Learn Quickly

In the Scrum Framework, there are built in ceremonies to help the organization and team be agile and learn quickly.

These include:

Each sprint has a goal and at the end of the sprint cycle, the team reflects on goal completion and what can be done to improve next sprint.  The team also reflects daily on the goal and adjusts as needed. By having iterative goals and short sprint cycles (ideal time is less than 4 weeks), the team is able to be agile and learn quickly.

In terms of costs, one may look at operational cost (what it costs the organization per sprint).  This may add up very quickly and ideally should be transparent to the organization. It also means there is an ideal value being measured each sprint. This value will ideally be based on the customer and maximizing value based on their needs.

Strict ruling styles and command/control leadership have not been strengths of mine. However, many corporations will have this model due to the way traditional systems work. Therefore, many avoid failure causing learning and innovation to be restricted.  This is one of the reasons I really like the concept behind the Scrum Framework. It gives a team the ability to try something quickly and show the results. It helps upper management see results very quickly; if something produces a negative result, the team adjusts and resets.

The concepts behind this framework may be applied in any part of an organization. For example, let’s say you are a sales rep in digital media.  You have a client that has a large budget for a new product being released, and they are hesitant to spend a large amount of the budget at once due to the fear of unknown results.  This may be a great opportunity to spend a small portion of the budget on multiple ad campaigns in an iterative approach to build a win-win relationship with the client. Talk to the business teams needed and work with them to set up multiple campaigns around the client’s needs. Tell your client that you would like to run some tests with a minimal budget of 1% over the next week and show them the results quickly. Two out of five campaigns come back with a conversion rate of 75% each, while the others return 20% each. Discuss the results with your team. Why did the campaigns perform the way they did? You may also find an opportunity to create a new product type with your team through feedback and discovery in a retrospective. The client is ideally very pleased to have only spent 1% of their budget and realized the results quickly for a 75% potential return.

What things have you tried to enable learning quickly at your organization?

Additional Readings:

  • https://hbr.org/2016/05/increase-your-return-on-failure
  • https://www.scrumguides.org/scrum-guide.html

 

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