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[XP] Re: Adopting Agile

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  • devos.dave
    ... I don t know. The team focuses on getting the things done that are most important now and during the process we plan ahead for about a month. We haven t
    Message 1 of 48 , Apr 21, 2009
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      --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, Chris Wheeler <christopher.wheeler@...> wrote:
      >
      > What should astonish you, and perhaps this will point to a starting point,
      > is that the product owner had to ask you, in a status meeting, if you were
      > going to ship the product on May 31. Does that seem a little strange to you?

      I don't know. The team focuses on getting the things done that are most important now and during the process we plan ahead for about a month. We haven't payed much attention about the ship date desired by the product owner, because in fact it seems to be more important to him that the "ship" release contains all the features that are required to run a full engineering project.

      So scope, schedule and resources are fixed by the product owner, but schedule is least fixed in reality, because the product owner won't ship before all features are done.

      So we have been focusing on getting things done. Once in three to five weeks we have a status meeting with the product owner. His release schedule contains items planned in man month units. These are not estimated in more detail, it was just estimated that rough at the beginning of the project. I don't think this is all that bad as long as everyone agrees that the result can't be very accurate. Perhaps this could be called a release schedule?

      In the beginning it seemed that the release schedule was intended for the product owner to track progress and that he might have an indication about when the project might be ready for shipment.

      In the beginning we updated the release schedule as we went. But as time went by and as real progress seemed to lag only a little from the release schedule, the release schedule became more frozen. So instead of a tracking tool, it became more of a control tool in the perception of the product owner (at least that is our perception of what happened), in spite of the team attempting to revert this on a couple of status meetings.

      I don't know what caused this change. We suspect the product owner has made a commitment to higher management in the mean time (perhaps external pressure for cost reduction has grown, credit crisis and all that)?

      > While the eventual outcome was filtering the backlog, I wonder how you could
      > guide the PO to a place where he is continually adjusting scope. Even
      > better, could he do this and always know if the team will ship?
      >
      > Chris.

      The PO won't manage scope. A complete product has to be shipped: every feature that engineers expect from the system, otherwise it can't be used for engineering projects. That has been his reply every time we suggested he could manage scope to fix the iron triangle.

      The only reason we were able to filter items from the backlog was by filtering out usability enhancements that don't exist on the old system (so they are not absolutely required).

      We haven't gotten around to estimating the items left today, but it will happen this week.

      Dave
    • devos.dave
      ... I don t know. The team focuses on getting the things done that are most important now and during the process we plan ahead for about a month. We haven t
      Message 48 of 48 , Apr 21, 2009
      • 0 Attachment
        --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, Chris Wheeler <christopher.wheeler@...> wrote:
        >
        > What should astonish you, and perhaps this will point to a starting point,
        > is that the product owner had to ask you, in a status meeting, if you were
        > going to ship the product on May 31. Does that seem a little strange to you?

        I don't know. The team focuses on getting the things done that are most important now and during the process we plan ahead for about a month. We haven't payed much attention about the ship date desired by the product owner, because in fact it seems to be more important to him that the "ship" release contains all the features that are required to run a full engineering project.

        So scope, schedule and resources are fixed by the product owner, but schedule is least fixed in reality, because the product owner won't ship before all features are done.

        So we have been focusing on getting things done. Once in three to five weeks we have a status meeting with the product owner. His release schedule contains items planned in man month units. These are not estimated in more detail, it was just estimated that rough at the beginning of the project. I don't think this is all that bad as long as everyone agrees that the result can't be very accurate. Perhaps this could be called a release schedule?

        In the beginning it seemed that the release schedule was intended for the product owner to track progress and that he might have an indication about when the project might be ready for shipment.

        In the beginning we updated the release schedule as we went. But as time went by and as real progress seemed to lag only a little from the release schedule, the release schedule became more frozen. So instead of a tracking tool, it became more of a control tool in the perception of the product owner (at least that is our perception of what happened), in spite of the team attempting to revert this on a couple of status meetings.

        I don't know what caused this change. We suspect the product owner has made a commitment to higher management in the mean time (perhaps external pressure for cost reduction has grown, credit crisis and all that)?

        > While the eventual outcome was filtering the backlog, I wonder how you could
        > guide the PO to a place where he is continually adjusting scope. Even
        > better, could he do this and always know if the team will ship?
        >
        > Chris.

        The PO won't manage scope. A complete product has to be shipped: every feature that engineers expect from the system, otherwise it can't be used for engineering projects. That has been his reply every time we suggested he could manage scope to fix the iron triangle.

        The only reason we were able to filter items from the backlog was by filtering out usability enhancements that don't exist on the old system (so they are not absolutely required).

        We haven't gotten around to estimating the items left today, but it will happen this week.

        Dave
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