Scrum Dynamics 20 - Scrum in Public Sector with Seth Bacon


In Scrum Dynamics episode 20, I catch up with Seth Bacon from RSM.

You can connect with Seth Bacon on LinkedIn and @SethTBacon on Twitter. Check out Seth’s blog/vlog, The Bacon Bytes, for Dynamics 365 administrators.

Seth’s having success implementing Dynamics 365 in city, county and state organisations in health and human services.

Seth is delivering a Dynamics 365 virtual training academy for new administrators for D365UG members on February 6, 2019. Find out more here.

Seth and I discuss how to sell agile projects in public sector organisations, how to handle fixed-price, fixed-scope, fixed-timeline contracts and projects by encouraging the customer’s product owner to take control of prioritising the project scope and adopting an agile mindset.

How to handle Scrum projects that have a committee of product owners, instead of a single product owner, using a decision log as a communication tool. Seth also uses Visual Studio Team Services (now known as Azure DevOps) to track his requirements and work to maintain his sanity too. He invites his product owner and other stakeholders to log into VSTS too so that it’s a collaboration tool for the extended Scrum team. Working with clients to express their requirements as user stories has been a journey too, but it’s important to remember that user stories aren’t a complete requirement – they’re just a reminder that a requirement exists.

I discuss how I use an agile estimating and planning method to produce a roadmap for my Scrum projects to plan the scope, timeline and costs. Once the initial roadmap has been drafted, I run a few sprints to validate the assumptions and review the roadmap. Using an agile roadmap and learning from early sprints can reduce uncertainty.

We debate the best way to integrate team members from the Microsoft partner and client, especially testing specialists. Neil recommends having testers dedicated to the project and working alongside other team members to test the features during every sprint. We also debate how we can measure the individual contribution of team members within the Scrum team. Scrum encourages to consider our achievements as a team, but most corporate performance and feedback policies measure individual contributions – how do we reconcile these?

Seth wants to know the benefits of Scrum for his Microsoft Dynamics clients, especially for small IT teams. I share my thoughts on lowered risk, improved transparency, and quicker implementations.

Finally, Seth and I also discuss how to transition your project to an operations team when the sprints are over and how to ensure that stakeholders.