Geeks With Blogs
Coaching, Coding and Learning By George Evjen

Book Notes from 'Scrum, The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time' By Jeff Sutherland


  • Teams are what get things done in the world of work.
  • Teams are what make the world go round - and they're what scrum is based on.
  • If you're a manager, it seems that you want to hire not just the workers who earn an A - but those who earn them in the shortest amount of time.
  • If the best team could perform a task in one week - how long would it take the worst team?
    • Yale study is 10:1
    • The actual answer though is - that there is a much larger difference in team performance than there is individual performance.
    • It actually didn’t take the slow team ten weeks to do what the best team could do in one week.
    • It took them two thousand weeks.
    • There is a great difference between the best teams and the worst teams.
  • The absolute alignment of purpose and trust is something that creates greatness.
  • When designing Scrum - looked at what super performing teams had that other teams didn’t.
    • Why is it that some teams change the world and other are mired in mediocrity.
  • Characteristics of teams at the best companies.
    • Transcendent: they have a sense of purpose.
      • Move beyond ordinary to the extraordinary
    • Autonomous: teams are self-organizing and self-managing
    • Cross Functional
      • The teams have the skills to complete the project.
  • So how do you create a team that aims for a higher goal, self organizes itself and constantly feeds off each members skills.


Scrum in the Time of Revolt

  • Often when people talk about great teams - they are only talking about that transcendent sense of purpose.
    • This is only one leg of the three legged stool
  • The second is the freedom to do your job in the way that you think is best -- to have autonomy.
    • On all great teams - members decide how to carry out the goals set by those leading the company.
  • One of the key concepts of Scrum is that the team members decide themselves how they're going to do the work.
    • Its managements responsibility  to set the strategic goals.
    • It’s the teams job how to reach those goals.
  • Scrum Questions
    • What did you do since the last time we talked.
    • What are you going to do before we talk again.
    • What is getting in your way.
  • Managements job: make sure those things getting in the teams way at one meeting are gone by the next.


One Team to Get the Job Done

  • The third leg to the stool - is that the team has the necessary skills to get things done.
  • When you look at the best teams - (Toyota, 3M, Takeuchi or google, Amazon) there isnt a separation of roles.
    • Each team has all the people on it - do everything, soup to nuts.
  • Nicola Dourambeis - Agile practice at
    • Sees Scrum as the secret sauce.
    • What she looks for in a team is diversity of
      • Skill set
      • Thinking
      • Experience
    • She also needs teams to be cross-functional.
    • Teams that can get the whole project done.
    • Asks people at a company 'what team are you on'
      • Good - respond by saying the product they are on - not the skill set they have.
      • When a specialist identifies more with their specialty more than the product they're actually making - there is still work to do.
Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2016 8:28 AM Scrum | Back to top

Comments on this post: Scrum - Doing Twice the work in half the time - 3

# re: Scrum - Doing Twice the work in half the time - 3
Requesting Gravatar...
This is such a brilliant idea. It is important to learn these tips as this can be a big help when working on a team. - Gary McClure
Left by Miller on Sep 08, 2016 9:11 AM

Your comment:
 (will show your gravatar)

Copyright © George Evjen | Powered by: