How scrum makes STAS thrive
It's no secret that we live in a highly volatile world. Earlier we already talked about the VUCA world and the internal agility at STAS. We’ve already mentioned that within STAS we work in 2 product groups: team tippers and team moving floor trailers. STAS does not work according to a traditional organisational structure but rather as an agile organisation and that facilitates the scrum method, a framework that is well known within the IT sector. Applying this method to hardware is a lot more complicated, but we are constantly optimising the scrum principle so that it suits our teams and internal needs. The value is in the journey!
SCRUM: what is it?
Within the scrum framework, there are three roles: the scrum master, the product owner and the developers (our product experts). The product owner is the one who sets priorities in the task list. This person is in contact with the stakeholders and the team of developers to see what is possible and what should be prioritised. The scrum master does more of the operational stuff: he/she facilitates the daily stand-ups, the sprint meetings and takes care of questions. The team of developers can focus on developing new projects and are responsible for developing high-quality products.
“As a scrum master, my goal is to make myself redundant," says Jasper. “You facilitate meetings and try to make the whole process run as smoothly as possible by removing obstacles for the team. You protect the team from external intrusions. There are always more ideas, but we must protect the capacity of the team so that they can focus on the current projects. In an ideal setting, the scrum master becomes redundant with time and each team member takes on that responsibility and it can become a self-managing team. '
How is scrum applied?
Within the product teams there is a daily stand-up of maximum 15 minutes. Every week, the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are discussed so that the entire team is aware of the current situation. Colleagues from other departments are free to join. During this stand-up, the operational aspect of the product group is discussed. If one specific topic or semi-trailer needs to be examined in more detail, a separate meeting is organised with the appropriate stakeholders.
In addition, however, there is a separate daily stand-up for the product experts. This is when they run through current projects, the state of affairs, where they might get stuck or questions they might have. This allows for transparent work and open lines of communication between the employees in Waregem (Belgium), Medias (Romania) and Skopje (Macedonia).
Jasper Tomme is the scrum master of the tipper team. ‘Currently, there are some differences in approach between the two teams (tippers vs. moving floor trailers). We are each trying our own approach to experiment. Hardware scrum is a recent phenomenon and not yet 100% fully running just yet. That’s why we’re experimenting internally to find an approach that best suits our needs and way of working. The walking floor trailer team, for example, works according to the Kanban approach, whereas we prefer to work in sprints.
Benefits of Scrum @ STAS
Although the process is not yet fully established, we are already noticing the benefits of using scrum:
- The product owner can focus on the bigger picture and the development team can concentrate on the sprint and how to build it
- Cross-functional working is used as much as possible. When someone in the team is absent, the others can temporarily take over.
- The team has more flexibility to respond to changes in the market. Thanks to the VUCA world, the speed of adaptation is becoming increasingly important. In the words of Elon Musk: "In the long run, innovation is all that matters".
- We realise a faster time to market
- Communication between colleagues at different locations is smoother. People no longer work on islands but as one team towards a common goal.
- There is a better team spirit
- Increased job satisfaction and productivity
- The quality of our products reaches a new high
Are you also convinced of the benefits of the scrum principle? You're in luck! We are looking for various employees to support our teams.