I attended my first scrum meeting this morning. It was with the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) team. Wow! It was so short I nearly missed it and so sharp I nearly cut myself. Just before the allotted time the team came together and gathered round the scrum boards. We all stood.
Bang on 9 o’clock Brian got us started. I think he was acting as the scrum master. (Can you get a scrum mistress? It’s not yet in the local government vernacular.) He asked everyone for an update and reminded them that they had to minutes maximum. A ball was used to show who had the floor. Actually it was a bit of crumpled up paper but if you had it in your hand you could speak. It was up to you who you passed it onto next.
Everyone said what they had done yesterday, what progress they had made, what they planned to do that day and any issues that they had come across. Progress was indicated either by drawing lines on a piece of paper or moving the post-it notes.
It was all very exciting.
When it was my turn with the ball I talked about how I wanted them to really test the methodology of agile project management. I told the group how excited I was that we were starting to use it and then I went on to talk about New Ways of Working.
Agile is New Ways of working in so many ways but two spring immediately to mind. Our future will be less about control and governance and more about getting on with things. Life will be more freeform and flowing than today. It is a failing of local government to try and solve everything at once, (it is also a strength however) and this approach lets you focus on what can be done within the visible horizon. It allows you to deliver rapidly and without getting bogged down in future plans.
The second thing is that people come together based around the task. They meet in a group, do their stuff and disperse again once they have finished. The strength is in people getting to understand the different skills and understandings of their colleagues and this leads to everyone mucking in with all sorts of help. It is free from location and free from hierarchy. It is the very essence of Guerrilla Working.
It is all very exciting. It bodes well for the future.