January 5, 2021

Agile Metrics for Scrum Masters (Part 2): Establishing Scrum

This is the second installment on agile metrics for Scrum Masters. In my previous article, I talked about delivering Done increment every sprint. 

In this part two, we’ll talk about establishing Scrum as defined in the Scrum Guide. As we discussed, this is one of the accountabilities of a Scrum Master.

So how can we evaluate how well a Scrum Master is doing in regards to this?

 

Scrum is being followed with all elements, rules, values and principles

You represent Scrum in your team and organization. It does not mean that you are a Scrum Police forcing everyone to follow rules without understanding why. As a Scrum Master you are there to help everyone understand and accept the framework, and follow it mindfully.

There are some metrics that can help you measure success in this area. They are mostly qualitative, but can be turned into quantitative metrics with some creativity:

  • Are all events, commitments, roles, and artifacts followed by your team?

Scrum has three roles, five events, three commitments and three artifacts. As the Scrum Guide says: “Each element of the framework serves a specific purpose that is essential to the overall value and results realized with Scrum. Changing the core design or ideas of Scrum, leaving out elements, or not following the rules of Scrum, covers up problems and limits the benefits of Scrum, potentially even rendering it useless.”

If not all elements are present, you’ve got some work to do.

  • What is the overall level of understanding of Scrum framework, empiricism, and agility?

While your team might be following Scrum exactly as defined in the Scrum Guide, they might be just going through the motions. That is what we call ‘mechanical Scrum’ or ‘Zombie Scrum’.

So quality of your Scrum also matters. We can define that quality by evaluating how well the team and the organization understand the foundational concepts and principles of agility and the Scrum framework.

Here are some important points to evaluate: 

  • the level of understanding of complexity of product development
  • practical application of agile values and principles
  • the purpose of each Scrum element (such as events, roles, commitments, artifacts)
  • empirical process control theory
  • importance and connection between transparency, inspection and adaptation
  • practical application of Scrum values in work of the team
  • self-management and cross-functionality

This will be up to you as a Scrum Master to define how to best evaluate the level of understanding of these concepts. Whether through a self-assessment, a quiz, or a discussion, you can find a way to turn this information into a metric to evaluate your success.

 

 

Observe and evaluate the quality of the Scrum implementation in your team and your organization to help you measure success.

Stay tuned for part 3 on agile metrics for Scrum Masters where we will talk about the effectiveness of a Scrum Team.