Well, today marks my 3 month anniversary of my new job at kCura. It’s been great so far, and I thought I’d share my experiences getting integrated into my new role.
When I joined, kCura already had Scrum in place. We do three month releases (recently up from two) but we do two week sprints – so six of those per release. We currently have nine teams – eight using Scrum and one using Kanban. Our teams are co-located and cross-functional; we use physical task boards. We use index cards for user stories and color-coded sticky notes for tasks. We plan releases using points and sprints using capacity in hours (eventually we will use points). We have release and sprint planning, daily standups, sprint reviews and retrospectives. When I joined as an Agile Coach and ScrumMaster, the Scrum framework was already in place and being used robustly.
That has made integrating into this company really easy. I joined during the second sprint of the last release, so I shadowed the other Agile Coach (and my manager) Jeff Steinberg, who put all of this in place. I learned how he was interacting with the teams, what he provided for them, how he coached them, and how he saw the role. Then, at the end of the release, I was able to take over as ScrumMaster for three of the teams.
Once I was with the teams, I took over just as he had, following the same procedures and flow. With a new person on their teams, they didn’t need me to come in and make big changes. I just observed, followed the process, and helped. I was able to coach one team that was struggling to complete their stories, to be able to complete their work within the sprint (they just needed some guidance on being more realistic about their commitment). I spent the next whole release in this mode – still learning, getting to know people, learning more about how the release process works, the software, etc.
Now we are gearing up for the next release, and I feel very good about the next three months. I am ready to do more coaching – encouraging teams to think about the agile principles behind the practices, cultivating even more of a culture of continuous improvement, and encouraging them to become ever higher performing – releasing the highest value software with very high quality – each and every sprint. My goal is to post again about this at the end of each release. Cheers!