How to start SCRUM?

On my SCRUM path I saw a lot of SCRUM Master learners to ask themself: „How do I start?“.

So one earns the SCRUM certificates, but what now? What’s the best way to start?

As I do come from a different perspective – I see myself a trainer and a coach, here some of my ideas and research.

First of all, if you want to start as a new SCRUM Master why don’t you start your first SCRUM project naming it: „Start SCRUM“. That’s might sound odd, as you have learned there is no Pre-SCRUM or a first SCRUM or so on.

Did you ever hear about the slogan: Eat your own dogfood? That’s what I want to say with start your own SCRUM project „Start SCRUM“. The result of this project may be the setup of the first SCRUM project you have been hired for.

Hmmm, can I really do this? Who will be the project owner? Easy answer: you are your own project owner. Plus you will be your own SCRUM Master. If you are lucky you have an external SCRUM coach or someone who is helping to start agile practices for your company. If so, than this person could be your SCRUM Master (you can hire me :).

Now comes the question: who is my development team? To be honest, at the beginning it is you again. So not really playing by the SCRUM rules, but worse case, you are three roles in one person. Better of course, if you have more than one SCRUM Master in your company. In that case she can join your development team. Alternative would be of course some agile sponsors who want to help you on your journey. Maybe someone from the future development team or the project owner of this team? Could be of course one of the first points on your product backlog: find dev members for my „Start SCRUM“.

With that you can start already. What you need is a product backlog.

Here is an idea of user stories for the initial product backlog one can use:

If you want you can start with a blank product backlog having just one entry: „Create the product backlog“!

So even with an empty product backlog you can start already.

Here some other metrics:

  • sprint length one week
  • sprint planning meeting four hours once a week including review and retro, or if you need it more formal: review 0.5h – retro 0.5h and 3h sprint planning time boxes
  • DoD
    • create material in a state of nothing to add anymore for now
    • (…)
  • Estimates using Story Points
  • use a public physical SCRUM board
  • Sprint Goal: Prepare for your first „real“ SCRUM project

You are off to go. Go SCRUM I would say. Do not hesitate with your first SCRUM project. Just SCRUM.

Or in the words from William Faulkner:

„Don’t be a SCRUM Master. Be scrumming. „