Our Agile Transformation: 2019 in Review

by Melissa Boggs

16 December 2019

Hello friends! I’m Melissa Boggs, Chief ScrumMaster at Scrum Alliance. Together with Howard Sublett, our Chief Product Owner, I am blazing a trail into new territory where we embrace the Scrum values deeply and widely, stepping into these new roles instead of the traditional CEO. Here at Scrum Alliance Unscripted, we have been sharing that journey with you throughout 2019. 

As we approach the end of the year, I find myself reflecting on the dramatic transformation of Scrum Alliance in the last year. I don’t use the term “transformation” lightly, as I believe it is often overused in our industry. In this case, there is no other way to describe the amount of change and evolution that has taken place in our organization, all in service to our global community. If you are interested in learning more about what we changed, I encourage you to read and watch through from the earliest Unscripted blogs. It’s been quite a year! 

An entire year of agile transformation is a lot to fit into one blog.  For now, I’ll share the high-level items (imagine these are post-its on our shared wall), and I’d love to dig into some of these more deeply over the next couple months. 

Our Agile Transformation: What Went Well

  • Nothing prepares you for this- so just do it. 

  • Cross-functional teams provide faster time to market 

  • Storytelling and values alignment 

  • Hiring events

  • Paired leadership 

  • Community support 

  • Shedding hierarchy and stretching wings 

  • BoD Support 

Our Agile Transformation: What We Learned

  • Storming is real

  • Paired leadership (yep, it’s here twice!)

  • If you remove something, replace it 

  • Hiring HR for a radical company is hard 

  • Budgets are going sideways 

  • Sprint Reviews require real customers 

  • Self-selected teams = develop trust + give freedom  

  • Multi-role hiring events create complexity

Our Agile Transformation: New Actions

  • Create an organizational backlog 

  • Skill up for better decision making 

  • Shift sprint reviews outward 

Tomorrow, we move into our new office (just around the corner from the old one in Westminster, CO), and there is such a sense of optimism and excitement in the air for our team. This team has shown up, folks. Day after day, through change and a bit of controlled chaos, they have kept this community and our mission front and center. They’ve done some hard work, individually and as teams. I’ll tell you this, though. It’s been worth it, and I am so thrilled to see what this exceptional group of people is going to do in the new year. We’re going to continue to invest, continue to do hard work, and continue to believe in the strength of this community as we blaze into 2020. 

Stay tuned here at Unscripted as Howard, I, and others unpack how Scrum and agile principles and values are transforming our world of work.   

Happy Holidays to you and yours from your Scrum Alliance family!