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56320Re: [scrumdevelopment] Re: How to increase velocity

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  • Michael James
    Dec 3, 2012
      Richard, thank you for that dose of sanity.

      Our preoccupation with microefficiency is a habit from the industrial era when success depended on building more Model-T Fords, more B-17 bombers, more houses on the hillside made of ticky tacky.  There were even people like Frank Gilbreth doing time and motion studies in this quest to increase production quantity.

      But today success at knowledge work has more to do with being able to steer.  This means connecting the people implementing the product with the people who need the product, splitting the requirements into smaller portions, doing a great job at the top priority ones, keeping the feedback loop alive, and creating a *learning organization*.  The pursuit of speed at any cost is likely a symptom of one-way communication and broken feedback loops.


      On Dec 2, 2012, at 1:44 PM, "Account" <richardknaster@...> wrote:


      I've been hanging back and watching this really interesting discussion evolve and thought I'd jump in.

      My advice would be to have the Scrum Team and management get together to discuss this business problem. Why do we need to have this certain functionality (fixed scope) delivered by a certain date (fixed time)? If we assume management has noble intentions, perhaps they are trying to hit a market window, and the "certain functionality" is the minimally marketable features.

      Once we understand the business objectives and the goal, then we can inspect and adapt to the situation. What's missing is the visibility into management's reasoning.

      The point here is to be proactive, not reactive. Agile is about the "Art of the Possible.". For example: we figure out various implementation scenarios and we can explain the trade-offs with management. We can delivery sooner with fewer features to get early feedback, we can deliver all the desired features, but not go as deep with their functionality, etc.

      If management is arbitrarily asking the team to meet the goal (fixed date/fixed scope), then find out what's behind it. Do they want to set a challenging goal to help the team improve, has an Executive made a promise to a customer to close business, etc. Does management not understand how/why agile works and they need education. There can be many good explanations.

      Once you find out what is going on, it will change your mindset (paradigm shift) and many alternatives to solve the problem will emerge.

      Richard Knaster

      Original question:
      Your boss wants your team to deliver certain functionality by a certain date (deadline), but your velocity is unable to achieve that. What options/suggestions do you have for your management who really want this to get done? More people? Overtime? What else to increase the velocity?

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