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Trends in Scrum and Agile

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  • Ken Schwaber
    This forum provides a place for those working to better the software development profession (and other development communities), to share ideas, and keep up
    Message 1 of 6 , Dec 8 5:21 AM
      This forum provides a place for those working to better the software
      development profession (and other development communities), to share
      ideas, and keep up with trends. I know that we are all working hard to
      understand and make the changes necessary to take pride in our work
      and have our customers love to work with us. In this light, I was
      recently pointed to the following article from Randy Miller:

      http://www.stsc.hill.af.mil/crosstalk/2005/12/0512Miller.html

      If Randy had discussed MSF VSTS Agile and the contents of this article
      with us prior to publication, we perhaps could have helped him and
      Microsoft avoid this mistake. Perhaps we will have to work a little
      harder to correct the impression he may have given others that Scrum
      and Agile aren't that hard, just a little twist. What saddens me most
      is that there is a community of developers within Microsoft who are
      trying to make better the profession and Microsoft's software; this
      will make their lives even harder. Regardless, we move forward with
      our work.

      I'm fascinated that Randy writes, "MSF for Agile Software Development
      is composed of a set of proven practices commonly used to build
      software at Microsoft." when VSTS is already over a year late.

      I attended a Microsoft presentation by Randy's people on this subject
      where they announced that they were working on a process that "would
      take Agile to the next level." I commented at the time that Scrum and
      Agile were barely processes, more techniques for making change within
      the development and wider organization. This change is very similar to
      what any organization encounters when using lean techniques, and the
      implementation process takes years.

      I knew that there would be those who would not get Agile and Scrum.
      However this type of marketing and facile representation of what we do
      is very disappointing. Yet, watch for more of the same as IBM (with
      their recent donation of parts of RUP and documentation of Scrum) gets
      into this through the Eclipse foundation and Microsoft gets into this
      with VSTS. One has to wonder at the mismatch between large,
      hierarchical, command and control organizations providing guidance on
      Agile.

      I recently declined an invitation from Microsoft to "modify Scrum to
      fit Microsoft Project." The list goes on.

      Take heart in knowing that what we are doing is right and very important.

      Regards,
      Ken
    • Steven Gordon
      The Scrum community has some control over MS, IBM, etc. coopting the term Scrum. MS was able to coopt the term XP, but not the term eXtreme Programming.
      Message 2 of 6 , Dec 8 5:40 AM
        The Scrum community has some control over MS, IBM, etc. coopting the term Scrum.  MS was able to coopt the term XP, but not the term eXtreme Programming. 
         
        Unfortunately, the wider Agile community has no way to keep MS from coopting the term Agile.  It may only be possible to protect names of specific styles or organizations like the Agile Alliance, not generic principles or umbrella terms.  This would seem to argue for preserving the brand names that sometimes divides us.
         
        Steven Gordon

         
        On 12/8/05, Ken Schwaber <ken.schwaber@...> wrote:
        This forum provides a place for those working to better the software
        development profession (and other development communities), to share
        ideas, and keep up with trends. I know that we are all working hard to
        understand and make the changes necessary to take pride in our work
        and have our customers love to work with us. In this light, I was
        recently pointed to the following article from Randy Miller:

        http://www.stsc.hill.af.mil/crosstalk/2005/12/0512Miller.html

        If Randy had discussed MSF VSTS Agile and the contents of this article
        with us prior to publication, we perhaps could have helped him and
        Microsoft avoid this mistake. Perhaps we will have to work a little
        harder to correct the impression he may have given others that Scrum
        and Agile aren't that hard, just a little twist. What saddens me most
        is that there is a community of developers within Microsoft who are
        trying to make better the profession and Microsoft's software; this
        will make their lives even harder. Regardless, we move forward with
        our work.

        I'm fascinated that Randy writes, "MSF for Agile Software Development
        is composed of a set of proven practices commonly used to build
        software at Microsoft." when VSTS is already over a year late.

        I attended a Microsoft presentation by Randy's people on this subject
        where they announced that they were working on a process that "would
        take Agile to the next level." I commented at the time that Scrum and
        Agile were barely processes, more techniques for making change within
        the development and wider organization. This change is very similar to
        what any organization encounters when using lean techniques, and the
        implementation process takes years.

        I knew that there would be those who would not get Agile and Scrum.
        However this type of marketing and facile representation of what we do
        is very disappointing. Yet, watch for more of the same as IBM (with
        their recent donation of parts of RUP and documentation of Scrum) gets
        into this through the Eclipse foundation and Microsoft gets into this
        with VSTS. One has to wonder at the mismatch between large,
        hierarchical, command and control organizations providing guidance on
        Agile.

        I recently declined an invitation from Microsoft to "modify Scrum to
        fit Microsoft Project." The list goes on.

        Take heart in knowing that what we are doing is right and very important.

        Regards,
        Ken


      • Joseph Pelrine
        ... First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. Mahatma Ghandi Keep up the good work, Ken. -- Joseph Pelrine [ | ]
        Message 3 of 6 , Dec 8 5:45 AM
          At 14:21 08.12.2005, Ken Schwaber wrote:
          This forum provides a place for those working to better the software
          development profession (and other development communities), to share
          ideas, and keep up with trends. I know that we are all working hard to
          understand and make the changes necessary to take pride in our work
          and have our customers love to work with us. In this light, I was
          recently pointed to the following article from Randy Miller:

          http://www.stsc.hill.af.mil/crosstalk/2005/12/0512Miller.html

          If Randy had discussed MSF VSTS Agile and the contents of this article
          with us prior to publication, we perhaps could have helped him and
          Microsoft avoid this mistake. Perhaps we will have to work a little
          harder to correct the impression he may have given others that Scrum
          and Agile aren't that hard, just a little twist. What saddens me most
          is that there is a community of developers within Microsoft who are
          trying to make better the profession and Microsoft's software; this
          will make their lives even harder. Regardless, we move forward with
          our work.

          I'm fascinated that Randy writes, "MSF for Agile Software Development
          is composed of a set of proven practices commonly used to build
          software at Microsoft." when VSTS is already over a year late.

          I attended a Microsoft presentation by Randy's people on this subject
          where they announced that they were working on a process that "would
          take Agile to the next level." I commented at the time that Scrum and
          Agile were barely processes, more techniques for making change within
          the development and wider organization. This change is very similar to
          what any organization encounters when using lean techniques, and the
          implementation process takes years.

          I knew that there would be those who would not get Agile and Scrum.
          However this type of marketing and facile representation of what we do
          is very disappointing. Yet, watch for more of the same as IBM (with
          their recent donation of parts of RUP and documentation of Scrum) gets
          into this through the Eclipse foundation and Microsoft gets into this
          with VSTS. One has to wonder at the mismatch between large,
          hierarchical, command and control organizations providing guidance on
          Agile.

          I recently declined an invitation from Microsoft to "modify Scrum to
          fit Microsoft Project." The list goes on.

          Take heart in knowing that what we are doing is right and very important.

          "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."  Mahatma Ghandi

          Keep up the good work, Ken.

          --
          Joseph Pelrine [ | ]
          MetaProg GmbH
          Email: jpelrine@...
          Web:   http://www.metaprog.com

          You don't become enormously successful without encountering some really interesting problems.
          - Mark Victor Hansen

        • bobschatz
          Ken, I take your comments to heart. This article seems rather ridiculous. It is based on a false premise of agile processes not involving business analysts,
          Message 4 of 6 , Dec 8 9:11 AM
            Ken,

            I take your comments to heart. This article seems rather ridiculous.
            It is based on a false premise of agile processes not involving
            business analysts, architects, or testers (perhaps that's the case
            at MS).

            He states that these groups must get involved, but questions whether
            organization changes are needed to adopt agile.

            Seems like a lot of fodder for MS to tout an agile twist in MSP as
            evidenced by them approaching you.

            The successful agile organization absolutely requires that all
            groups involved work closely together. With the organizational
            boundaries in larger organizations, there is no avoiding
            organizational change. That doesn't mean the corporate org chart has
            to be revised, but it does mean that people have to work together as
            if those boxes and lines don't exist. Try writing that in the
            process manual...

            I can still remember our conversation a few years back about the
            commercialization of Scrum principles and how people would somehow
            miss the entire point...keep fighting the battle.

            Bob Schatz
            Chief Development Officer
            Solstice Software, Inc.
          • Dave Churchville
            ... cess manual... ... This seems to be a common occurence when leading edge technologies or appraoches are adopted by the mainstream. It s easy for MS or
            Message 5 of 6 , Dec 8 10:07 AM
              --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "bobschatz" <bschatz@s...> wrote:
              cess manual...
              >
              > I can still remember our conversation a few years back about the
              > commercialization of Scrum principles and how people would somehow
              > miss the entire point...keep fighting the battle.
              >

              This seems to be a common occurence when leading edge technologies or
              appraoches are adopted by the mainstream. It's easy for MS or other
              large companies to coopt Scrum more easily than XP, since XP has failr
              rigidly defined practices.

              I've got a blog entry about this phenomenon:

              http://www.extremeplanner.com/blog/2005/12/crossing-agile-chasm.html

              Again, I'm a pragmatist, but the small piece of idealist in me does
              hate to see the watering down of Agile as it's adopted by the mainstream.

              --Dave
            • animikhsen
              Ken, Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. I have talked with Randy and attended his presentations in SD West last year. I feel that he is a great
              Message 6 of 6 , Dec 8 7:55 PM
                Ken, Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. I have talked with
                Randy and attended his presentations in SD West last year. I feel
                that he is a great process person, and some of his concepts (e.g.
                persona) actually are useful, although I feel it is very similar to
                original UML actor, when you are doing the Use Case Scenarios (taking
                some liberty here...) However with all of Randy's talks they ends
                up as a marketing presentations for MSF for Agile, which as you have
                correctly pointed out is late anyway...
                However, giving some credit to MS, they are working in the process of
                reforming their organization, (an example is the following report
                http://www.agilemanagement.net/Articles/Papers/From_Worst_to_Best_in_9
                _Months_Final_1_2.pdf) to make the organization more agile. However
                I think you have done the right thing by refusing to edit SCRUM to
                suit MS Project.
                I think it is a positive thing as mainstream software vendors try to
                adopt the long standing "common sense" practices, and there will be
                some attempt to water down frameworks like Scrum or FDD etc. One of
                the reasons I feel Scrum is under "attack" is because as you had
                mentioned in the class "its very easy and very hard" people see the
                easy part, and then go back to their old habits on the hard part.
                As a practitioner, in my humble opinion, it would be "futile to
                resist" and very prudent to make sure that the water is flowing down
                the right channel, to benefit the framework that you all have put
                together for us……


                Regards,
                Animikh
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