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25025RE: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Potentially releasable software

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  • Jeff Heinen
    Nov 7 10:20 AM

      I’ve found it useful to use the distinction of “potentially releasable” vs. “sellable.”  Each sprint ends with a delivered product increment that is production-ready from a quality standpoint, and the PO could, at their discretion, choose to release it. That doesn’t mean that the product itself is sellable. The decision to actually release it would be contingent on the product having acquired enough business value to be “sellable.” The important point is that each sprint should end with the PO being able to make that choice.

       

      -Jeff H.

       

      From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of jsfosdickcsp
      Sent: Wednesday, November 07, 2007 10:14 AM
      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Potentially releasable software

       

      --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Mark Graybill" <Mark@...> wrote:

      >
      > A debate has brewed here regarding a statement someone
      > made that we are not really doing Scrum because we do
      > not have a releasable product at the end of every Sprint.

      There are a lot of good comments in this thread already, but I have a
      couple thoughts one is more theoretical one is a practical answer to
      the original question.

      Whenever I hear someone, regardless of who it is, say, "You're not
      doing Scrum because...," my initial response is always to evaluate the
      understanding of Scrum implicit in the statement. Scrum has extremely
      few moving parts. That fact makes it extremely flexible, but likewise
      open to many different interpretations and, consequently, many
      different ways to approach the use of Scrum in practice. Anyone making
      such pronouncements should be cautious. Conversely it is possible to
      adhere to the "letter of the law but not the spirit". Ultimately our
      goal is to do software better. A slavish devotion to a particular
      dogma is counterproductive to that aim (and is in fact what has plague
      PMI style project management for decades).

      Now in terms of the question asked I would say that the terms are in
      adequately stated. What is meant by "releaseable product"? It strikes
      me that there are crucial modfiers missing from that term. It should
      read, "potentially releaseable product increment." It is an absurd
      standard to suggest, if this is what's really meant, to have a
      releaseable product at the end of every sprint. The first couple of
      sprints Scrum frontloads architecture and infrastructure types of
      tasks onto the backlog. Those are unlikely to result in a releaseable
      product in all but the simplest systems.

      So then is it simple pedantry to distinguish between "releaseable
      product" and "potentially releaseable product increment"? I would say
      no. A releaseable product is, by definition, "ready for primetime".
      That is to say its ready for end users on will do something useful.
      That is an end goal of the software development enterprise but it is
      not an intermediate step. Conversely a "potentially releaseable
      product increment" is a small piece of the system that does something,
      no matter how small that something is, and which has been as
      thoroughly vetted as possible with appropriate levels of design,
      coding, unit testing, system testing and MAYBE integration testing.
      There is no requirement, in my opinion, that it must do something
      useful to the target user by itself.

      Jimi Fosdick CSP
      blog: scrumblog.scrumpractitioner.com

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