Why Tech Founders Should All Read Scrum
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It can always be tough when you're at the leadership position in a business, to take an active role in all parts of the company. CEOs and founders, just like anyone else, are good at certain things, and not so good at others.
When it comes to scrum, and the software development framework of a company, founders have a tendency to take a backseat, more often than not, letting a member of the managerial staff herald this portion of the company.
However, experts insist that more and more founders should become active in all levels of the company, specifically reading scrum. There are a few reasons why this is so important in the software development arena.
It Keeps a Rhythm
In scrum, there is typically no one person that is 'above' anyone else. The team as a whole is important, and while there may be rotating team leaders, no one is in charge. However, having a tech founder, who presumably is well-versed in actual tech and software development, sit in on the team meetings brings a whole rhythm to scrum.
As a founder, however, you cannot overextend your bounds and be authoritative during scrum. Your role is merely to advise on technical matters. Having someone on hand who knows more about the development than perhaps the members of the team is key. It's tough for software development to really advance without some more technical advisement.
It Also Provides Mentoring and Support
Reading and learning about scrum, and eventually becoming part of the team is important as a founder. Remember, your job within scrum is not to be the CEO for that 15-minute segment of scrum per day. It's your job to motivate and be a mentor, while providing the technical expertise mentioned above. Taking the lead occasionally in scrum can help accelerate development. This assumes that you are a good, motivating, positive CEO or founder. If you are not, this tactic can backfire.
It's Not Nonsense
Some people in the field have dismissed scrum as nonsense. Trying to remember that scrum is a phase of development still in its beginning stages, techies also have to remember that this is a more holistic approach of development.
We can compare it to a holistic doctor. Years ago, no one trusted homeopathy and a majority of people thought it was nonsense. This is the same way some in the tech industry view scrum (or agile) development. Only time will truly tell if this is true – however, some companies are really reaping the benefits of this type of development, so it seems silly not to give it a try.
A good rule of thumb as a founder, is not to overturn all of your company's principals in favor of a new way of doing things. Bring a focus group together to try it out. Break up your R&D departments into two camps.
It Provides a Benefit to Your Employees
Especially if you are the founder of a large company, getting involved with scrum can accomplish several things. Perhaps you have been working on bettering your employees. From getting them officially Cisco certified, to providing a better 401k, you're trying to be the best founder you can. Adding junior employees to a scrum team can really be empowering – and what's more, they'll get to work side by side with the CEO, provided you get involved. This can help your employees feel as if they have more of a voice. It's a proven fact that employees perform better in a motivating environment. Feeling like they fit in and being part of a team is paramount.
It Allows You to Share Your Vision
As the owner and founder of a company, very often a vision can get lost somewhere between the CEO and the mailroom. Adding all types of employees with all types of levels to scrum, and being a part of it yourself, allows you to be right there, day after day, sharing your vision. Keeping in mind you won't be reading scrum or on the team in an authoritative position, your vision can be motivating. Clearly sharing it can really affect development in a positive manner.
Tech founder absolutely should get involved with scrum on a daily basis. One of the most important things to keep in mind is that when you're on the scrum team, you're really just part of the team. However, it's a good time to keep your vision and purpose singular, while promoting software development in this unique, holistic fashion.