Transitioning the IT Work Process from Waterfall to Agile Scrum Produces a High Performing Team and Product. Source: Nicholas Del Carlo, Agile Coach at

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Scrum is a simple to understand yet hard to master framework that team members can use to tackle complex problems while delivering minimal viable products of the highest possible value. Scrum can be applied not only to big complex software and product development, but everyday life challenges by breaking large and complex problems or goals into small chunks that are more attainable within a 2 week sprint. Source: Nicholas Del Carlo, Agile Coach at

Nicholas Del Carlo, Agile Coach

That’s the moment when you can look at another team member on the scrum team and have a common understanding on everything you accomplished and feel like you are as close as you would be on the battlefield or in an experienced armored tank unit. Agile Scrum teams generate high performing team

While one of our team members at OD Management (ODM) grew up in a military veteran family “Go Army” he appreciate picking up the bread crumbs of military knowledge from the great reading books my father had around the house. He had these huge coffee table books on military history, airplanes, tanks, infantry, war ships and design for various countries around the world. Later in life during college he enjoyed Military Science classes and participated in Army ROTC which was something he enjoyed. After several opportunities as a Scrum Master and as years progressed in the agile coaching and training arena, he noticed how good the relationships and participation in the scrum framework blossomed.

There are as always different personalities and sometimes conflicting hierarchies already established on each novice scrum team. A good Scrum Master facilitates the proper cadence and scrum ceremonies while remaining neutral amongst the team. You will be expected to be an expert with the various software tools such as Jira, Rally, Azure Dev Ops Boards. This will be a challenge for project managers, or older management styles in various Finance/IT cultures that are just used to basic tools and procedures.

A good scrum team within the portfolio will learn to work together and leverage each other’s expertise while allowing and trusting team members to do what they are good at. There shouldn’t be any fear of paired programming or Test-Driven Development within the sprints. One important factor on the benefits of the Scrum framework is that you see the progression in getting work done better and faster while building tight relationships amongst the team.

ODM recognized a similarity of Scrum Teams and the challenges in our rapid changing environment while watching a Sherman Tank World War II movie called Fury the other night. Armored U.S. tank units suffered extremely high casualty rates while they faced various challenges in Europe during World War II. We couldn’t help but realize the similarities of a Scrum Team as a Tank Team. We all are heading into serious and complex situations that may not be life threatening, but could in fact be job threatening if someone on the team “Contractor or Employee” in the Tank or Scrum Team does not do their job well. The scrum team is only as strong as its weakest link.

After several sprints you should experience this similar camaraderie with your team. Your upper management or business side of things may not realize how complex the challenges are that you have to face with grooming these sometimes very vague stories. They in fact may not have done a discovery sprint of their own to figure out the vision, goals or even the end product by the time they send the order into your unit aka scrum team. This is where the challenges of small things turn out to be very big and complex things. A veteran Scrum Master must decipher this problem as soon as possible and break it up into small stories so the team can start chipping away at the acceptance criteria one story at a time. Acceptance criteria is a bullet list used by the developer as a checklist to get the story "new feature to your product" to done. This will become vital during User Acceptance Testing and sprint demonstration. Product Owners will have just as much steak in the game as the Developer with creating a new feature that wow’s the business side and end user of the product.

We are very proud of several teams and use cases we have coached, trained and lead into the corporate battles of big data, dashboard development, application development and software dev over the years. I can brag about how close the relationships have become because we meet several challenges and battles head on just like on a battle field in a military situation. Its high stress, a lot of confusion and you have to make decisions fast while trying to make management happy while producing a minimal viable product. When the dust settles you look around the table and realize how much resource turnover happened over the year due to high stress, complexity and lack of talent in the current market place.

And that’s the moment when you can look at another team member on the scrum team and have a common understanding on everything you accomplished and feel like you are as close as you would be on the battlefield or in an experienced armored tank unit. Agile Scrum teams generate high performing teams and excellent camaraderie that lasts a lifetime. – Source: Nicholas Del Carlo, Agile Coach at

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Nicholas Del Carlo, M.S.
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