Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time

A must read for people and teams who cares about their productivity. Very well written and engaging! For those who already know about scrum, this book would be a delight. It elaborates the intention behind the processes followed in Scrum rather than just the technique for the sake. A must read for managers and CEOs!

Key takeaways for me:
1. Great teams are: transcendent (alignment with a higher purpose), cross-functional (have all skills to complete the project), autonomous (influence planning and decision-making process, freedom to decide “how” to deliver). Optimal size 7 (+-2)
2. Iterate fast. Plan => Do => Check => Act. Week or two for each iteration (Sprint). At the end of the iteration have some version of the product/feature that you can give to your customers to play with and interact.
3. Productivity:
Multitasking makes everybody slower. Half-done things create a lot of waste. Avoid to have a lot “in process tasks”. Working too hard/long hours makes you less productive in a long run. Focus is a key (switching cost between projects is very high)
4. Scrum Process:
– don’t plan a lot. Just have a vision (picture where you’re heading)
– create a list of everything that needs to be done on the project. Prioritise it (start with highest value and the lowest effort tasks)
– create a plan to keep your team busy for the next iteration/Sprint (plan it together with team).
– visualize. have a board with: Priorities (Backlog/user stories), to do, doing, done columns.
– work is a Story: think who you’re doing it for, what is it, why the need it.
– estimate tasks (stories) complexity relatively (not absolutely), group decide on that, track team’s velocity and set ambitious goals;
– meet every day for 15 min at the same time to update a) what each member done yesterday and b) going to do today to successfully complete the Sprint, c) are there any obstacles?
– finish each Sprint with demo (involve stakeholders, customers)
– make a Sprint retrospective (what went right, what could have gone better, how to improve the process and make everybody happier during the next Sprint (kaizen))
– transparency in everything

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