Posted by on November 22, 2016

This post is about the technique for managing people, not the object-oriented design pattern with the same name.

I had a shocking realisation today: I can apply scrum to managing my staff.  I’m a lot more familiar with, and probably better at, software development than I am at managing.  I’ve seen the similarities between software development and delegation for some time: define clear requirements including a measurement of success, distribute the work, clear the roadblocks, and follow up.  Not exactly radical ideas.  Nor is the idea of meeting regularly with your boss to discuss your work.

You can, and I think should, do all of the scrum rituals with each of your direct reports who aren’t lucky enough to be on a sprint team.  Define a regular sprint duration.  Have a one-on-one planning meeting where the work, the acceptance criteria, and measurements are defined.  Let your direct report decide how much to take on, which gets them to buy into the schedule.  Carry on as usual, checking for roadblocks but generally staying out of the way.  At the end, have a demonstration ceremony together where your reports can showcase and celebrate their accomplishments.  Then have one-on-one retrospectives where you think about process improvement.  Finally, start the next working day with another planning meeting.

Try it.  I think you’ll like it.

Posted in: Technical


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