Scrum Kick-off: How to start a Scrum Project

We lead your Scrum Kick-off, so your Scrum Team can play to win.

Starting a Scrum Project

What do you need to start a Scrum project? Just two things: An idea and a Scrum Team that can turn this idea into value. That might sound simple and yet, there are some essentials you should have in place for a successful start of a Scrum project. We help you prepare those essentials so that you will have a solid foundation to kick off your Scrum project successfully.

What is a Scrum Kick-off?

A Scrum Kick-off, also known as Scrum Inception, is like the final training camp before the start of a championship. It’s where the team talks about their goal (the championship title, of course!), their accountabilities, their game plan, their skills and their fitness level – and where the Scrum Team trains intensively!

In other words, the Scrum Kick-off is the brief timespan between the decision to pursue an idea and starting the first Sprint. That’s where a good Scrum Kick-off will help you start your Scrum project successfully by creating the right context, addressing the key-risks of complex projects early and avoiding many expensive issues later on.

What are elements of a Scrum Kick-off?

An effective Scrum Kick-off will create a clear context, direction and shared understanding among the Scrum Team and its stakeholders about:

  • What is the idea, and why will we pursue it?
  • Who is the customer we will create value for?
  • What is our product vision and Product Goal?
  • Who will be on the Scrum Team creating the product?
  • How will the Scrum Team work together?

We will help you

  • communicate the idea to the Scrum Team and stakeholders, so that they understand the value they will create for the organization and its customers
  • prepare and discuss the Product Goal with the Scrum Team and stakeholders, so that they understand how value and progress will be measured
  • prepare the initial Product Backlog, so that the Scrum Team and stakeholders will understand the Product Owner’s intention to create value and manage key-risks
  • select the right people for a Scrum Team that have the attitude, focus, skills and competencies to discover the value of the idea, create the product and deliver value.
  • start with a Scrum Team that has an understanding of how they will use the Scrum Framework to collaborate as a real team, deliver Done Increments, create value and reach the Product Goal

Who is part of a Scrum Kick-off?

The Product Owner, the Scrum Master, the Developers and their stakeholders all have an active role in a Scrum Kick-off, but not everyone has to be a part of every Kick-off event.
Scrum training for example is for the entire Scrum Team. Preparing to communicate the idea and Product Goal clearly can be done by the Product Owner and relevant stakeholders. The Scrum Kick-off will be tailored to the Scrum Team’s needs and we will make transparent who should participate in each of the activities and why.

How a Scrum Kick-off helped our clients

As experienced Scrum Masters and Product Owners, we see the differences between working with Scrum Teams that had a Scrum Kick-off and those that hadn’t. Every time we worked with a Scrum Team that

  • understood its context and their Product Goal,
  • worked from a Product Backlog representing value instead of work,
  • knew how to create Done Increments every Sprint and
  • managed the 3 key-risks of complex projects,

it paid off many times over.

Every time we worked with a Scrum Team that didn’t know “their game”, it took a lot of additional time and effort during the project to fix that – and still, the value resulting from the work of those teams wasn't in the same league.

A proper Scrum Kick-off will increase a Scrum Team’s performance and save everyone involved from many frustrating experiences later on.

Let’s talk about your Scrum Kick-off!

Book a meeting by phone or video to see how we could help kick-off your Scrum project.

Schedule a meeting!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is a Scrum Kick-off the same as a Sprint 0?

No. A Scrum Kick-off, also known as Scrum Inception, is about creating a shared context for a Scrum Team so that they can start successfully. Throughout a Scrum Kick-off, the Scrum Team and their stakeholders will create a common understanding of the product idea, their customer, their Product Goal, the Scrum Team and its accountabilities, and the Scrum Framework. In other words, a Scrum Kick-off is like the final training camp before a professional sports team starts playing in the Championship.

A Sprint 0 is a common misunderstanding that a Scrum Team needs to create more concepts, gather more requirements and create the technical architecture of the product before they can start their first Sprint. This Sprint 0 fallacy usually leads to a delay of value creation, lack of empiricism and potentially a lot of waste, especially if the team gets caught in analysis-paralysis where they feel they still need to do even more work before they can start creating value through Done Increments.

How long will a Scrum Kick-off take?

This depends on your situation. If staffing the Scrum Team involves finding and recruiting the right people, it may take several weeks. If you already have the right people available, one or two weeks sound about right.

Can you do a Scrum Kick-off without being the Scrum Master or Product Owner on that Scrum Team?

Yes, we can run a Scrum Kick-off independently. Of course, we’d be happy to be your Interim Product Owner or Scrum Master, too.

What languages do you work in?

We work in English and German.