Just over a month ago, I wrote a blog post entitled 'Embracing Change' about how Web Services were changing the way they worked with scrum. We are now entering our fourth two-week sprint, so I thought I would have a look at how things were going.
Having a consistent team is really working. In the past the team was always formed based on the nature of the work. This usually meant there was a different selection and a different number of team members on each sprint. As a result, there was always period of inefficiency as the team got used to working together and also got up to speed on the work involved in the project. Apart from one person being taken out of the sprint team to manage our support queue each sprint, the team remains the same. Over these first three sprints there has been an obvious improvement in how effective they are at working together and communicating.
The team are also self managing a lot more. For example: making sure things are reviewed and stopping each other giving too much detail during the daily scrum.
Story estimation has become a much quicker and less tedious task. This, I think, is largely down to having a well groomed and properly prioritised backlog. The team can estimate in priority order and use their expected velocity to know when to stop. The team seems to have become more effective at asking the right questions of the proxy product owner to gain the information that they need to estimate the stories.
It seems that the changes that have been made to the way we work with scrum are definitely paying off. From my perspective as scrum master, there definitely appears to be an improvement in the quality and quantity of work produced with a much clearer understanding how it fits into the project as a whole.