BioScrum: The Ecosystem Part 1
An ecosystem in science is a community of living and nonliving organisms that interact with each other and their environment. It is important to have an ecosystem that is healthy and reliable. Hence, going back to my first BioScrum post (BioScrum: Planting the Seeds), it is important that there is an ecosystem built around the plant in order for it to grow. You need to have the right amount of light, water, atmospheric pressure, temperature and nutrients in order for this seed to grow into a plant. This is also true for #bringingagilitytoscience. In parallels to the seed being planted for it to grow, bringing a scrum-like framework to an organization doesn’t mean the job is done, or you have become agile overnight just by planting the seed. You also need an ecosystem that is compatible with all moving parts in order to grow agility in the healthiest and most efficient way possible.
In this post, I will highlight what makes up an ecosystem to deliver agility by using scrum in organizations that are looking forward to increase productivity, collaboration, and team dynamics. Special thanks to Mark Palmer, great mentor, friend, and local Agile Coach for the inspiration behind this post.
What is a Scrum Ecosystem?
Talking to Mark about some of the common difficulties we face as Scrum practitioners, we landed on conversing about building the right ecosystem. One of the problems many organizations face in the Biotech space and other domains as well is having multiple product owners. Multiple product owners guiding the product road map makes it much more difficult for teams to have insight as things end up constantly changing. In an ideal application of scrum, there is only one product owner for each scrum team. Some disagree that it’s ok to have multiple product owners. Hence, this is all part of building an ecosystem; we want to get to the ideal by working towards making our ecosystem healthy and sustainable. This was just one example, but I will further talk about how crucial an ecosystem has to be to have everything come together.
A scrum ecosystem can look different depending on variety of factors. In this BioScrum ecosystem for example, it can consist of culture, organizational values, scrum masters, product owners, product managers, sales, tools, physical resources, marketing personnel, compliance personnel, lab personnel, and really all moving pieces that deliver the final product. From my experience, this ecosystem is missing in many organizations, and thus it is important that after few iterations, we attempt to try to get to the healthy or ideal ecosystem we are all aware of. Of course, this takes time but an ideal ecosystem for scrum would be an environment where we have an ideal size scrum team, one product owner, a culture which supports true agile values, buy in from all other stakeholders, the right agile mindset, etc. However, this is tough and time consuming; but with the idea and proper mindset of implementing and maintaining efforts to achieve an ideal ecosystem, we can really change execution of scrum-like methods in Biotech and Life Sciences domain.
With BioScrum LLC, our goal is to build an unique ecosystem for people in our space to use scrum-like principles but again, a framework that can be applicable to science, trying to take us one step closer to #bringingagilitytoscience.
This post was to set the stage of introducing readers and people in our space to the BioScrum Ecosystem. In the next blog post (BioScrum: The Ecosystem Part II), we will elaborate more and dive deeper into illustrating how this ecosystem looks like and what it means for creating high performing teams and most importantly, how can we measure the energy traveling through this ecosystem to make sure we are all in a healthy state.
Again, just as we have natural disasters, and other factors that disrupt our ecosystem, it is our job as scrum practitioners to look out and protect our scrum ecosystem. We have many disturbances in our organizations, but lets retrospect and remove those disturbances together, to achieve our ideal, healthy Scrum Ecosystem to deliver agility.
So the task of the day is to go out there and start building your ideal scrum ecosystem and start #bringingagilitytoscience.