Scrum Skeptics: How to Address Leadership’s Most Common Concerns

Scrum Inc. COO Alex Brown explains how to address one of the most common knee-jerk reactions from senior management when it comes to implementing Scrum: “We can’t do that here.”

Most Common Scrum Concerns | OpenView Labs

If you’ve ever tried to convince a skeptical senior executive to give Scrum a shot then you’ve likely experienced a fair amount of pain and frustration. In worst-case scenarios, it can feel as though you’re repeatedly banging your head against the wall.

Unfortunately, anti-Scrum bias can exist, and it’s often the byproduct of poor understanding or misinformation. Typically, it boils down to one of two concerns: Either the company’s product is too complicated to fit into a short Scrum sprint, or the business lacks the manpower to perform all the testing that needs to be completed in a sprint.


How to Explain Scrum to Management

Pushing for your organization to adopt Scrum? Alex Brown, Scrum Inc. COO, explains the key is to frame the conversation in terms management can better appreciate and understand.

explaining scrum

When software companies build a product for a particular customer segment, they often start by putting themselves in their customers’ shoes. What pain points need to be addressed? Which features would be most valuable? And, ultimately, how will the product make those customers’ lives easier?

When software company teams want to encourage their management teams to implement Scrum, Alex Brown, COO of Scrum Inc., says those teams should approach that conversation the same way — by putting themselves in their leaders’ shoes and focusing in on the real value of Scrum to the company’s bottom line.


Agile Lessons from the Most Innovative Team in World Cup History

How one of the most dominant soccer dynasties in history laid the agile blueprint for how you should build and manage your team.

Agile Management Lessons from Soccer's Most Innovative Dynasty In the history of soccer, there have been few teams as remarkably innovative and as relentlessly productive as the Dutch club Ajax in the late ’60s and early ’70s, and, subsequently, the Netherlands World Cup national team of 1974.


Executives: 5 Ways Scrum Can Make Your Life Easier

When most people think of Scrum and agile development, they think of software engineers doing funny things with Post-It notes. The truth is, Scrum can help transform the performance of any team, and the people who stand to benefit most are executives.

 Scrum Benefits for Executives | OpenView Labs

Whether or not your business has implemented Scrum, the likelihood is that you’ve at least heard the term bandied about in the office. Maybe the software development team is using Scrum to improve productivity. Or maybe the sales, marketing, and customer service teams have begun kicking around the idea of implementing it to optimize their efficiency and output.

Whatever the case may be, the reality is that Scrum can enable every team in a SaaS organization — from entry-level BDR reps to senior-level managers — to organically achieve a continuous level of improvement. And, maybe more importantly, it can also make the lives of SaaS executives who are in charge of overseeing those teams a heck of a lot easier.


Scrum of the Living Dead: Are You Truly Agile?

Is the spirit of Scrum alive and well in your team, or are you simply going through the motions?

Are You Practicing Zombified Scrum? | OpenView Labs

Agile methodologies have become widely adopted in the tech industry for many years now. And in recent years, agile practices have even grown strongly beyond the confines of software engineering teams — just try a quick search for “agile marketing,” “agile sales,” etc. and see how much comes up. But talking the agile talk and walking the walk are two very different things, and many teams casually adopting agile processes may not be seeing the impact they want.


The Art of Doing Less: How to Maximize Product Development

Looking to focus in on the absolute priorities and ship better products faster? Scrum Inc. consultant Joe Justice shares a story from his work with Team WIKISPEED that serves as the perfect example of what’s possible when you get lean and creative with your product development.

A Lesson in Lean Manufacturing: Why Less Is More

When volunteer-based green automotive company Team WIKISPEED needed to develop a system that would clean and limit tailpipe emissions from its prototype car, founder and CEO Joe Justice didn’t seek out the world’s best engineers to build a revolutionary catalytic converter.

Instead, he turned the product development project loose to anyone who was willing to help the company quickly develop a core product that solved Team WIKISPEED’s most basic challenges.


photo by: othree

The Key Agile Principles Behind Holacracy

Zappos triggered an uproar when it announced it was ditching traditional management hierarchy in exchange for self-organizing teams. In this week’s Labcast, Scrum co-creator Jeff Sutherland sounds off on holacracy and provides a basic anatomy lesson on the structure of truly agile organizations.

The Anatomy of an Agile Company: The Key Agile Principles Behind Holacracy

Holacracy — the buzzword has been swarming the web ever since Zappos announced it would be swapping management titles for a “self-governing” system. There seems to be two main reactions surrounding the shift — those who believe holacracy is the way of the future, and those who dismiss it as a passing fad.

But when you get down to the key concepts of holacracy — the emphasis on small self-organizing teams operating autonomously, for example — perhaps the system isn’t exactly the scary new revolution it’s being made out to be. In fact, it sounds an awful lot like agile development.

In this week’s Labcast, Dr. Jeff Sutherland, co-creator of Scrum, weighs in on holacracy and the future of management — drawing parallels between agile and holacracy, and explaining why your own body may be the perfect model for a truly agile, productive, and innovative organization. 


photo by: Double--M