Scrum for support teams

Last post 10:57 pm January 12, 2021
by Simon Mayer
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02:51 pm January 10, 2021

Dear community,

I have a question re IT support teams. Can you imagine a situation where you use Scrum with IT support teams (without dev projects)? What would be their Sprint Goal, Product Goal, how could they organize Sprints, who would be a PO, etc.? I know that Kanban is considered to be more suitable for these type of teams but can you just imagine the situation where you are asked to be Scrum Master to the support team. How would you deal with the situation?

Thanks for the answering (and your imagination),

Andrea

05:35 pm January 10, 2021

See "Sprint Planning with Kanban":

https://www.scrum.org/resources/blog/sprint-planning-kanban

In Scrum Product delivery may take the form of a service. Goals can be flow-based; what matters is that the challenge is a suitably complex one.

09:55 am January 11, 2021

Does Scrum really make sense?

Even if you would go for a one-week sprint, can you really plan what might come up in that week? You may collect minor issues and plan them for the week, but if you get high prio issues that need direct support, you cannot plan that.

Kanban makes much more sense for support teams. In Kanban there is no such role like Scrum Master, but there should be at least one person who understands Kanban, coaches the team and is responsible for the process. This could be taken over by a Scrum Master who also knows Kanban

12:00 pm January 11, 2021

Thank you for answering !

All the best! :)

 

Andrea

10:57 pm January 12, 2021

Can you imagine a situation where you use Scrum with IT support teams (without dev projects)?

Yes, but it depends on the goals of the support team.

The need to contact support can be viewed as waste, and some support teams will focus more on eliminating the need to request support, rather than solely improving their response processes.

As such, a large portion of the work of the support team might be oriented around customer education; perhaps providing proactive training, knowledge base articles, or other forms of self-service help.

An example of a Product Goal might be "Average support requests per customer reduce to less than one per month by July 2021, whilst keeping NPS above 60".

A Sprint Goal might be "Successfully resolve 10 customer problems by guiding people to our help centre".

Items on the Sprint Backlog might include:

  • writing articles for the help centre
  • including "did this article help you find your answer? Yes / No" buttons below each article
  • building a report to see how many people found articles helpful
  • modifying the support ticketing system to guide people to the help centre before they submit their question

As for the Product Owner, I'd hope for someone with the budget to fund work towards the Product Goal, and who can accept accountability for the value delivered by this endeavour.

Practically speaking, it might be the Head of Support; but in many organizations it might make sense for this to be the Product Owner of the product that is being supported.

Eventually it may go further and the support and development teams combine into new cross-functional teams, where support is an integral consideration of the product that's being developed.