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During your Sprint itself, what self-management is taking place? 🚀 - Back to the foundations of the Scrum framework (49)

May 5, 2022

We started this Scrum foundation series explaining we see four underlying concepts of the Scrum framework. In the past series of blog posts we covered the three pillars of Empiricism, and we covered the Scrum Values.

Now that we understand that we need trust, which is built up by living the Scrum Values, to bring transparency and as such have a good basis to inspect and adapt, we can have a look at the self-managing aspect of the Scrum Team.

👉 Self-managing, meaning the team internally decides who does what, when, and how.
 

During each of the Scrum Events, and throughout the Sprint itself, the Scrum Team takes decisions, making it self-managing.

Allowing to take more decisions = more mandate = more autonomy = higher motivation =  higher effectivity.

 

Now what can the Scrum Team decide during each of the Scrum Events? So far I have covered the Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review, and Sprint Retrospective. What about the Sprint itself?

 

There are a zillion of decisions team members make during the Sprint itself. Sometimes as an individual, sometimes with the entire team, sometimes with only a few team members.

Will we now ask feedback from the business, or first do some additional validations - tip: ask feedback a.s.a.p.

Will I take option A or B for this issue? Do I decide now and learn from it? Or do I involve a few colleagues? 

Should we tackle this technical complexity now while we are in this part of the product - it works for now, yet it is not clean… - or do we start working on a new Product Backlog Item?

 

Every day the team needs to make decisions. The more they can make these decisions themselves, the more self-managing they are.
 

Note: this does not mean they cannot or should not involve others outside the team. If they feel they need these persons' input for making a good decision, they should take the initiative to get that additional input.


These are only a few examples of what a Scrum Team can decide during the Sprint itself, outside the other Scrum Events.

 

Summary:
Self-managing is about having a mandate to take decisions.
During the Sprint itself, the Scrum Team daily decides on what, how, when and who​ aspects of the initiative.

Note: without a clear (Product, Sprint and Quality) goal, without clear accountabilities, and without a clear boundaries, self-management will not occur.​


Prompt:
Together with your Scrum Team, evaluate how self-management can be improved during your entire Sprint, outside the other Scrum Events.
Also think about what additional insights or input the team would benefit from others outside the team about purpose and goals, the team's accountabilities and the boundaries they have to work within.
 

We hope you will find value in these short messages and if you are looking for more clarifications, feel free to take contact.

PS. Next week we'll have a look at self-management and the Product Backlog.

 

If you want to take a deeper dive into the core concepts we are covering in this blog series, then surely check out our Professional Scrum MasterY workshop. We have some scheduled in the coming period.

 

Don't want to miss any of these blog posts? Have the professional Scrum foundations series weekly in your mailbox.

Self-management during the Sprint


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