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Good afternoon Fellow Scrum-Students/Acolytes/Masters,

I'm having trouble getting some of my users to keep progress of their cards. I often have to move them to In Progress or remind them to keep notes in their cards during Standup and I wanted to see if you had any helpful tips/tricks to getting your team to adopt these practices as a whole? Thanks!

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    Did you get their buy-in before adopting Scrum? – Sarov May 2 at 20:55
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    How did the “cards” become theirs? Are you assigning work, and then expecting people to be somehow invested? – Todd A. Jacobs May 3 at 1:55
  • What kinds of notes should they keep? – nvoigt May 3 at 5:33
  • @Sarov Forgive me if I don't understand the nomenclature, but could you clarify? – DoTheDoe May 3 at 21:10
  • @ToddA.Jacobs during our Sprint Planning Sessions, we sometimes have to make new cards and they usually discuss it with their manager to make better sense of what needs to be done as well as some improvements they want to make. I hope that clarifies things. – DoTheDoe May 3 at 21:11
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Let me guess, you started or was asked to start a new process in the organisation because folks don't know why things are not going well and would like to do something.

People are not updating or moving items around because they don't see the value or the point in it. If you have an open minded team the only thing you can do is wait and patiently help them understand the idea and see how they react and what figure out what the smallest thing they can do etc. With the retrospectives and "lectures" you are going to drive them away from the new approach; they'll see it your or the management "newest" idea, and they'll wait until it is gone.

A quick help can be to ask them: "what would you do instead?" If it is not a far fetched idea, do it and check the result. With this approach you can introduce the team to the agile way of working (mind the small 'a'); trying out new things, reflecting the change, take responsibility of said change and revert if necessary.

  • "mind the small 'a'" - are you actually differentiating agile and Agile as both being valid with different meanings? Or are you just agreeing with english.stackexchange.com/a/441437/293121 ? – Sarov May 3 at 13:21
  • they mean different things. Capital 'A' Agile is a text book, fictional method, agile is a way to behave. The second is the preferable. I found another view: one follows Agile, or one is/do agile. I'd rather do than follow. – Zsolt May 3 at 13:43
  • @Zsolt we've been slowly introducing Scrum to our team and it's one of the things that not everyone is doing. I think my team is fairly open minded, so perhaps I just need to gently help them understand the idea. We certainly don't try to be preachy and I do try to explain that we're just trying to continually improve as a team. I'll definitely bring up the question "What would you do instead?" and perhaps I can get some insight into how I can help them understand why we're doing this in the first place. – DoTheDoe May 3 at 21:14
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If a team does not value a tool they will not use it well.

The key is to do the following in order:

  • Discuss with the team a new approach (for example adopting JIRA)
  • Put forward an argument for why you think your suggested approach is good
  • Listen carefully to the feedback from the team
  • Make a collaborative decision on which approach to take

Treat the adopted approach as an experiment. Review it in retrospectives and see if it needs to be adapted.

A team that owns its tools and process is more likely to be successful than one that is told how to do things.

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