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During Certified Scrum Master course in Ljubljana, we talked to Zuzana Sochova, Scrum Alliance certified trainer and lead organizer of Agile Prague conference, that began with Scrum and Agile already in 2005. As an agile coach, consultant and trainer, she is implementing scrum in large and small organizations across Europe.
Q: How would you estimate state of agile in Europe - how many companies around Europe and using scrum and how have things changed in the last 10 years?
Zuzana: Most of the companies in Europe are already using scrum, they heard about it and they are on their agile journey. I believe that you would have a hard time finding people that never heard about agile so far. In the last 10 years, scrum and agile has been growing - it is bigger and bigger, you see more and more people adopting it, trying it out and you see more and more successful case studies.
Q: How do teams that use scrum differ from non-scrum, non-agile teams?
Zuzana: Before the use of scrum, teams are usually not really a team, they are just a group of individuals and there is a big difference between a team and a group. The team has one goal and one mission to achieve and scrum uses sprint goal for that. With scrum, team starts to collaborate, act as a team, work with each other and learn more.
Q: What are a few typical mistakes that teams are making, when using scrum?
Zuzana: The typical mistakes when teams are adopting scrum occur, when teams take it as a process, as a set of rules, without really understanding the mindset, more as a set of regulations are that makes it hard - you lose the whole point of scrum being customer centric. Sometimes teams apply scrum simply because someone told them to do so, without really understanding what it is about and why they do it.
Q: Other industries are adopting agile methodology. Do you have any examples of companies that are using scrum and do not come from an IT background?
Zuzana: Currently we don’t speak that much about agile in IT, because that is already running pretty much by itself (there is space for improvements, of course). Unless we change the entire organization, unless we make them completely agile as well, unless we connect all the other functions of that organizations and change the entire leadership into agile way, I don’t think we are going to move anywhere. Agile at the team level or IT level is a good starting point, but it’s not really what being agile is about.
Q: How do you see the future of scrum and agile - let’s say 10 years from now, in 2029?
Zuzana: I see it very similar to the way it is now, I think we will see even more companies that have adopted scrum and agile and that really understood what it is about. They will realize that they have been operating in this fake scrum world and learn, what is scrum really about. We will also hear more stories about organizations that went through agile transformation as a whole and we will see more organizations that will be successful with this approach. Some practices will change, just like they changed in recent years; for example we don’t speak that much about velocity any more, we don’t care that much about story points any more, we don’t do many things that we used to do. But agile itself is still the same and it did not change that much, the only thing that is shifting is our focus and our understanding of agile is growing
We talked with Rico and Jan, Innovation Facilitator Managers at Roche. They are part of the team that is transforming the swiss affiliate into an agile organization. By giving the example of Roche's swiss affiliate agile transformation journey, both can outline how to start a transformation with more than 160 people.
Many organizations are struggling to apply the concepts of Agile because they view Agile as a new way of doing the same old thing. However, in our experience, leading a large-scale Agile Transformation isn’t about simply adopting a new set of attitudes, processes, and behaviors at the team level—it’s about changing your mindset.
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