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Re[2]: [XP] Re: Membership of a theoretical larger sized Xp team

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  • Doug Swartz
    ... Yes. Sometimes it s the person who is the one right resource who starts crying Uncle . Sometimes it s other people saying Man we need to get somebody
    Message 1 of 14 , Sep 6, 2004
      Monday, September 06, 2004, 8:47:18 AM, Ron Jeffries wrote:

      > On Sunday, September 5, 2004, at 6:13:24 PM, Ken Boucher wrote:

      >> People as hyperlinks is nothing new, but it's amazing to watch when
      >> you have a lot of people who work together in a very open room. It
      >> really means that at any given time, the right resource is
      >> immediately available to you. And if there's only one right resource
      >> then it's obvious that it's time to grow some more resources.

      > Well, nearly obvious anyway. I suppose people start making noise about the
      > blockages or something?

      Yes. Sometimes it's the person who is the "one right resource"
      who starts crying "Uncle". Sometimes it's other people saying
      "Man we need to get somebody else up to speed on the security
      system.", or whatever.

      > Interesting, but I'm still not quite getting it. Do your teams trade cards
      > with other teams when they get something they don't want to, or shouldn't
      > do? It seems that would leave the customer confused.

      Often we do what we call "cross team pairing" when the person
      who can help out is on another team. A person from the team
      who got the card, pairs on the card with the expert from
      another team, gaining knowledge and providing continuity.

      For some subspecialties (COBOL and mainframe JCL for
      instance), the pair of local COBOL experts will often attend
      the iteration meeting and team meetings while the mainframe
      card is being worked on.

      > How are customers coordinated with? Do they have standard contacts they
      > work with to find out what's happening?

      Off=site customers have an on-site surrogate customer. On-site
      customers and surrogates go to the team meetings every day.

      > Are they frequently approached by someone they've never
      > heard of to ask them questions about things?

      No. See cross-team pairing practice.

      > Yet I'm left with concerns, thinking of myself as a customer of this nest.
      > How do I know what's going on, how can I assure myself that the right
      > things are happening, how can I know that schedule and quality objectives
      > will be met? Does this come out in some kind of Release Plan, and using
      > Customer Acceptance Tests that I specify?

      Customer priorities and acceptance tests and card progress are
      tracked during the team meetings of the primary team servicing
      the customer, even if some of the work gets done somewhere

      > What about external improvement, I wonder? There's always some manager
      > somewhere who thinks he should get more for less. I assume that the bees
      > have some current intrinsic velocity of producing honey of due quality.
      > They might improve somewhat over time. But how is that improvement
      > demonstrated to the manager in question, and how does the hive respond to
      > demands that it improve productivity by some random impossible percent?

      Well, I've never been able to measure productivity myself. It
      turns out nobody really does. It is a very big company, after
      all, and we still have bees from another hive show up now and
      then who don't belive we've ever produced any honey at all. We
      show them some of our sweet stuff, and hook them up with our
      customers who are happily munching. They often go away
      bewildered because they have always made clover honey, they've
      never imagined anyone could be happy with anything but
      clover honey, but here we just showed them some wildflower

      While none of us really know how to measure productivity, we
      have a couple of times "bid" against another internal
      development organization on a project. Interestingly, we
      always tell the customer it is their choice whether to work
      with us. Some other internal development organizations
      "believe" they are sole source suppliers. Our estimates to
      build a useful system for the customer have always been lower.
      Our project costs are always pretty close to the estimate. What
      the customer gets, of course, doesn't necessarily end up
      matching what she thought she needed at the beginning. We
      mostly measure our success in happy customers and repeat

      > I can see that the scheme could work. I can see why you think it might not
      > be XP, though I can also see why someone else might think it is. I do not
      > see why the Forces of Hierarchic Evil don't root it out. I suppose as long
      > as we delight the customers, we have a strong constituency of supporters.

      The forces of hierarchic evil are indeed very persistent. It
      is important to always be wary, work with the forces of good,
      and always deliver for the customer. If they're not delighted,
      we're history.


      Doug Swartz
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