Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: I smell a rat! Or is it just stinky cheese?

Expand Messages
  • faithbolliger.sanfran
    William - More great feedback on co-location, sprint cycle, hours, business expectations and shared team goals/motivation. Unfortunately our teams are not
    Message 1 of 10 , Oct 8, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
      William - More great feedback on co-location, sprint cycle, hours, business expectations
      and shared team goals/motivation.

      Unfortunately our teams are not co-located, we are in 4 different locations. And there is
      no actual daily overlap between 2 of those locations, except for sprint planning.

      We are on a 2 week sprint cycle, we used to do 1 week sprints which I liked but the devs
      felt it required too much work to get build stable, too much time required to prep for the
      demo and hence we had loads of hangover. To some degree we have less hangover. And
      we have worked hard to get the team to understand the demos need not be so formal, etc.

      The devs are working 40 hours if not less. We are a team of outsourced and offshore
      partners plus some onshore distributed contractors. I know the contractors have other
      clients and am confident this is some of the drain on velocity at times. I have traveled to
      work at our offshore partners location and know they keep 40 hours plus time during the
      day is playful. I don't think we are overworking them.

      Business expectations are probably misaligned. Although after 9 months now with this
      team, expectations have been significantly lowered. In my opinion, to the detriment of the
      team.

      How do others get outsourced, offshore, distributed teams to motivate? I could get better
      at motivating!

      What is the success rate for a distributed, outsourced team models?

      fb
    • marjoriepries
      ... terms of real time, it s total ... release when there are scraps ... unhelpful. My lead tech will ... even if it doesn t seem ... a cost . ... Everything
      Message 2 of 10 , Oct 8, 2008
      • 0 Attachment
        --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "faithbolliger.sanfran"
        <faith.bolliger.ny@...> wrote:
        >
        >

        > On a side note: I continuously struggle to understand this in
        terms of real time, it's total
        > felt experience for me. Particularly towards the end of the
        release when there are scraps
        > of work to be done I feel as if our units of measurement are
        unhelpful. My lead tech will
        > talk about the need to give each individual story a measurement
        even if it doesn't seem
        > worthy of say .5 because the sponsor needs to know there is
        a "cost".
        >

        Everything that takes time to do, does have a cost. I'm guessing
        these things you call "scraps of work" are tasks necessary to
        get "release-ready" but maybe task lines are being drawn too finely
        in order to have something that looks like a "story." If so, then
        perhaps certain things could be grouped together under traditional
        PMO-sounding tags so that they have more weight and visibility.
        Without hard examples of these things you call "scraps" I'm not sure.
        Maybe even some old-fasioned bug logging and tracking would resolve
        it.


        > This perspective of everything having a cost, feels more like stick
        than carrot (value).
        >
        > Back to issue at hand: So the dev team collectively throws
        estimates in our planning
        > sessions, but as a rule of thumb we take the highest estimate. I
        do see devs challenge
        > each other occasionally but not often. In cases of one specific
        tech lead, if this person
        > doesn't like a story he will continue to throw high numbers. I
        have noticed a pattern that
        > kills further discussion, the dev will say "well it still think
        there is complexity we aren't
        > seeing and therefore I am not comfortable with anything lower than
        X pts".
        >
        > I would like to change this rule of thumb that we go with the
        highest estimate. Do others have this policy?
        >
        > fb
        >

        We don't go with the highest estimate. We go with the consensus or
        most frequent estimate. That means we have a discussion about the
        extremes. Can your tech lead get more specific, in a general way,
        about his/her concerns? That is, can they enumerate aspects of the
        card and relate them to previous examples or projects where surprises
        happened? Perhps a trained facilitator could help with that.

        And is it important that they get more specific? What I mean is, if
        the track record for every card where they've voted high has
        generally proven to have hidden complexity, then as a member of the
        team, I am going to stop niggling over every card where this happens
        and vote with the expert knowing that in time I'll experience what
        he/she suspected and be better able to smell the smells and
        articulate the concerns myself.

        A lot of times, teams that have been together long function this way
        because it's just more efficient to stop talking and start working.
      • William Pietri
        Hi, Faith. Great questions. Do you have any data handy? For example, I d love to see the velocities in each of the iterations for the last release. And maybe
        Message 3 of 10 , Oct 8, 2008
        • 0 Attachment
          Hi, Faith. Great questions.

          Do you have any data handy? For example, I'd love to see the velocities in each of the iterations for the last release. And maybe the individual story estimates from a typical iteration and one you think was off, like that bit right before release?

          Thanks,

          William

          faithbolliger.sanfran wrote:
          Hi William 
          Thanks for your thoughtfulness.  
          
          You said:
            
          I think the bad estimates should be pretty easy to fix. There I'd use 
          one of the Delphi method variants:
          
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delphi_method
          
          The one I normally use is Planning Poker:
          
              http://www.planningpoker.com/detail.html
          
          In particular, I'd require that the team come to consensus on an 
          estimate. If after a few rounds they can't, then have them explicitly 
          identify the core of the disagreement, and give them explicit research 
          time to resolve the difference. If everybody has to agree, they'll 
          challenge one another's estimates, and I'm sure you won't be the only 
          one to catch onto this pattern.
              
          We do use planning poker, although the team does not like Fibonacci count and have 
          settled on a system of .5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
          
          On a side note:  I continuously struggle to understand this in terms of real time, it's total 
          felt experience for me.   Particularly towards the end of the release when there are scraps 
          of work to be done I feel as if our units of measurement are unhelpful.  My lead tech will 
          talk about the need to give each individual story a measurement even if it doesn't seem 
          worthy of say .5 because the sponsor needs to know there is a "cost".  
          
          This perspective of everything having a cost, feels more like stick than carrot (value).
          
          Back to issue at hand:  So the dev team collectively throws estimates in our planning 
          sessions, but as a rule of thumb we take the highest estimate.  I do see devs challenge 
          each other occasionally but not often.  In cases of one specific tech lead, if this person 
          doesn't like a story he will continue to throw high numbers.  I have noticed a pattern that 
          kills further discussion, the dev will say "well it still think there is complexity we aren't 
          seeing and therefore I am not comfortable with anything lower than X pts". 
          
          I would like to change this rule of thumb that we go with the highest estimate.  Do others 
          have this policy?
          
          fb
          
          
          
          
          
          ------------------------------------
          
          Yahoo! Groups Links
          
          <*> To visit your group on the web, go to:
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/agile-usability/
          
          <*> Your email settings:
              Individual Email | Traditional
          
          <*> To change settings online go to:
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/agile-usability/join
              (Yahoo! ID required)
          
          <*> To change settings via email:
              mailto:agile-usability-digest@yahoogroups.com 
              mailto:agile-usability-fullfeatured@yahoogroups.com
          
          <*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
              agile-usability-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          
          <*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
              http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          
            

        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.