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67RE: [scrumdevelopment] SCRUM development in a multi-task environm ent

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  • Leesa Haslam
    Nov 30, 2000
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      You are correct in stating that one of the benefits of scrum is creating a
      focused environment for the team which allows them to do the most important
      thing and shields them from "chaos". So what can you do when "chaos" is the
      norm? Here are some ideas:

      - Decide what are the most important projects/tasks to accomplish. In other
      words, what absolutely must be done and done well? Do those things and let
      everything else fall off the plate. If you are having this problem you
      probably have much more that you can ever possible get done on your list

      - Create separate scrums for separate projects. Caution - if you find that
      people are involved in multiple scrums per day you may encounter resistance
      - "too much meeting time", in that case, see my next suggestion.

      - Have a single scrum that sets weekly goals for progressing all projects
      according to need and priority. The decision is made jointly how much
      time/effort to allocate to each project.

      My observation is that people are maximally productive when they are focused
      clearly on a single high priority project. The more context switching
      people are required to do, the less productive they become, doing the
      context switch consumes too much time and energy.

      Good luck!

      -----Original Message-----
      From: spy [mailto:thespywhocame@...]
      Sent: Wednesday, November 29, 2000 4:46 PM
      To: scrumdevelopment@...
      Subject: [scrumdevelopment] SCRUM development in a multi-task

      I am a project manager that recently started using SCRUM methodology as a
      way of re-energizing and re-focussing my team on the current project.

      I have found I had already been using variations of all of the SCRUM
      techniques, and I was intrigued and excited by the prospect of combining all
      of these techniques in a simple incremental and structured approach to the

      So far the SCRUM is working out great, however the external chaos seems to
      be creeping back in.

      This is primarily due to the fact that our current organizational structure
      relies too heavily on a multi-project multi-task basis.

      Fundamentally I see SCRUM as a single project methodology only. I see the
      primary driving force behind the methodology is the focussing of team effort
      shielding the team from the "chaos"

      I my situation where "chaos" comes in the form of multiple concurrent
      projects with varying priorities, the SCRUM is starting to fall apart.

      Is there any work on such scenarios or are there alternative methodologies.

      I am thinking of running multiple simultaneous SCRUMS whereby the SPRINT's
      are shortened to reflect the decreased time available due to multitasking,
      however this approach seems contrary to the simplified focussed approach of

      Any ideas would be appreciated.

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