The Evolution of Scrum at BitSight

At Northeastern University, I am in a 5-year program which allows for me to take 4 years of classes while also obtaining 18 months of work experience. I completed my first co-op at BitSight Technologies (and am currently still working there part-time and will be returning for my second), which practices agile project management using Scrum. Working at BitSight was my first experience with Scrum and it has been interesting to watch how its user has evolved over the last 11 months. When I started in May of 2013, BitSight was much smaller. The Engineering team consisted of about 10 full-time staff with about 5 graduate-student co-ops. At this point, standups still consisted of everybody meeting together around the kanban board. Eventually, as more full time staff and co-ops were hired, this became very unsustainable as standups were taking ~30 minutes to complete as 20 people is far too many (5 - 7 being the ideal amount). This was noticed fairly quickly and standups now consist only the necessary representatives from each team / project. The standups are still slightly larger than ideal, but I predict that as BitSight continues to grow, the standups will eventually branch off into smaller, more-focused groups.

Additionally, the Scrum Master initially was an employee who had been, for lack of a better phrase, stuck with it. They knew the basics, but not enough to efficiently lead the meetings and optimize team velocity. When a new engineer with Scrum experience was hired, they eventually took the reigns as Scrum Master and turned it around. This passing of the torch has lead to a rotating Scrum Master. That is, every so often, a new employee is trained how to be Scrum Master and then proceeds to lead the standups until eventually the next employee is selected and the cycle repeats. I think this is a brilliant plan, as it gets everyone more involved in the Scrum process which means that everyone will have a more detailed understanding of how it works (and why), leading to increased focus and increased agility. It will definitely be interesting to see how BitSight continues to change as it grows bigger and bigger.

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