getting started with Scrum for your Nonprofit

getting started with Scrum for your NonprofitHow do you eat an elephant? Read on!

9 tips on getting started with Scrum for your Nonprofit

So, how do you eat an elephant? Desmond Tutu is known to have said there’s only one way: one bite at a time.

Agile project management — which breaks down big projects into smaller, less intimidating chunks — can help with the meal. One approach to agile project management is Scrum, which can streamline your processes and empower your team to prioritize more efficiently and innovate more easily.

It also builds in a layer of accountability that keeps things moving along. Team members meet daily — either virtually or in-person — to ensure forward movement through each project phase, called sprints in the parlance of Scrum.

Diane Leonard — whose company, Agile in Nonprofits will be partnering with Nonprofit Library to offer a free webinar on Scrum — is with us this week to share some tips on getting started. Diane recommends that you:

  1. Identify what your first Scrum team will focus on (i.e. fundraising, grants, capital campaign, etc.) and what their high-level goals will be.
  2. Identify your Scrum team members (three to nine people, though four to six is optimal), including someone who will prioritize the work (Product Owner) and someone who will facilitate the team self-organization (Scrum Master).
  3. Encourage team members to read “Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time” and “The Scrum Guide.”
  4. Identify your sprint time period (a consistent time period between one and four weeks, though shorter is better).
  5. Determine where you will make your work visible (whiteboards in a shared workspace or a platform for virtual sharing).
  6. Set a goal for your first sprint and what items are needed to accomplish that goal.
  7. Set when/where your Daily Scrum will take place (15 minutes EACH day, ideally as early to the start of your day as possible).
  8. Dig in! At every sprint you get to iterate the process by selecting a priority that your Scrum team believes will make them happier and faster.
  9. At the end of each sprint, invite stakeholders (colleagues, leadership, etc.) to review your latest increment and team members to improve your way of working.


All the best!

Your partners in making the world a better place,

– Your friends at NonprofitLibrary


P.S. Make sure to take a look at this recorded demo for more info on how to make the best of the Agile framework for your nonprofit.

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