeholders have only hearsay knowledge of agile and they are not very confident. An agile awareness program to the key stakeholders will help them to appreciate what the scrum teams are doing.
Understanding the spirit of Agile (Manifesto, Agile principles) - A good understanding of the agile manifesto and the agile principles will help the practitioners to understand the larger picture.
Realistic expectations - Agile will not solve all your problems from day#1, instead it will highlight the real issues very fast. It is upto the organization to work and solve these issues to improve productivity and predictability gadually.
Good knowledge of Scrum framework - Very often, all the stakeholders including development team are not formally trained on Scrum. Without a good understanding of the scrum framework, they are bound to fail.
Practical implementation - Scrum is very open. In fact, it is open to everything that will improve productivity and predictability. There is amble room for tailoring to suit the needs of every team as long as the Scrum ground rules are not diluted.
Decision making based on empiricism - Everything revolves around the velocity of the team. Without monitoring and controlling the velocity of the team, predictability remains as a gamble.
Culture of informed risk taking - What happens if the sprint fails becuase the development team took some risks?. Do you celebrate failures?. Do you consciously promote risk taking?. In a risk averse environmnt, how can we expect risk taking?.
Work life balance - Are your team members encouraged for achieve work life balance, so that they can perform continuously at the same pace.
Continuous improvement - Nothing is perfect ever in agile. Product and processes are no exception. Everything needs improvement iteratively and incrementally.