What are 3 of the most useful tools for a Scrum team to explore?

What is part of the handy toolkit for Scum teams?

This is where the term ‘Location, Location, Location’ turns into ‘Feedback, Feedback, Feedback.’ 🚀

Anything around ‘feedback’ is a good place to start when evaluating the best tools for a Scrum team and which can give you the most value. 🛠️

Allow me to explain further, and let’s unpack this one together. 💡

Tool 1: Visualising Work

The first tool to mention centres around feedback; however, it is often overlooked yet remains one of the most important, which is ‘visualising the work’ and any tool that helps the team visualise their work’ is essential.

This could be a Kanban board, a Scrum board, or whatever other name you want to give it.

This decision is already made in some organisations, meaning they’ve already chosen their preferred system. That’s usually fine, but I urge teams to “explore your work process” before adopting a wholesale system.

If your team are together in a room, consider recreating an electronic board on a wall, working with it, and updating it daily. In other words, put it all up on a wall.

Alternatively, if you’re not physically together, use a simple, easy-to-use tool system, such as a spreadsheet or a tool like Trello, where you can quickly make changes as a team.

Remember, as you explore your way of working, you’ll discover what works better or worse. The point here is to quickly switch, change, and adapt as you explore your working method. It’s important to “discover what works better and worse for you.

Although required to use specific tools like Jira, some teams I have worked with maintain their own tool that they update throughout the day.

Then, they ensure the official tool reflects the latest status once a day. This way, they better understand their system and it works for them.

Tool 2: Building All-Important Feedback into the Process

The second essential tool is ‘feedback’; you need to understand “how you build feedback into your process.

In the software world, feedback means incorporating tools that allow for continuous integration, where you can submit code changes, run tests, and quickly see if you’ve broken anything. 🔁

Things can get a bit trickier outside the software world, but the principle remains the same. This is where you’ll need to brainstorm and ensure that you close the feedback loop.

How do you ensure your actions don’t adversely affect other processes? 🔁

Sometimes, it’s as simple as scheduling regular meetings with stakeholders to show them how the product is evolving and get their feedback.

For developers, who may never fully understand the jobs of the people they’re creating solutions, feedback is crucial as solving problems effectively is always the main focus and goal.

Tool 3: Increasing and Supporting Communication

I’d say that the third tool is all about communication. In fact, I’d say that communication is vital to a Scrum team‘s success.

In many teams, processes can feel chaotic and hectic, but that’s because a lot is happening, and there’s a need for many discussions to exchange ideas frequently.

Therefore, you need tools that support rather than stifle communication. 🔊

Email, for example, isn’t the best communication tool in this context. Instead, you want tools for instant messaging and easy, on-demand conversations.

Tools like Slack and Teams are fantastic communication methods in these scenarios, but remember they must be used correctly.

Exploring the Space, Understanding Your Context

The takeaway from this article is not to seek out specific tools but to explore the space, understand what good feedback and communication look like in your context, and how to speed up these processes.

Remember, every team is unique, and what works for one might not work for another.

Understand your team’s needs, articulate them, and improve them through a process of continuous refinement.

If you need more help understanding the tools for a Scrum team and processes or are new to Scrum and Agile methodologies, I invite you to explore my Agile and Scrum courses.

They’re designed to provide in-depth understanding and practical skills that can be applied in real-world scenarios.

If you are interested in becoming an agile coach and value mentored, coach-driven skills development in your journey to mastery, visit our Growing Agile Coaches page.

If you are inspired by the idea of an online apprenticeship for a scrum master, visit https://www.agilesuccess.academy/courses/growing-scrum-masters-advanced

If you like the idea of becoming a scrum master and want to achieve internationally recognised and certified accreditation as a scrum master, visit our Certified Scrum Master (CSM) course page.

If you are already a scrum master and want to upskill to a more advanced level of knowledge and agile coaching capability, visit our Advanced Certified Scrum Master (A-CSM) course page.

If you have several years’ experience as a scrum master and want to validate and certify your professional skills, visit our Certified Scrum Professional Scrum Master (CSP-SM) course page.

For more information on John McFadyen, visit https://www.johnmcfadyen.com or connect with John on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnmcfadyen/.

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John McFadyen Managing Partner
John McFadyen is an Executive and Enterprise Agile Coach with proven experience working on some of the UK and Europe’s largest, most complex Agile Transformations. As a Certified Scrum Trainer, John brings a wealth of experience as an Agile coach, Agile practitioner and software developer into each of the four core courses he provides. The war stories, the insights into successful Agile transformations and everything he has learned from coaching high-performance Agile teams combine to provide course delegates with a unique, compelling training experience that transforms as much as it empowers.

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