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Agile with Scrum: Speed is not everything

By Guillermo Crisóstomo

It is no mystery to anyone that agile is here to stay. In this context, many organizations have begun to draw up and execute a transformation plan. It is in this aspect that Scrum stands out as the main methodological entry point due, among other things, to its lightness and simplicity.

A first drawback that begins to appear little by little when working with this framework: since the Scrum Guide does not specifically propose indicators or elements that should be considered when making measurements.

With the idea of ​​filling this void consciously left in the framework, a small set of indicators is proposed that complements the base information of Scrum, and that serves as a reference to begin to apply the framework without losing the values ​​and principles of agile in those found based.

1.- Business objectives

It is key when starting work with Scrum, to establish one or more quantifiable elements that allow defining the concept of value, which should be achieved as the use of the experimental approach allows building product increments that have an impact on said values. elements. For this, it is essential to identify the business objectives that are pursued with the product and also establish how these objectives will be measured. These quantitative indicators make it possible to validate whether an increase in the product is having the desired hypothetical impact, and to adjust the prioritization if the result is not as expected.

2.- Predictability

One of the most used indicators when talking about Scrum is speed. However, the Scrum Guide does not pose it as an element of the framework, which means that its use, despite being massive, is not necessarily based on the principles and values ​​of agile. The consequence of this is that it is often used as the main performance indicator of the teams, and also to make comparisons between them.

However, there is an approach to its use that is more associated with the values ​​and principles of agile and has to do with measuring from planned and completed points in a sprint, the level of predictability that the team has. But why would we want to measure predictability? Mainly for 2 aspects: measuring the predictability of a team allows improving it and having a predictable capacity is a positive aspect.

3.- Remaining work of the sprint

Scrum is based on empiricism, that is, making decisions based on what is observed. This is why it is key for a team that is already in a sprint, to analyze what has happened, in order to make decisions that allow them to react to unplanned aspects that may influence their prognosis, or prevent compliance with the target.

4.- Technical quality

“Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design improves agile,” indicates one of the 12 agile principles. And although in this article it is raised as the last aspect to consider to measure, it is not at all because it is less important. Regardless of the framework used, technical quality is key in agile.

Which ones to choose? As always, there are no unique recipes. The important thing is to select according to the context and technical maturity of the organization since you cannot speak of agility without technical excellence.

Guillermo Crisóstomo

Delivery Director

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