Scrum works only if everything is kept visible for frequent inspection and adaptation. To be empirical, everyone must know that about which they are inspecting. Practices such as the Sprint review meeting, the Daily Scrum, the Sprint Backlog, and the Product Backlog keep everything visible for inspection. Rules such as not being able to interrupt a team during a Sprint keep the adaptations from turning meaningful progress into floundering, as overadaptation overwhelms the project.
The ScrumMaster must keep everything visible at a meaningful level of detail. At MegaEnergy, Scrum was made visible through existing reporting mechanisms. Ruth made learning about Scrum easy for executives because she used their language. At MegaBank, Helen had the team figure out Jim’s language. Only then was Jim able to understand a Scrum project’s progress. To create visibility in these instances, the ScrumMaster had to adapt Scrum to the organization.
In the Service1st example, at first the team didn’t maintain the Sprint Backlog, obscuring their lack of planning. Then the team didn’t put enough detail into the Sprint Backlog, obscuring its lack of progress in testing and bug fixing and undermining the value of Daily Scrums. To create visibility, the ScrumMaster had to teach the team the importance of the Sprint Backlog practices to self- organization. The Sprint Backlog is the team’s Sprint plan.
A ScrumMaster must be vigilant. If the ScrumMaster is unclear about what’s going on, so is everyone else. Make sure everything is visible. Find a way to make Scrum understandable to everyone in his or her vocabulary. Some people want to understand Scrum and will track a projects’ progress in Scrum terms. Other people want to understand the project only in the traditional context. Adapting Scrum to their vocabulary eases the change from traditional processes to the Scrum process.