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Out-sourced SCRUM

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  • Mark van Hamersveld
    In order to provide for a more constructive outlet for people s energy... :-) ...I d like to see what people s experiences have been with outsourced Scrum. My
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 27, 2006
      In order to provide for a more constructive outlet for people's energy... :-) ...I'd like to see what people's experiences have been with outsourced Scrum. 
      My company specializes in outsourcing and about 2 years ago we adopted Scrum for internal tool development and last year when I was minted a Certified Scrum Master, yah me, we embarked on introducing Scrum to some of our outsourced clients with initial mixed results. 
      Our clients typically insist on a tight integration of our teams with theirs.  This fosters a relationship in which our customers know everything that we are doing all the time.  It also requires tons of daily communication.  Unfortunately our development staff is in a different time zone from our clients and therefore in-person Scrum meetings were not possible.  We initially had a single Scrum team with a single Scrum Master (myself).  This was a very awkward situation since I'm in one location, the client's team is in another and my implementation team is in yet another.  It was quickly clear that the role that I played was more of facilitator and coordinator instead of a true Scrum Master. 
      After 2 sprints, the client leadership and I felt that the Scrum Master should be at their facility and so, for better or worse, I trained their team lead to be the Scrum Master for the combined teams.  This worked okay, but the Scrum Master was really not able to remove some obstacles encountered by my team since some of the obstacles encountered were part of our organizational structure and not under the jurisdiction of the Scrum Master (although she beat me up pretty good to make sure the obstacles were cleared). 
      We therefore tried a third approach and this was to have the Scrum Master still reside at the client and create a Scrum Master assistant at my facility.  The assistant was subordinate to the Scrum Master, but did have the authority to independently remove obstacles.  It also worked easier to have two daily Scrums followed by a Scrum of Scrums to mesh management's view of what was going on.  The team members were still working hand in hand so everyone was clear on what everyone was doing despite not having a global daily Scrum.  We have been pretty successful with this, however, that success is defined in that we aren't doing it worse than we did under previous methodologies and the customer is pretty happy with the progress.  We feel that we are getting most of the benefits of Scrum.
      For the last 2 approaches, I worked as a neutral watch dog to make sure that everyone was following the agreed-upon processes and to provide for objectiva 3rd party insite that the boots on the ground couldn't see.
      Technical Director
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