Four Kitchens

On Scrum: experiments in Scrum — a people focused approach

2 Min. ReadDigital strategy

As we may have mentioned before, at Four Kitchens we have a daily scrum-of-scrums. In 15 minutes, we try to get a snapshot of what is going on in each project we are currently working on. We quickly discuss the successes, challenges, and blockers that each project is experiencing. This helps everyone stay informed about other projects and allows for teams to solicit help from web chefs they aren’t currently working with.

Traditionally, or at least since I’ve been a web chef, we have taken a project-based approach to our scrum-of-scrums. We would traverse our list of projects asking for a quick update from an appointed team member of what was just completed, what was up next, and what help was needed. While this let everyone hear what was going on in the broad sense, it didn’t let everyone participate. The same team members usually gave updates each day, and, in the crunch time of giving an update, the reporter would forget to ask for needed help or forget to mention a critical blocker.

In an attempt to get everyone to participate, learn what everyone’s challenges and successes are, and to determine who is over- and under-worked, we decided to take a people-based approach to our scrum-of-scrums. We quickly go around the room in turn. Each chef mentions what they accomplished since the last scrum and what they plan to work on until the next scrum. If they need help, they can mention it during their turn. We started this as a week-long experiment and sought feedback at the end.

So how was the feedback? We have been doing it for about a month and everyone really likes the new method. Chefs are more engaged and the pace of the meeting feels really rapid, despite still being the same length as it always has been. With 17 web chefs, a 15 minute scrum is pretty tight, so we have to keep chatter to a minimum to keep things on track. With the positive feedback, we plan to keep using this method until we have a more brilliant idea.

What method does your team use for scrums and scrum-of-scrums? Let us know in the comments.