Agile Me This!

Sprint Team Kickoff or Reset

As agile transformations continue and grow one of the things we do as coaches is stand up scrum teams or sometimes reset an existing team.  Bringing 7 +_2 people together and informing them that they are now a team and should start sprinting tomorrow is one way to do this, but often not successfully.

There has been a lot of conversation in the industry on this – some call it Sprint 0, some call it pre Project work, others call it preparing for the scrum team.  Regardless of what it is called, there are something’s that need to be put in place prior to a team starting to sprint. These might include – obtaining hardware, licensing software, getting environments, etc.

Once all this pre work has been done, the people who have been identified to be part of this scrum team need to do some work to start forming as a team.

I have conducted a Scrum team kickoff or a team reset with all the teams I have coached and am coaching.  I have listed out 6 things I always do and some outcomes for each activity.

# 1 – Agile/Scrum refresher

  • Refresh the team’s knowledge on agile/scrum

Expected OUTCOME

  • Get the team on the same page with agile terms

#2 – Team Identity

  • Pick a team name,
  • Pick a team logo
  • Create team norms
  • Identify which ceremonies the team will use and setting up the cadence for them
  • Identify which BVIR’s (Big Visible Information Radiators) the team want to use

Expected OUTCOME

  • Brings the team together; help them create their team energy or “BA”

#3 – Definitions

  • Definition of Ready
  • Definition of Done
  • Definition of Impediment – This is something I do with my teams. Any roadblock that threatens completion of team commitment. See previous article at                                                                                                             https://agilemethis.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/test/

Expected OUTCOME

  • Help the team understand what they will work on, when they will know their work is complete and when to call out impediments

#4 – Initial Product Backlog

  • Understanding the work the team will be doing
  • Understand the priority of the work
  • Story mapping exercise

Expected OUTCOME

  • Helps the team figure out WHAT they will be working on

#5 – Simulation

  • Plan the next two-week window
  • Conduct, understand and experience all ceremonies

Expected OUTCOME

  • Give the team an opportunity to experience SCRUM before Sprint 1

#6 – Agreement with the coach

  • Build the coaches backlog
  • Agree on coaching engagement model

Expected OUTCOME

  • Creates a clear understanding on the  role and expectations of a coach

I have used this format with all my teams and have found it to be successful.  This initial foundation helps the teams SCRUM together and hopefully be on their way to becoming hyper productive teams.

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