After take the decision to implement Scrum at ClubPetro, came the first step in practice: to make our first Sprint! I had in mind what we needed to do: start in a team and define roles and responsibilities. I was the first Product Owner as I was the team leader, and we had a Scrum Master who already knew the theory. That was our first step.

The first step in practice!

Create the first backlog was easy: I listed the tasks and what I understood needed to be done. At the time, my Marketing team was small, with only three people. For that reason I already knew what each one was capable to do, than imagined what the team would be able to accomplish in our starting.

After explaining to the team the benefits of the methodology and how we would work, the first meeting was scheduled. We had started! It was the feeling I had when I iniciate our first Sprint Planning and saw the desire to make it work. I already imagined the backlog was well done, so I thought it would be easy.

During the Planning, we had the first impediment: what was clear to me was not clear to everyone, and likewise, entering the title of the task was not enough to make it clarified. It seems obvious, but this was my first mistake as a Product Owner: to think that everyone had the same view of things as me. We’ve lacked empathy and we’ve lacked the understanding that not everyone figured that complex universe we lived in.

We spent some time more in the meeting doing what should have been done before: detailing all the tasks better. For this reason the meeting was extended – it became tiring and we were not really able to achieve the objectives of it with the efficiency we wanted. But despite these problems, we initiated it.

We already had the desire to bring the methodology to the other teams, at least the ones I also led. Thus, I could already put in practice the improvements I had already identified, but I decided to wait. Somewhat I wanted to have the maturity of a Sprint cycle, and only then take it to my other teams.

Our first mistakes

We went through our first Daily Scrums, and despite knowing the methodology and wanting to have that commitment to it, I was getting tired of these events. My train of thought was: “if we were all side by side all day, do we really need this event to clear up any doubts?”. We arrived at the Daily with the impediments solved, and after all, we’ve changed a lot on a daily basis.

Than came a suggestion from all of us: change the Daily Scrum to a “not Daily” routine. We reduced the frequency of these events, meeting every 2 days. And this were my next mistake: wanting to change the methodology to what is convenient, not using these events to really generate value. We learned that telling to the whole team about what two people discovered was really helping us to be on the same page. The Daily was the moment for the entire team as well, not only to remove the impediment of a single person.

We inserted many unplanned tasks, there were a lot of “urgent” things and we need to insert them in our Sprint, saving time and effort from the team with these tasks, and what had been prioritized was getting a little sideways.

Our learnings

We’ve reached the end of our very first Sprint and the happiness of taking the initial step was great, but the disappointments of the difficulties was already existing. It was time for our sprint review and of course, we had no indicators. The tool we used didn’t provide us with this, so we counted the number of deliveries made and came to the conclusion: we had done 50% of what was planned.

It was not possible to know whether or not we had improved the team’s speed, whether we had really worked on what generated the most value but we’re pleased to have followed the work format that had been proposed.

After the Sprint Review was finished, we did the standard Sprint Retrospective, with four questions: “What went right with this Sprint?”, “What went wrong?”, “What should we keep for the next Sprint?” and “What should we improve for it?” We haven’t saw yet the benefits of the Retrospective, so it was poor and without really commenting that generated what we expect.

The main point I want to make in this text is: getting started is the first step, and only after it we can really improve our adaptation to the methodology. After replicating everything we did in marketing on all the other teams, it shows that. Even with all the maturity acquired, the first challenges of each team in their first sprint are very close.

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