Saturday, November 7, 2015

A major shift in decision making at a School System using Scrum

As regular readers know, you are aware that I have been volunteering to help out the folks at Blueprint Education and Hope High School to extend the support for agility in the classroom.

An exciting thing happened this week showing that Agile Values and Principles are starting to be absorbed into the culture

Through the beauty of Inspect and Adapt loops created by using Scrum (their chosen agile framework), the teachers and leadership realized a big change needed to take place with the curriculum.  

The folks at Blueprint let me know that traditionally the Principals and Leadership would decide what to do and pass that information down to the teachers.

A brave CEO told me in a call, "Mike, I said to them.. We keep talking about letting the people that are closest to the situation make decisions as being part of an agile mindset.  We need to do this stuff. Teachers all over the US complain about not being able to make decisions about how they educate their students. We believe the teachers know the students best. " (paraphrased)

Marmy Kodras, the COO (the leadership team Scrum Master), arranged a teacher Professional Development Day and the teachers were introduced to the problem and given facilitation to provide their own solutions.

The leadership would support the teachers's solutions instead if one dictated to them... A major shift from traditional thinking...

The teachers deciding on their own approach to changing the plan.
Image (c) Copyright Blueprint Education, 2015

I heard back later from the CEO late in the evening after this event.  His response... (with some private content removed).

"Marmy did a great job leading the group of teachers through exercises designed to discover the next phase of academic development. She then helped them prioritize their backlog and refine the top priority story. They even wrote it in proper story format.
 I say it was a great day."

The students are working to learn through the Agile Classrooms approach. Read more about Agile Classrooms here.  

The teachers, principals and executives are using Scrum as their framework of choice. The students are being introduced to agility through the Agile Classrooms approach. The two frameworks are very similar in nature.  

If you want to learn more about Blueprint Education and their sponsorship by Scrum Alliance, here's a link.

If you'd like to see a few more stories about the goings on at Blueprint and Hope, here is one more post you might be interested in...


Agile Classrooms -
Blueprint Education Agility -
Scrum -
Scrum Alliance -

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