News and blogs

I Scrum, you Scrum, we Scrum

Scrum as a communication method

In communication you are often unable to effectively ascertain beforehand what results you are going to attain, since you do not have all environmental variables under control. A static plan is no longer enough, says emeritus professor in corporate communication and communication management Betteke Van Ruler. With The Reflective Communication Scrum TM , which originates from the software sector, she has developed an alternative to the traditional communication plan. Should you not yet know what Scrum is, I recommend you first read the brief explanation.

With this flexible communication method, you evaluate at regular intervals and adjust goals little by little, so that you can react in real time and respond to what matters at that moment. It is a method that calls for a completely different view of the way communication projects are implemented. “Since what’s the point of a plan if reality is constantly catching you up?”, says Van Ruler during a Scrum session I attended.

The main guidelines of the Scrum method:

-       Do not evaluate at the end but at intervals as you go

-       Take the client on board with you in the developments

-       Co-creation with stakeholders for an optimal result

-       Schedule the interventions in demarcated sprints; on the basis of results or changing circumstances look at what is needed at that point in order to achieve the goal

-       Carry out think-tank sessions in the Scrums at set times, in order thereby to be able to take advantage of the dynamic in the environment

-       Validation at the end of each sprint

-       Work with actions that are easily adjustable

Communication plan in the wastepaper basket

In a traditional communication plan you work out in advance what result you are going to attain and what actions you have to carry out to that end. If the circumstances change en route or the effects of your actions prove to be other than what you had expected, you have to adjust after the event. According to Van Ruler, the traditional communication plan can therefore be consigned to the wastepaper basket. It is too inflexible and consequently ill-suited to environments subject to change.

Suitable for communication professionals?

I agree with Van Ruler that communication professionals also have to look at new ways of working. I just wonder whether the Scrum method is really the Holy Grail. The fact is, the way I see it the method also raises a lot of questions. Would our clients (and we ourselves) actually be able and willing to operate without a clear-cut plan? And how do we take our busy clients on board with us in this process?
The main thing that emerges from the discussions on the Internet is that the method is primarily suited to projects with creative processes as a component part. However, the Scrum dynamic does appeal to me.

Scrum is super-fast and aimed at getting things done. Efficient, stress-free working looks to me to be something well worth pursuing. Is Scrum the method for getting projects quickly up and running?

I’d like to hear what you think about Scrum.

Marjolein Tijdink

      Leave your comment