Team Motivation in Scrum
Each software development methodology requires its own methods of team motivation. In most cases they are defined by the structure of teams that is typical for a certain project management methodology. However, some of the team motivation techniques are common for the entire software development industry. In this article we will describe the process and types of team motivation in Scrum. However, it is impossible to do that without understanding the definition of the methodology and the structure of its teams. That is why we have to begin with their descriptions.
Scrum is the most popular Agile software development methodology. It is widely used all over the world. Some inexperienced developers even confuse Scrum with Agile because they don’t know about the existence of other Agile methodologies. Scrum illustrates all main agile principles including strong communication, iterative structure of projects, and strong customer involvement. Most developers agree that Scrum methodology in suitable for any software development project. However, Scrum teams are most effective in short term and not complex projects.
Scrum team is probably the main distinctive feature of this methodology. Like other Agile teams, such teams are small. They are sometimes called the smallest software development teams. That is the reason why their members must be interchangeable. Unlike traditional software development teams that are typical for Waterfall methodology, Scrum teams don’t have such roles as analysts, testers, and project managers. Usually they include only three roles: the ScrumMaster, the team, and the Product Owner. The ScrumMaster is not a formal leader of a Scrum team. He does not perform the tasks of a project manager. He is only a coach that helps the team implement the best Scrum practices. A Product Owner is a customer or his representative in a Scrum team. He is responsible for gathering user stories and prioritizing them in the product backlog. In Scrum the developers can always reprioritize the tasks and user stories prioritized by the Product Owner.
Team motivation in Scrum is not a simple issue. Like in other Agile methodologies, in Scrum the team members are interchangeable. It means that they are high qualified developers who are capable of performing several roles including the project manager role. Hence, if you want to create a Scrum team and motivate its members, you have to pay them compatible salary.
Additionally, the motivational activities are conducted in Scrum teams constantly. The ScrumMaster is the main person responsible for that. He motivates the team members during the daily Scrums and the sprint reviews. He can also conduct special games to motivate the team to work more effectively. Such games are usually conducted at the stage of sprint planning. The most famous of them is called the planning game. Most Scrum developers consider it a simple and effective motivational means. The main thing you must know about motivation in Scrum is that it can be conducted at any stage of project realization.