So you’ve read all the great stories about how scrum can help your team produce better results. Most of your colleagues at other companies are using Scrum and thriving because of it. Now all you have to do is sell it to your boss. You believe management won’t buy in, so what should you do? What if you could build the case for Scrum in your organization.
Before beginning to build the case for Scrum in your organization you need to ensure your team is on-board first.. Even if management signs off on your proposal it’s not going to work unless your team is on-board. Chances are your team will be excited because, Scrum is a team first framework based on the idea that teams are self-organizing.
So how do you build the case for Scrum in your organization?
- Start sending subtle hints to key decision makers in your organization – Find articles or case studies and pass them around to those decision makers. Send an email out as a by the way checkout this article. Try leaving a copy sitting in the break room or by the coffee pot. If you really want bonus points find articles that quantify how much money the company has saved or increased revenue by using Scrum. The goal here is to get the information out about Scrum.
- Point out missed opportunities with your current system – Try to constructively point out opportunities your team could capitalize on under a different project management methodology. For example is there a process you could update to make your team more productive. How about problems with your last project that could have been caught earlier with a more iterative process? Do your stakeholders have a voice throughout development? The goal is to pointing out the pain points of your current process.
- Look for ambassadors in your company – Talk with coworkers to find others in your organizations that are sympathetic to your cause. In a large organization you may find teams that are already using Scrum. Maybe some of your team members have used it with previous employers. You might even find other project leads who have wanted to take on Scrum for their teams as well. The goal is to build a collation.
- Build the slides – Even though you have built your case it’s still important to reiterate the points in your meeting with management. First show the opportunities where your team could have benefited from using Scrum versus your current methodology. Next pick a use case of Scrum turning around an organization and lead with it. Third give an executive overview of the Scrum Framework. Be open and honest about what Scrum is and is not, leadership needs to have a realistic view of Scrum. Do not over sell Scrum as if it will solve world peace. Highlight any of your competitors that are using Scrum and how they beating you with it. End with a slide about the proposed roll-out of Scrum and how it will affect the current work in progress. The goal is to create a compelling slide deck.
- Have the conversation – Schedule a formal meeting with the decisions makers. Invite any of your ambassadors to this meeting but be careful about bringing the team. You want to ensure leadership has an opportunity to discuss it, without feeling ambushed. If you have successfully built the case, leadership should not feel ambushed. Many organizations are slow to make decision or will need a few more meeting like this to get change to occur in the organization.
Building the case for Scrum is not guaranteed to work in all cases. But laying out your case in a professional fashion will give your a higher chance for success. Some organization are not ready to make the leap to Scrum but having the Scrum conversation in a professional way will help your organisation move toward Scrum. Remember for Scrum to work in your organization you will need leadership to buy in.