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How the Scrum values are helping us deliver products throughout lockdown

Are remote working posts a bit like wishing someone Happy New Year? After a few days you just stop doing it? Anyway, here's mine.

As an agency, we’ve been running remotely for the best part of two months now, and the good news is that on the whole it’s business as usual. There’s a few reasons for this, some of which were covered by Laurent in a previous couple of posts, which are worth a read… after you’ve finished this one of course.

Why it's a great time for Saas products Read more
The digital products behind our business Read more

For me, a large part of the smooth transition has been our adoption of Scrum as a way to deliver products. It’s been a process of continuous inspection and refinement for us, which are key values in Scrum.

 

 

Scrum 101

For those who aren’t familiar with Scrum, here are the basics. It’s an Agile framework that relies on empiricism – so experience being the basis for knowledge and only making decisions on what we know. Because of this, you break delivery up into sprints and focus on a shorter period of time ahead of you. This removes the need for large, upfront documentation that becomes redundant as quickly as it was written.

But that in itself isn’t what’s helping us...

Scrum Values

The implementation of empirical process control is enabled through transparency, inspection and adaptation, which needs to happen at an organisational level to be effective. These are what bring Scrum to life, and it’s these, along with the values that support them, which have enabled us to pivot quickly into the new norm of mass remote working.

The five values of Scrum are Focus, Courage, Openness, Commitment and Respect.

Focus

It’s easy to get distracted when working from home, whether you’re alone or have family. But one of the most positive reactions we’ve seen to this is everyone in the team keeping up their amazing work ethic and projects not slowing down. 

Courage

Courage is an important value to build in any organisation. No matter what your role is within Kyan, we encourage you to have a voice. It takes courage to raise something with your team if you feel something can be improved. We have experts across the board, but it’s the collaborative nature of how we work and the safe environment to speak openly with each other that gives people the courage to share ideas.

Openness

We try to be as transparent with each other and our clients regardless of our working situation. But in these times it’s vital to keep the channels of communication open and manage expectations – both internally and externally. We’ve been using tools such as Slack and Jira for years now, and this allows everyone involved in the project to stay informed and any issues to be dealt with openly.

Commitment

We deliver great products at Kyan. This doesn’t change based on where we’re all working. Every member of the team has shown commitment to continue delivering to the high standards we set ourselves. This commitment is arguably more important with the current challenges that mass remote working poses.

Respect

Everyone reacts to challenges differently and this challenge is unique to everyone. As a family with two working parents and two children to vaguely try and teach, I’ve had to be honest with my workmates around availability and workload. I’m proud to say that everyone has been understanding of this and respects the situation I’m in. Likewise, I know how tough it must be on your own. But without this in place there would be too many unrealistic expectations put on the team.

By adopting Scrum as an agency we’ve actively encouraged these values to be part of how we deliver. Because of this, the level of trust we have created as a team extends to our clients which makes challenging times such as these less impactful.


 

Catch Chris in episode two of our new design thinking video series, Build. Here he talks about our adoption of design sprints and how it compares and relates to Scrum, and how Scrum itself does and doesn't work for agencies.