39271Re: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Plans are there for planning
- Jun 18, 2009There are several aspects of this conversation that raise red flags in my head.The first is that is is obvious that the SM is failing with transparency.Transparency is one of the core responsibilities of the SM, and he clearly has access to the CEO.He is a clear stakeholder and looks like he has not attended to any Sprint Reviews and knows little about the project current situation.Also, when a team commits to a Sprint, they are committed! Failing to fulfill the commitment cannot be blamed on the rain.They have to do their very best to reach it (of course in a sustainable way).The unforeseen difficulties encountered and impediments also must be made visible.If the team is good and trying hard, what you need is to make people see that. People only understand difficulties if they can see them. Otherwise you become only a delay on the company's plan.I would suggest fighting to commit to less in the next Sprint and bringing the stakeholders closer to the project.What I like about the problem here is that the CEO thinks your project is important. That can be used to get more stakeholders involved.On Thu, Jun 18, 2009 at 11:34 AM, George Dinwiddie <lists@...> wrote:
It's obvious that you're in a tough spot. The CEO seems to think that
you're a manager who has made a commitment rather than a scrummaster who
has communicated an estimate made by the team. It also seems that the
PO is standing back so as not to be closely association with what is
likely to be labeled a failure.
In your first message, where the CEO asked about the roadmap, I would be
tempted to reply, "Let's sit down with the PO and see what our roadmap
I see also (I think) that the PO is outside your company. He may not
care to get the most success possible if he can, instead, blame you and
your company. You may need a PO Proxy within your company if the
current PO isn't collaborative enough. It's not an ideal solution.
I wonder if the CEO has communicated false expectations to the other
company?Why is the CEO not seeing progress on business value? The speed is not
> hello Roy,
> --- In email@example.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
> 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.
the primary issue--visibility is. Could it be that the stories do not
each demonstrate some small business value? Could it be that they are
not clumped into groups that seem valuable enough? Could it be that the
less-valuable stories in each clump are being done at the same time as
the more-valuable ones, delaying work on more-valuable stories in the
Try to think of the view seen by the CEO and the PO. How can you
display the data of your progress such that it makes sense to them at a
I don't know these people, or the project, but if you take the story
cards and lay them out on a table in stacks of priority order, then you
can put label cards on top of them:
Feature A, essential
Feature B, essential
Feature C, essential
Feature C, embellishments
Feature C, handling rare types of errors
...As much as I hate to say it, fighting overtime might be the wrong battle
> 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.
for the moment. Let him know your fears that overtime may make internal
code quality go down and result in even slower velocity.
Also talk with the team. "We've got a problem. We're not producing
functionality as fast as the CEO and PO would like to see it. I'm
working on some issues around the perception of progress, but what can
we do to speed up? What's getting in our way and slowing us down?" I'm
sure there's much the team can do. There generally is. But with
pressure to go faster, few teams take the time to sharpen the saw.Do those smaller stories have functionality? Beware of splitting to
> 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.
technical tasks that have no meaning to the CEO & PO. Beware of
reporting to the CEO stories that are so thin that they don't make sense
to him. You need to roll things up in a meaningful way.1. Are you estimating in units of time? That's a common contributor to
> 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.
people taking estimates as commitments.
2. Are you working on new stories as they're discovered? If they
weren't important enough to notice earlier, why not defer them until later?Obviously this is a client, not a PO. A PO participates and steers the
> 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.
project. You _need_ a PO, even if a proxy.The PO or the CEO?
> 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.
I suspect the team is also sabotaging itself by trying to fix all the
> 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.
problems uncovered as they are uncovered. I suspect that the newly
discovered stories are being prioritized by the team rather than by the
PO. If these suspicions are true, then then team is setting itself up
Why did the CEO and PO opt for Scrum in the first place? What were they
hoping to gain?
* George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
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