Scrum Team Improvement Plan (S-TIP)

chuzzeteAgile, Scrum1 Comment

I wanted to start this year with a powerful and exciting subject, something a little bit complex but achievable which is the Team Improvement Plan.

  • How many of you guys have been working with a team and suddenly a rare feeling about the team is not going any where, embrace your mind and body?
  • How many times your manager ask you about where we are with the team ?
  • is the team progressing?
  • What is the plan to get the team into a better shape, regarding Scrum in this case?

Rare feeling

Well, after several try outs, tones of mistakes and lots of discussions, I’m sharing what I’m naming it the Scrum Team Improvement Plan (S-TIP), which would be the artifact that would help us, in terms of Agile-Scrum practices, to:

at the Scrum Master level:

– Bring valuable content to each sprint retrospective.

– Avoid judgement about how the team is using Agile-Scrum.

at the Team level:

– Create a shared vision by letting them know where we are now and where we would be in the future.

– Guide them reach their next level.

– Track progress and create actions to improve.

at the Organization level:

– Report team progress.

– Bring some visibility to upper management about where the team is and what is the action plan to make them improve and get them to the next level.

– Help upper management to take better decisions and focus on what is really important.

So the here the steps that I would suggest to follow to get the plan running and start getting some results out of its implementation:

  1. Chose a tool to assess team’s Agile-Scrum level. Tip: We are using the Scrum Checklist from Crisp AB, and I strongly suggest you to read the How to use the checklist section of this page before put it in practice.
  2. Bring it as a discussion tool in a sprint Retrospective and then ask the team what we are missing from the core and optional scrum practices.
  3. If some practices are skipped, then ask questions to the team, to ensure that the underlying purposeof the scrum practice has been fulfilled in another way.
  4. Once the discussion is over, get the team together to decide what would be the top core practice that would be improved from the next sprint.
  5. Ask the team to create a prioritized list of scrum practices (including optional practices too) to focus on during the sprint retrospectives to come. Tip: I suggest you to use a flip chart with some stickers and make it visible on the walls of the team’s room.
  6. Discuss with the team how are we going to track progress and what would be the rules to follow the plan created above, in terms of timing for example (how long it is going to take the team to be sure that it is mastering the practices.
  7. Suggest to the team to re-assess their Agile-Scrum level in a reasonable period of time. Tip: I would suggest between 3 or 6 months.
  8. Document the result of the steps above, and stick to it as the Scrum Team Improvement Plan.
  9. Once the team reaches the date established at point seven (7), then pass through all steps above to reajust the plan after re-assesing where the team is.
  10. Report team progress to upper management after getting team’s consent.
  11. Continue iterate until all aspects within the scrum assessment are mastered by the team.

“As a servant leader, your role is to create the container by helping them to create the content, even in this case when you as their scrum master, are in charge of the process”.

What do think ?

It makes sense to you ?

What are you applying to reach the same goals at the different levels in your organization ?

Happy new year 2014 and all the best for you Agile Pills lovers.


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