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Michael Musolf Scrum Master C&A

Experience report - Switch from office to home work as a Scrum team

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Our Echometer experience reports

In our experience reports, we show you how Echometer is used in practice by users reporting their experiences themselves.

While we are last time with Holger heard an agile coach who already knew remote work before Corona Michael Musolf this time an interview partner who works with his teams in C&A headquarters in Düsseldorf Corona and home work put her in a new situation.
So how did he make this change and what role did Echometer play in it? Read it yourself!

Our guest

Jean: Dear Michael, we look forward to welcoming you as a guest in this format today. Let's start with you: Can you introduce yourself briefly?

Michael: Hi, my name is Michael and I've been working at C&A Services in the area of software development for 18 years. I worked as a project manager for many years and have already tried to improve the products and team processes together with the team. For 3 years I have had the great pleasure of supporting 2 product teams in the area of eCommerce as a Scrum Master. 

Jean: And who are the teams and what products are they working on?

Michael: The teams are structured quite differently:  

  • Team 1 is for them Customer app responsible, i.e. the app that you can install on your mobile phone. It consists of 2 iOS developers, 2 Android developers, 1 solution architect and 1 product owner.  
  • Team 2 looks after the eComHub, our "data hub" in eCommerce. All systems relevant to eCommerce (external and internal) are connected to the eComHub. 4 developers, 6 business analysts and a product owner work here.

The corona-related switch to home work

Jean: Before Corona, you all worked together in Düsseldorf. What has Corona changed for you?

Michael: Exactly, in the time before Corona we all worked in the head office in Düsseldorf. Personal and direct cooperation in the Scrum Events is important to us. As a Scrum Master, I need a lot of useful information, such as: B Facial expressions, gestures and the way someone speaks. 

With Corona we had to rethink from now on, since we all switched to the home office. I was very excited to see how well the team can pack this change and how we can work under these new conditions. The Daily and Review were geared towards remote even before Corona, but it was different with planning and the retrospective. Here I had to think about concepts in a timely manner, how we can leave the existing processes as unchanged as possible despite the home office and how I can reduce the impact for the Scrum Team to an absolute minimum.

Remote retrospectives from the home office

Jean: Let's get to the retrospectives - how do you solve that when working from your home office?

Michael: Echometer now comes into play for the retrospective: Echometer allows me to do a retrospective remotely with my 2 Scrum Teams. I find many of our previous method components in a slightly modified form and can continue to use them. This makes the switch to a digital tool pleasant for us.

Jean: At the same time, Echometer is probably bringing new elements into the retro with the scale questions that team members answer in advance - how is that received?

Michael: Yes exactly. The teams actively take up the scale questions: The questions help us to identify new topics or take a different perspective, to discuss them and, if necessary, to take measures on the journey. So z. B. motivates a question to think about the level of detail in sprint planning. 

Incidentally, we also manage the measures resulting from the discussions in Echometer in order to automatically have a resubmission in the next retrospective and to discuss the progress. In fact, it worked better than feared. 

Well, one topic has fallen by the wayside: haptics. In our retrospectives everyone can get actively involved on the whiteboard or flipchart. It has now become a little more difficult. And haptics cannot be replaced by tools. 

The good thing is that I can also share this experience directly with you as the developer of the tool. That's why I hope that our experience can give you valuable feedback for the further development of Echometer.

Jean: Yes absolutely. The idea of integrating an interactive whiteboard is a topic that we are now actively addressing based on our user feedback.

Finally, in short: What is your recommendation on how to successfully get through this time as a Scrum Master with your teams? 

Michael: We actively try to combine the opportunities arising from corona-related homework with our strengths: Because of the local independence, we have increased flexibility and, at the same time, use our courage to try out new things again and again in order to constantly develop ourselves in these new framework conditions.

Therefore, I think that Scrum Masters should above all support teams to actively use the advantages of this situation instead of being too concerned with possible disadvantages.

Jean: Sounds good. Michael, thank you for your insights!

In this sense, you, as a team, are also taking advantage of the opportunities that arise from this new situation!

If there is one Tool for retrospectives with targeted food for thought for your teams, please click hereto learn more about Echometer.

PS: Oh, are you already using Echometer? Then feel free to contact Jean if you are also interested in sharing your experience in this format ✌️

Our interview partner

Michael Musolf

Michael Musolf

Scrum Master at C&A in Düsseldorf

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