You’re waiting for a bus. You’ve waited ages. Then four come along.
Well, sometimes it feels this way when being a Scrum Master at a company whose income relies on multiple clients requesting projects of all shapes and sizes.
I have one project which is ongoing with rarely a break between 10 day sprints. The team pretty much looks after itself, and our busiest times together are Tuesdays when we have both a sprint planning session and a retrospective for the previous sprint. Tuesdays are busy, but the rest of the time, I can almost take a backseat.
I had a project which lasted just two sprints. It finished very recently, but the client is making noises about buying a third sprint.
Then there was yesterday. It was Tuesday. I had a backlog refinement session, two sprint planning sessions, a retrospective and a project management knowledge share meet. Bang. I had about 30 minutes to myself throughout the entire day. But this kind of busy is a good kind. Despite the day being consumed by meetings, each one of them was highly productive and, dare I say, fairly exhilarating! See, we’ve got a team of developers that are really starting to get what it means to work in an agile way. Sure, there are holes that still need filling with knowledge and experience, but generally, we’re all on the same page, so to speak.
Yesterday also saw the kick off to a brand new project. There’s only three of us on it, but we were all up for doing it right. We’ve drafted a great, concise Definition of Done (I always consider DoDs as draft – always up for review) and stuck it up in the office; we agreed to use as much test automation as possible, so we set about getting a Jenkins CI server up and running, along with a SonarQube instance to keep track of our coverage metrics; we nailed the acceptance criteria for all stories before choosing which would go into sprint 1; we agreed to use a physical Scrum Board (I like whiteboards – but other teams have plumped for Scrumwise); we created faintly amusing personas for our user stories (helps us picture real people using our product) and the Product Owner has even secured the time of two external clients to act as stakeholders for us.
Even though I got home desperate for a rest and a fat glass of wine, I was still buzzing from the enthusiasm of the people I work with.
I think back to my Scrum Master training, and how I said to myself, “This is the job I want.” And now here I am, realising that thought and looking forward to growing my skills, and the skills of the teams I serve.