Unexpected Allies – the users

I’ve been working on an Agile (Scrum) transformation at my company for about a year now.  I knew that most of the developers here were ready for a little more structure around how code is written, tested and delivered.  I expected the team members to be fairly welcoming, but for some reason, I’d planned on the users and stakeholders being somewhat resistant to the change.  I’m not really sure why I felt that way; I likely didn’t think about it as much as I should have.

It turns out I was completely wrong.

Part of our plan was to take small steps in our roll-out of Scrum across development teams and make sure that we are able to demonstrate benefits before moving on.  My hope was that as developers, users and customers had positive experiences, the word would start getting out.  It turns out that it’s working just as I’d planned, and as I’m starting to hear the buzz in the back-channels, the biggest accolades are coming from users.

The biggest change they say they’re experiencing is with the level of involvement and ownership they’re feeling.  The users love the fact that they can understand the user stories that are being written.  They like being able to help set acceptance criteria to make sure what is being delivered is what they need to get their jobs done.  Project owners and stakeholders like the fact that requirements are being broken down into smaller components than they’re used to.  This is helping them understand what is being built and how much work is really involved in delivering each feature.

They’re enjoying transparency.

I had planned on meeting with users and stakeholders who would be impacted by our Scrum teams at some nebulous point in the future.  It seems that I need to rethink that idea, and start going out into the user community much sooner.  Like tomorrow.  Time to get some training time scheduled!

I’ll write more later about how that goes.

Vienna Service Design Jam 2012” by _dChris is licensed under CC BY 2.0 / Cropped from original

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