At this point in my coaching career, I’ve worked with lots of teams, in lots of companies, trying to adopt Scrum. I’ve seen teams do exceedingly well… and I’ve seen a few totally crash and burn. I want to share a few things I believe to be non-negotiable if you are going to give Scrum a try.
1. Teams – You have to have a cross functional group of people that are dedicated to burning down the backlog.
2. Backlog – We have to have an extremely clear, fine grained, prioritized list of stuff to build.
3. Cadence – There has to be some agreed upon interval against we measure progress.
4. Done – The team has to know what done looks like at the end of each interval and some way to know they got there.
For me, that’s the non-negotiable core. Just about everything else in Scrum is derived from one or more of these basic needs. For me, that means everything else is negotiable. It also means that if you can make these four things happen, you wildly increase your chances for success.