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9494Re: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Can the scrummaster be a team member?

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  • Kris Gibson
    Oct 6, 2005
      Interesting points. I would agree that multitasking
      is a detriment, but you can't have everything. I've
      found in special situations it has helped in the long
      run to do dual roles.

      I'm currently in the beginnings of implementing Scrum
      to my project team, with 5 programmers including me.
      Before Scrum, each programmer has been assigned a
      software product to develop. Yes this is dangerous
      but we had at the time 3 products needed and we had 3

      Eventually I needed to help out another developer on
      "their" product and found it impossible to manage
      because we both were bull-headed. I ran across Scrum
      and took most of the principles and applied them. I
      was essentially a SM and team member. At the same
      time I was developing my own software product. So
      really, I was SM, team member, and "solo" member of
      another product.

      Both software products were developed on time and free
      of major bugs. Our sponsor was happy. From those
      results, my project manager wanted me to be the
      software lead and have Scrum implemented to everyone.

      So now I'm in a predicament of implementing Scrum to
      solo programmers where I am the Scrum master and also
      a programmer. But this time, I've been able to
      convice my boss to join two programmers together to
      actually form a team. The game plan is after crutial
      iterations, I'll slowly fuse teams and get away from
      solo programmers.

      It took some sacrifice to do dual roles but it is
      possible to do effectively. I had no other choice;
      just do the best with what you've got.


      --- Victor Szalvay <victor@...> wrote:

      > Keith,
      > I work with a group that insisted on going this
      > route against my
      > advise. Although they aren't convinced it's a bad
      > idea yet, my
      > feeling is that they are on a dangerous path.
      > My argument against:
      > 1) Knowledge workers aren't really fungible. If
      > individuals are
      > "split" between tasks they become ineffective and
      > unproductive (see
      > "Slack" by Tom Demarco).
      > DeMarco argues that task switching is a leading
      > cause of productivity
      > loss due to 1) the mechanics of switching tasks, 2)
      > the need for
      > knowledge workers to immerse themselves
      > uninterrupted in tasks, and 3)
      > the frustration that accompanies being interrupted
      > too often (see
      > Slack, pg. 16-21). DeMarco refers to evidence
      > generated in multiple
      > empirical studies indicating that on average most
      > workers who are
      > multitasking lose at least one hour in every eight
      > hour day to
      > task-switching. Over the period of a project, these
      > lost hours add up
      > to significant amounts of money wasted on
      > non-productive work.
      > This "task-switching" problem also directly affects
      > the productivity
      > of the other team members on the team (ripple
      > effect) who now lack a
      > fully productive team member providing focused
      > direction and technical
      > decision making.
      > 2) There is also a logical conflict of interest when
      > team members act
      > as SM simultaneously. Scrum requires constant
      > communication and
      > relationship building between the product owner and
      > the development
      > team. Someone needs to act as a mediator between the
      > product owner and
      > development team when conflicts or discrepancies
      > arise, and
      > traditionally this is the SM. However, if the SM is
      > on the team the
      > SM cannot be impartial arbiters of conflicts since
      > they are at the
      > same time team advocates.
      > 3) A major SM role is to take care of the
      > administrivia overhead and
      > impediments that affect the team. If the SM is also
      > a team member
      > then there is no real net benefit to the team.
      > Consider why
      > professionals often have secretaries; it would be
      > ineffective for the
      > professional to do administrative tasks when someone
      > more capable in
      > that area could handle it which would free up the
      > pro to focus talent
      > more specifically on their area of expertise.
      > Practically, however, I know that often team members
      > act as SM when
      > there are a limited number of people available and
      > lots of work to do.
      > It's not a disaster but it is inefficient use of
      > people's time, and I
      > wouldn't encourage it if there was some other
      > alternative. I'm
      > curious to hear what others think on this subject.
      > -- Victor Szalvay
      > Danube Technologies, Inc.
      > http://www.danube.com
      > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Keith Sader
      > <ksader@g...> wrote:
      > > Maybe this question has been asked before, but
      > I'll ask it again.
      > >
      > > We've got a small shop, (2.25 developers, 1 QA, 1
      > DBA, 1 Legacy system
      > > guy) and one of those developers (me) took the CSM
      > and is serving as
      > > the scrummaster. I'd say my role is about 15% SM
      > and 85% developer.
      > >
      > > What other experieneces have people had with
      > having the scrummaster be
      > > part of the working team?
      > >
      > > thanks,
      > > --
      > > Keith Sader
      > > ksader@g...
      > > http://www.saderfamily.org/roller/page/ksader
      > > http://www.jroller.com/page/certifieddanger

      Yahoo! Mail - PC Magazine Editors' Choice 2005
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