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June 20, 2017
An Introduction to Scrum with Maria at the Girl Geek Dinners
By: Maria Varley

Last month, I had the opportunity to host the Girl Geek Dinners at The Dock, and present on—Scrum. Two passions of mine converging!

Girl Geek Dinners is a meetup group established to provide a community and platform for women in the technology sphere to newtork, enjoy some food and drinks, and discuss relevant topics, which could be anything from career hacks to technical insights. Welcome to Scrum with Maria

An introduction to Scrum

Scrum, as the name suggests, originates from rugby, where a team has a shared goal of moving the ball from one end of the pitch to the other.

It is a lightweight framework that is easy to understand, but difficult to master.

Why do we use it at The Dock? Well, for one thing, it enables teams to be self-organising, empowered, and flexible, by adhering to 3 pillars: transparency, inspection and adaption.

Scrum empowers and motivates our people, and helps create an environment where they can innovate, be playful and fail well.

As we work in a complex space, with many unknowns, we need to constantly experiment, learn, evaluate and adapt.

Why it's called scrum

Practice what you preach

As the main purpose of Girl Geek Dinners is to network and have fun, I wanted my talk to be as interactive and engaging as possible.

So, what better way to kick things off than with some Scrum-based activities?

Practice what you preach

For the first exercise, I asked the room to break into smaller groups and match the 3 roles in Scrum—Product Owner, Development Team and Scrum Master—with their respective responsibilities.

This generated a buzz of conversation and helped engage the audience—an imperative at the end of a long day.

Next, I wanted the group to explore the Scrum events; The Sprint, Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective.

Again, participants were asked to break into smaller groups, discuss these events and to choose the appropriate duration, attendees and purpose for each event.

I rounded-off the section on the Scrum framework by chatting about the Scrum Artifacts, Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog and Increment.

Practice what you preach

Scrum at The Dock

We have the unique advantage of being able to collaborate across multidisciplinary teams of designers, software engineers and experts in areas like artificial intelligence, advanced analytics and IoT.

As a Scrum Master, my main role is to remove impediments and help the team improve, while maintaining a sustainable development pace

Scrum at The Dock

Another element to this is observing the team’s interactions and helping them to understand their team norms.

These norms are the team's traditions, behavioural standards and unwritten rules.

Finally, physiological safety is key to the success of our teams; team members need to feel accepted and respected. This aids innovation, creativity, and building a culture of openness and transparency. 

Scrum at The Dock

At The Dock, we are steering our way through a sea of unknowns, and Scrum is providing the navigation system that is keeping us on course to becoming an innovation beacon within the Accenture ecosystem and beyond.

Find out more about opportunities at The Dock

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