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39262RE: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Plans are there for planning

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  • Roy Morien
    Jun 18, 2009
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      So, yet again, the problem is not with Scrum (it seems) or with the teams willingness and competence, but with the CEO's perception of the team's effort and ability. Tough situation to be in.
       
      When dealing with a legacy system, it is IMPOSSIBLE to know what problems you are likely to encounter. It is also IMPOSSIBLE to estimate how long it will take to analyse and solve any one problem that you find. Therefore, it is IMPOSSIBLE to say when all the problems will be found and solved, and when the new development will be complete.
       
      I was in a similar position years ago. I was asked by a rather upset manager 'Why are you so much slower than Mr X. over there?'. I asked him 'So much slower at what? We are looking at different systems, finding different bugs, which are more or less difficult to understand and resolve than any other bugs that he or I may find. Maybe I am actually going faster than Mr X.'
       
      He was not convinced, unfortunately, and still persisted in the idea that I was going slower. There was, frankly, nothing I could do about it, except trudge on doing my best (with a bit of self-analysis to see if i could do things differently, thereby going faster'.
       
      Regards,
      Roy Morien
       

      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
      From: inanc.gumus@...
      Date: Thu, 18 Jun 2009 10:03:19 +0000
      Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Plans are there for planning



      hello Roy,
      --- In scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com, Roy Morien <roymorien@. ..> wrote:
      >
      >
      > If so, why aren't you able to do exactly what the CEO is asking for? (leaving aside the question of exactly who should beasked for what).
      >

      We try to use scrum. I am able to do what the CEO is asking for, because we have a PB, iterations history, remaining stories etc. I think, what is not clear is: CEO is not seeing progress on business value. Because, we may be slower than he thinks. They want results faster (big results!) then we could do.

      But, I think the team is working at full capacity. He asks us for increasing our velocity (he also suggests doing overtime), but I as a SM am trying to prevent him to apply this ineffective idea.

      >
      >
      > Q: What is planned to be delivered so far? You have a Project Backlog of all the User Stories known about at this time? If so, show it to the CEO; that's the answer to this question.
      >

      CEO queries PB and asks: "The items I saw recently is not there. Where are they gone?". Because, we are splitting stories to smaller stories to show progress.

      We did not delivered what is asked for a month, and our estimations were ~%50 wrong. But we have delivered in tiny pieces of increments of the same story (which is then realized that it was a theme not a story!). So he says that: "Deliver what you have committed". I am trying to explain, "estimates are not commitments" . We are generating knowledge and this can cause to create new stories. But he sees this as progress is slowing down. And holds us responsible for not delivering on time.

      > ask the clients (esp. the PO) to advise him of what has been achieved so far, and their attitude towards that ... presumably they are happy with the progress, or you would know about it from the Daily Standups and the Sprint Reviews and Retrospectives.
      >

      PO is not attending standups, he is attending only to review and planning meetings. And he is also not much happy w/our progress. He does not participate our failure, he sees is as our failure, not his. And he demands us to deliver more, and faster.

      > Q: What are the delivery times of new items? (and the business affect of thse new items). Oh, no problem here. The PO, together with the team, has put all 'new' items on the prioritised Project Backlog, so that can be shown to him. The decision making process about the prioritising of the User Stories, whic presumably includes some consideration of business value, should be explained. You have all those answers already.
      >

      He asks for a --clear deadline-- and does not accept surprises. I think, this is a way very wrong. But, what can we do about it? We are in a same company, and we are not thinking to leave. We think we better fix the processes.


      >
      >
      > If this doesn't give him a 'clear picture' of future progress, nothing will I would suggest.
      >

      I agree.

      >
      > I am sure that you can satisfy his being 'unhappy with progress' by showing him your burndown charts and explainig your velocity. Are you happy with your velocity? Do you think it is reasonable, or do you think it should and can be improved? Whatever, tell the CEO. What does the guy want? Wjat is his view of 'progress'? Why is he unhappy bout it? Does he even understand what you are doing? Maybe a regular review with him might be a good idea, if your 'progress' is such an important matter to him.
      >

      We as a team are not happy with our velocity because we are dealing with a legacy software which is very uncertain and slows us down w/surprises. And another impediment is CEO sees velocity as a product metric but I also try to explain him it's not. But he wants productivity metrics of how the team is doing progress, how are they exactly be done.




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