Thought Leadership

Five Reasons Your Scrum Teams Are Falling Short of Desired Outcomes

1. Your Scrum Masters don’t understand how Scrum works. 

Your Scrum Master could have been converted from another role without proper training or brought in from a workplace that didn’t understand the value of doing Scrum in its entirety. A Scrum Master is expected to mentor the team on Scrum practices and Agile values, but first they must be well-versed themselves.

2. There is no commitment to psychological safety and continuous learning.

Scrum requires teams and their work to be transparent, resulting in improvements and impactful conversations. A culture that punishes honesty will make decisions based on bad information and false assumptions. Is there a commitment to sprint reviews and retrospectives after every sprint? At the heart of Scrum’s inspect and adapt process are these events which set a cadence for improvement and learning. Teams that never inspect will never improve.

3. Scrum teams are not well-built, cross-functional teams who own the outcome together

  • Your Scrum teams should be include members who have experience in many different areas, not just one skill set to contribute.
  • Cross-mentoring should be happening on the team.
  • Team culture is missing trust, transparency, and a positive environment.

4. There is a failure to address what Scrum exposes about your agility. 

Do you rapidly address exposed structures and processes that impede the flow of value and prevent the desired outcomes? When done as intended, Agile and Lean ideas and frameworks illuminate or expose areas for improvement. Organizations who are courageous enough to address what is exposed will be rewarded with streamlined production and higher quality products that deliver their intended value.

5. The right outcomes and measurements are not being set.

When adopting Scrum, having goals that don’t match your business outcomes will lead to mixed signals and a lack of focus or, even worse, create antipatterns that destroy achievement.

Try adopting goals like these:

  • Improved work culture: This leads to reduced attrition, lower-cost hiring and training, and avoid a loss of knowledge or skills
  • Improved time to ROI: Ideas will turn into cash more rapidly
  • Improved quality: Defects and rework will be reduced
  • Better products being built: The team will deliver what the stakeholders and market want most
  • Better predictability: You can improve your ability to forecast delivery
  • More innovation: This allows you to exploit iterative and incremental development to discover more products and services

When setting these goals and outcomes, ask why you want that outcome and why it wasn’t being done before—then find the correct measurement to see if you are making progress.

If you are experiencing any of these shortcomings within your Scrum teams, reach out to Evergreen’s Agile Services team via the form below: