How do you overcome analysis paralysis? John Harvey Jones advised: “Ready, Fire, Aim”. In describing the reason he said “I’m more interested in speed than direction. Once you get moving, you can veer and tack. But the important thing is, you’re moving”
This can be aptly applied to scrum implementations. We need a plan and we need to get going. But, how much planning do we need to get a scrum implementation started?
The scrum guide is silent on the topic, leaving that to the practitioner to decide. If I’m working on a software product, I use the time to discuss important things like these:
- The programming language we’ll use
- The database we’ll use
- The outline plan for the product
- The outline design
- The skills we need to create the product
These are decisions that would be costly to change later. Note the mention of outline plan and design. Scrum teams don’t do big design up-front. They do a minimal, but responsible, amount of planning and design.
It’s likely that a product backlog will also be created. At least enough to get going.
I also encourage teams to create a Product Vision before they start. It’s very easy to put this in the “too difficult” pile but it’s a foundation stone for the work that follows. Other things I may consider doing include:
- Scrum training for all
- Agreeing on metrics and taking an initial measurement
This list of activities is not exhaustive. As always with scrum, there is no silver bullet and we need to adapt to the circumstances as they exist. But what’s important is to start the journey. Overcome inertia.
Planning to sprint? Ready, Fire, Aim!