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KENNIS WISER
Things That Are Worth Doing Are Hard

Things That Are Worth Doing Are Hard

Summary

So you want to be more agile. Of course you do. But do you have the tenacity and the understanding to do this? We look at why transitioning to Scrum is so hard and why it’s worth it.

Things That Are Worth Doing Are Hard

If you run a software development organisation you want to be more agile. This is just a fact. Agile teams produce software of higher quality. We all want to be agile, but are we all prepared for how hard this will be? Agile teams are bringing products to market faster and customers are more satisfied. Costs are down and productivity is up and perhaps most important of all, those projects that feel like they’ll never get finished don’t exist anymore for agile teams. We all want to be those guys.

The value of Scrum

There’s no denying that transitioning to Scrum will bring your company big benefits. Companies who have successfully done this have been able to increase features and deliver value to customers and have seen their revenue double. But for every company that have successfully implemented Scrum there are others who have failed. Why? Because it’s not easy. But if you can understand at the beginning of the process that valuable things will take time and will be difficult, you can find the determination to make this work.

Hearts and minds

The most important thing you need to do when making this transition is to realise that there will be some persuading to do amongst your workforce. You need to change hearts and minds as well as implement practical changes. Companies who have failed to make this work have mistakenly thought all they needed to do was support and educate developers. These companies may have spent time and money on training for developers, but they failed to include the wider work force in this journey. Scrum will affect marketing, sales, and your finance department, and all of these people need to be in on this right from the beginning.

Nothing to fear but fear itself

If we look at instances of how and why this transition has failed for others, we can start to see where things went wrong. Your project team working on adopting Scrum will usually be happy to do this, as they should see the benefits, but some of your managers, especially your development and quality assurance managers may be spooked by Scrum. This is because change is scary and they will worry about how this change will impact them and their careers. You’re going to need to do some soothing and reassuring along the way if you want to avoid a mutiny and sabotage.

Transitioning to Scrum will be hard, there’s no two ways about it and you need determination to succeed, and you need to instil this determination into every part of your workforce. See this as a journey and something that will be a continuous learning curve. Improvement may be slow at first and it’s important all of you can see the prize at the end of the path. Things that are worth doing are hard. Anything big that you want to implement will take time. And the effort you put into making changes will bring you rewards.