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Case Study-Introducing Scrum at P2P

How well is Scrum working?

This seems like a 2-part project. During the first part, it seems like the Scrum guidelines were followed and substantial progress was made on the project. The team has changed into a self-organizing group and showed signs that they were energized. Unfortunately, during the second part, the project strayed away from Scrum guidelines which caused the team to seem less energized and sadly productivity has declined.

What are the issues confronting the Big Foot project?

The group dynamic seemed off at first. Everyone wanted to be careful and to not get in other people’s way. Also, it seemed like there were member on the team that took it amongst themselves to determine work they thought should be done first rather than working on a work structure as a team.

Assume you are Kendra. What would you want to say at the Retrospective? How would you say it?

If I was Kendra, I would state to the group that I appreciate how well everyone worked together and we could have a better view of the ups and downs in the project from the start. We still have some work ahead of us so we need to get a better handle on documenting and would be beneficial to have some sort of structure in the project to help us get this done in the short amount of time that we do have.

What improvements or changes need to be made?

Prem should reestablish the methods used during the first part, he should manage just the process, not whole project as the role of task master. Prem needs to reiterate the rules, which are sprint deadlines that cannot be extended or the goals cannot be changed once the sprint has started.

How would you assess Prem’s performance as a Scrum Master?

In the beginning Prem seemed to be starting off on the right foot. However, as soon as there was a sign of trouble during the second part Prem reverted to being a task master. Prem unfortunately came across more assertive. Instead of telling the team what to do, he could have asked questions that would have helped the team to solve the problem on their own. This is not easy to do when you are under the gun but are confident you have the answer. Prem seemed to make things worse when he would take control away from the team with the daily scrum. The positive interaction that had developed during the first part had certainly disappeared as team members no longer felt personally responsible for their tasks. The project likely suffered by not encouraging the collective expertise of the team.

Part B

How would you assess PSP effort at introducing Scrum?

P2P fell short in trying to introduce Scrum on the IT projects.  At the end of the project it seemed that all the people have been dishonored and the only benefit is that the project is being done in phases with the prospect for feedback and changes after each sprint. This is a substantial improvement over the traditional method, but the developing collaboration within the team has been lost.

What challenges does an organization like P2P face when adopting an Agile approach like Scrum?

The first challenge can be culture. For the most part the project managers on a team are trained to develop and manage the project plans. So, when a project teams can manage themselves, the project manager may not always know how to react.

A second challenge would be getting everyone to trust the process. All the players in the project should believe that in the long run the project will be better off if time limits are not extended, changes are not announced until after the sprint, and teams are given the liberty to manage themselves.

What could P2P have done to enhance success?

It was a mistake for P2P to assume that by simply sending a project team to short workshop would produce lasting change in performance of the team. Learning to do things in a new way can take time. Especially true when the actions signify a thorough change from how projects were accomplished in the past. When things do go wrong people just go back to the way they used to do things.

It would have been expensive, but would have been a benefit if there would have been someone who could have worked with Prem so he could have played more the roll of a facilitator rather than a task master during the critical parts of the project. Some could say that they tried to do too much at one time. Sometimes it is better to introduce new things in phases when you can as to not feel overwhelmed.

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