Agile Batman — The journey of a Scrum Master

Agile Batman

I’d like to introduce you to the purpose of Agile Batman. The reason I write, what you can expect to see in my future stories and how I can help you improve and be a better Scrum Master.

This is not about training, it’s about everyday, real-life examples of what I experience as a Scrum Master. I don’t know what’s going to happen next — but I will take you on that journey with me.

I believe that there are people out there who could benefit from a helping hand, to improve their day to day working lives. I believe this because people already actively ask for my help.

I decided to start writing these conversations down.

Scrum is a great framework to help improve your day to day working life. I’ve been using Scrum for nearly 15 years now — I can show you how it can help.

I like helping other people, I like giving back, I can show you how small tweaks to the way you do things can have big results.

Scrum is a journey, it’s not a destination.

If you are just getting started with Scrum, you will see some immediate improvements very quickly. It might be quite frustrating to start with, others may not understand you yet. But when that moment comes, when it clicks, you will be amazed at how it feels when a change you helped instigate, drastically improves your own or someone else’s life. You will wish you had started sooner.

Over time, those wins are harder to get, you are solving bigger problems, but the rewards are also greater. You are making real long lasting change.

You’ll enjoy going to work, collaborating, seeing the impact your work has on others’ lives.

Scrum will help give your life purpose.

Photo by Johannes Plenio from Pexels

My Journey So Far

I’m a Scrum Master that’s been on a long journey. When I started, I didn’t even know that I was getting into Scrum.

I started my career in 2004. I was a BASIC software developer for a product made using the waterfall software development process.

I quickly realised that things could be done better, I didn’t know how yet, but I knew that endlessly planning, re-planning and missing dates was a waste of time.

As soon as they were created, each one of those MS Project 2003 Gantt charts was a lie. I knew we’d never get there, never finish the plan. Some other thing would interrupt us, we’d drop everything and re-plan. I didn’t know how to change things… yet.

Does this sound familiar to you? Did you work in this environment?

One day in 2006 I stumbled across burn-down charts. I thought this was a great way of showing progress towards an end goal. I had estimates of all the work I was doing (we had of course meticulously planned everything out already 😉).

I also had a backlog of tasks that needed to be completed.

This was my side-door into the world of Scrum.

With a backlog, and a burn-down chart, we started to run sprints — time boxes of work. We added sprint planning so that everyone knew what to do for those few weeks.

We started daily scrums to keep in touch on our progress and to help each other, then we started meeting at the end of each sprint to show our stakeholders what we’d built in the last few weeks — sprint review. That feedback was every few weeks, not every few months, not when the project actually finished and in the users hands. Weeks.

We applied the same feedback principles to our teams, we reviewed ourselves; we held our first sprint retrospectives.

We had entered the world of Scrum as a team.

I’ve since left that company to become a full-time Scrum Master for multiple teams. To help them understand why this is all important. To help them help themselves. Some of these people have never experienced the world of waterfall software development.

Where we are headed next

I’m still learning. Every single day I try to learn something new.

The feedback from the teams I work with is an endless source of thought and inspiration.

I actively look for new opportunities to learn and to push myself — to broaden my view of the world. I don’t want to stop.

If you want to join me, follow Agile Batman, I’ll keep you up to date.

I might not always be right, but I will help you challenge your own thoughts and feelings on how you implement Scrum.

It’s going to be a wild ride, and I hope you are right there with me!

Agile Batman