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Scrum Style, Baby

In my previous life I was a project manager. It was a small company and we didn’t subscribe to a particular management format. The one time I did have professional input (a 1 day course run by an independent, self-styled “management guru” who openly deemed himself unemployable) he was quick to slate both PRINCE2 and Agile.

From a distance both of them have unintelligble jargon which seems off-putting and makes them vaguely mysterious. Now, learning more about Agile Scrum as part of the bootcamp I attend, it feels more like the opposite.

All the little meetings I had to have now have specific names. There are rules and guidelines for what happens within them and the human side of the team is understood - ie. it’s entirely possible that a room full of people on a rainy Monday morning during a tough project might not want to communicate with each other. This is anticipated and planned for.

The management of a project in the past for me also involved managing the people; and that was not my favourite thing. In a small business you can become “HR” very quickly just by being a woman. [Opinion my own.] It was exhausting and distracting. This morning I spent learning about the role of the “scrum-master” in Agile software development teams; it wasn’t until the trainer spelled out that:

"The scrummaster has no authority over the other team members; their job is to make the environment as conducive to work as possible and allow team members to work to the best of their ability"

that I relaxed and realised that a) I wasn’t worried about having to potentially be scrum master at some point, and b) I was rather looking forward to having one.

Small businesses have many benefits in flexibility and cameraderie; but often a lack of budget, time, or insight into strong management practices. I think after I “graduate” at the end of the year I will be applying to large companies in the hope I can experience a more sophisticated management and working team style than the one I’ve come from.

Do you work in an Agile team? Do you recommend it? Or is there a previous job where you felt that they got it right in terms of management style?

Top comments (1)

nikolayblinov profile image

Yes, I work in an Agile team. Yes, I recommend it – both Scrum and Kanban. Imho, they are best not because they are perfect, but because Waterfall is much worse.

However, Agile should not be an ultimate goal since this is just an instrument for reaching goals. Just be reasonable and utilize the practices that match your company business style.