We continue to hum along with our Scrum process. Today we completed the planning for our next sprint. These planning meetings are absolutely an awesome display of team work. And I must admit I did two sprint planning meetings today. While we've been running the team as one big Scrum for the past two sprints, this time we decided to break off a team into it's own sprint. It really made sense. We had dedicated resources for the work and the team had a few members from another group. So I was a participant in one planning session and the Scrum Master for the other - leading the planning. All I can say is I'm beat; but in a really good way.
Having people think through what they need to do to achieve a specific goal over the next 20 working days is really hard while incredibly refreshing. We have great conversation and debate in the planning meetings. And at the end of it we walk away with a pretty clear direction and goal. People understand what they have committed to and what defines success. And they can stay focused for 20 days, which is really cool. There isn't a project manager I know who wouldn't pay good money for that.
So we'll keep pressing forward with Scrum, improving our understanding and efficiency. One of our chief challenges is to keep it all in perspective. After all, Scrum is a process not a methodology. Sometimes people try to hide behind the process or let the process "get in the way." But the team keeps the members honest and focused on the fact that Scrum is a means to an end, not "the" end. We don't do things (or not do things) because of the process - it's because it help us achieve our goals.