Friday, December 5, 2008

Kings and Servants - collaborate on the highest priority item

Some time ago I heard a great suggestion on how to view the idea of a team “swarming” on the top-priority item of the sprint backlog – i.e. how the team should see themselves with regard to who works on what story. As you know, following the priority order is a key mechanism in Scrum affecting your ability for timeboxing (having a flexible scope).

The tip was to view the people who work on the topmost priority item in the sprint backlog as “Kings”. Everyone else (consequently working on lower priority items) are Servants. All the Servants help the King(s) immediately as soon as the Kings need anything. Also, everyone wants to be King.

I’m working on spreading this idea in our organization. I had barely finished speaking to one of our teams before I found a printed picture of a crown put up on the Scrum Board alongside the top priority story :-).

Here's an image that I found with Google that you can print and put magnetic tape on the back of and use on your own Scrumboard(s).