October 5, 2023

Lessons Learned as a Scrum Master: Building a Lego Ford Ranger Truck

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As a Scrum Master, my journey building a Lego Ford Ranger truck provided me with valuable insights into scrum and team work that I'd like to share. Here are some key takeaways:

1. Understand the Vision

When I received the Lego set as a gift, the first thing that struck me was the vivid picture of the completed Lego truck. Its intricate details left me wondering how I, with my less-than-nimble fingers, would construct it. However, that initial picture offered me a clear vision of the end goal—a holistic view of what the truck would look like when completed. This vision became my guiding star, showing me the big picture and lighting the way forward.

2. Read the Manual

Much like in a scrum project, I was faced with a complex task that required careful planning. In my case, this involved meticulously following the detailed and well-structured manual. Just as in Scrum, understanding the requirements and how each step contributes to the end product was essential. The manual served as my roadmap, breaking down the process into manageable steps, ultimately leading to a successful outcome.

3. Test Early and Regularly

During the building process, I learned the importance of testing my progress regularly. Whenever I deviated from the step-by-step instructions, it often resulted in costly mistakes and time-consuming corrections. For instance, a single oversight forced me to rebuild the entire engine. In the world of Scrum, this underscores the necessity of continuous testing against requirements and the project's vision. Avoiding these mistakes and ensuring alignment saves both time and resources.

4. Celebrate Your Successes

As I worked on the Lego truck, my wife, who knew my less-than-handy reputation, was initially skeptical. However, every time I completed a component, I proudly showcased my achievement. Her surprise and admiration were a testament to the value of celebrating successes. In the Scrum world, this means acknowledging and showcasing completed tasks and milestones. It not only boosts morale but also keeps the team motivated and engaged.

5. Enjoy the Journey

Perhaps the most vital lesson was to enjoy the journey itself. If I hadn't found joy in the process, I might have given up on the project. Constructing the Lego truck demanded hours of hard work, but my enthusiasm for the task kept me going. This aligns with Jeff Sutherland's wisdom in "The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time": if you're not enjoying your work, something needs to change. In the scrum framework , embracing the journey is fundamental to delivering a high-quality product you can take pride in.

In conclusion, building a Lego Ford Ranger truck provided me with hands-on lessons that resonate deeply with the principles of Scrum. By understanding the vision, following a well-structured plan, testing continuously, celebrating successes, and, above all, enjoying the journey.

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Jacques van Sittert
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