How EOS and Scrum Drive Efficiency and Foster Accountability

[fa icon="user"] Caitlin Whitworth [fa icon="calendar"]  Jun 23, 2021 6:00:00 AM

How EOS and Scrum Drive Efficiency and Foster Accountability

An EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) model used in parallel with Scrum enables optimal function as teams in self-organized units share the vision and goals of the organization. Although seemingly unrelated, EOS and Scrum are both frameworks that emphasize focus, alignment, discipline, and cadence. Here’s a deeper look into what EOS is and how it can be used in parallel with Scrum to drive efficiency and accountability.

What is EOS?

In short, EOS is a way to structure an organization to help clarify roles, drive efficiency in meetings, and foster accountability of team members. EOS gets “stuck” teams back on track by organizing challenges and making them more manageable. Utilizing EOS ensures your team is working toward the same goals, meetings are productive, and issues are solved before they become big problems. EOS Worldwide is a great resource to use to learn more about the framework.

Key Components of EOS

The L10 Meeting

One essential component of EOS is the level 10 (or L10) meeting. This meeting is used to identify issues and discuss ways to solve them. Even though each organization is a little different in how they structure their L10 meetings, the agenda usually involves:

  • Sharing good news, both personal and professional.
  • Reviewing the department scorecard.
  • Reviewing the status of quarterly rocks.
  • Checking the to-do list to make sure all tasks from the previous meeting were completed.
  • Identifying, discussing, and solving issues.
  • Recapping and scoring the meeting (there’s always room for improvement!)

L10 meetings are an incredibly effective way to organize project leadership calls. By running an efficient and impactful meeting leveraging this framework, the group can sort through several issues in the (typically) limited time and ensure everyone is on the same page.

Scorecard

The scorecard tool tracks your team’s most crucial metrics and provides a snapshot of the overall project or department health. To create your team’s scorecard, identify three to five metrics that can provide insight on a potential issue. A metric for software project leaders might be “priority 1 bugs.” If you notice a steady increase in this metric over the past month, there may be an issue, and you’ll need to speak with the team to resolve it.

Accountability Tools

Accountability is applied through EOS using various tools. The first is a shared to-do list to be reviewed at each L10 meeting. Another great tool is quarterly rocks; identifying three to five of the most important things the company or department needs to achieve in the next quarter. These rocks are ordinarily also reviewed at weekly meetings, where the person accountable provides an update on the status of the rock.

EOS and Scrum

Getting Started

Though traditional EOS may not map directly to Scrum, the overall tenet and framework can still be leveraged. It’s best to start small to implement an L10 meeting with a Scrum team. For instance, use a ticket that needs to be discussed outside of a standup. Set up a call utilizing the L10 agenda, ensuring to time box each section to maintain focus. Start with 5 minutes for good news and then identify, discuss, and solve the issue at hand for the next 20 minutes.

During the meeting, make sure to listen for anything unresolvable in the short term, noting it for later to ensure the group stays focused on current issues. Capture to-do’s from the discussion as you go along and leave about 5 minutes at the end to recap and conclude the call. From there, it’s wash, rinse, and repeat!

Although rocks and to-do lists may not be something you need to leverage in their entirety, they are still a helpful accountability tool to utilize with your Scrum team. They can help answer questions such as:

  • Was a specific story completed?
  • Did a developer see their story through the entire workflow?
  • Did a team member update their estimates?
  • Did prep for deployment happen?

For this to be successful, the team needs a clear vision of who is accountable for what. EOS can help establish roles and sort through any overlap.

Benefits

If your team has fallen off track with regular Scrum practices, leveraging EOS can get them moving in the right direction again. Indications you may need a little help from EOS include standups running over time, retrospectives being off focus or lacking feedback, and grooming sessions where very little grooming is done. These can lead to confusion when completing sprint work, missed project deadlines, and a negative impact on the company’s revenue stream.

Scrum is a very effective way to organize projects; however, you can often use extra help along the way. Leveraging additional tools and frameworks can help bolster the overall health of your Scrum team. Need help getting started? Contact the experts at DragonSpears.

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