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Multiple Customers in one Sprint - questions

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  • Deb
    I m using Scrum in a support and development group, where one Sprint could conceivably produce different software products for two different groups - say,
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 9, 2003
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      I'm using Scrum in a "support and development" group, where one
      Sprint could conceivably produce different software products for two
      different groups - say, Sales and Finance.

      In looking ahead, this seems problematic in terms of efficient use of
      resource time for Sprint Planning/Demo/Review meetings. Either we'd
      Plan/Demo/Review all Customers' work (and alternatively bore one and
      then the other Customer) or we'd need to have two sets of these
      meetings, each focused on a given Customer. I'd think the latter
      would be better, as wasting Customer time does not make a good case
      for Scrum's efficiency.

      Something feels strange here. I'd guess it's better for a Sprint to
      be serving a single Customer... and we could run two parallel
      Sprints, each focusing on one Customer. But this scenario would occur
      when work for one customer does not fill a whole sprint...

      Can anyone share their insight on this or point me to an
      article/discussion pertinent to multi-customer sprint planning?

      Thanks
      deb

      (oh, the conundrums we encounter in the REAL world of Scrum! :-)
    • Brad Appleton
      Hi Deb! What good timing! Myself and Steve Berczuk have a monthly column on Agile Configuration Management at CMCrossroads.com. Our August column was on the
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 9, 2003
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        Hi Deb!

        What good timing! Myself and Steve Berczuk have a monthly column
        on "Agile" Configuration Management at CMCrossroads.com. Our
        August column was on the subject of "Agile" Change Management
        and had a section or two devoted specifically to this very
        problem. Take a peek at the following:

        TITLE: Agile change management - from first principles to best practices
        URL: <http://www.cmcrossroads.com/newsletter/articles/agileaug03.html>

        It sounds like you would be most interested in the section
        on "Participatory Decision-Making: The Key to Facilitating
        Agreement" which discusses such approaches like: Normative
        Voting, Weighted Normative Voting, Even Effort Distribution,
        and Weighted Effort Distribution. (See the article for details).

        Cheers!
        --
        Brad Appleton <brad@...> www.bradapp.net
        Software CM Patterns (www.scmpatterns.com)
        Effective Teamwork, Practical Integration
        "And miles to go before I sleep." -- Robert Frost

        On Tue, Sep 09, 2003 at 05:43:32PM -0000, Deb wrote:
        > I'm using Scrum in a "support and development" group, where one
        > Sprint could conceivably produce different software products for two
        > different groups - say, Sales and Finance.
        >
        > In looking ahead, this seems problematic in terms of efficient use of
        > resource time for Sprint Planning/Demo/Review meetings. Either we'd
        > Plan/Demo/Review all Customers' work (and alternatively bore one and
        > then the other Customer) or we'd need to have two sets of these
        > meetings, each focused on a given Customer. I'd think the latter
        > would be better, as wasting Customer time does not make a good case
        > for Scrum's efficiency.
        >
        > Something feels strange here. I'd guess it's better for a Sprint to
        > be serving a single Customer... and we could run two parallel
        > Sprints, each focusing on one Customer. But this scenario would occur
        > when work for one customer does not fill a whole sprint...
        >
        > Can anyone share their insight on this or point me to an
        > article/discussion pertinent to multi-customer sprint planning?
        >
        > Thanks
        > deb
        >
        > (oh, the conundrums we encounter in the REAL world of Scrum! :-)
      • Mike Beedle
        Deb: I take it that there are shared stories in your Scrum implementation? It is tricky, but possible to satisfy multiple projects/clients that have Shared
        Message 3 of 3 , Sep 9, 2003
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          Deb:

          I take it that there are "shared stories" in your Scrum implementation?

          It is tricky, but possible to satisfy multiple projects/clients that
          have Shared Backlog.

          (Chapter 7. in the Scrum book talks about handling multiple concurrent
          projects/clients, btw.)

          Here are some of the tricks we use:

          note: "backlog" below means both product and sprint backlogs

          - make all project Sprints coincide in time
          - Shared Backlog is any stories/tasks that affect 2 or more projects
          - Global Backlog is all stories/tasks for all projects
          - Project Backlogs are views of the Global Backlog
          that contain the project-specific backlog + the shared backlog
          relevant to that project
          - each project runs Scrum on their project backlog(s)
          - Demos for projects only include features that are in effect for
          that project/client
          - a "Scrum of Scrums" is held to manage the "shared backlog"
          - a shared services team is necessary when the contributions
          of the independent projects are owned by a central group
          - any changes on Shared Backlog items triggers global testing
          etc.

          Here are some examples of some of our clients/companies where these
          techniques have been applied successfuly:

          Mercer 1996
          Nike Securities 1997/1998
          Northwest Bank 1999
          Lincoln Re. 1999
          Caremark 2000-date
          Hipaa Accelerator 2001-date

          More info on this at:
          http://www.controlchaos.com
          http://www.xbreed.net


          - Mike


          -----Original Message-----
          From: Deb [mailto:deborah@...]
          Sent: Tuesday, September 09, 2003 12:44 PM
          To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Multiple Customers in one Sprint - questions


          I'm using Scrum in a "support and development" group, where one
          Sprint could conceivably produce different software products for two
          different groups - say, Sales and Finance.

          In looking ahead, this seems problematic in terms of efficient use of
          resource time for Sprint Planning/Demo/Review meetings. Either we'd
          Plan/Demo/Review all Customers' work (and alternatively bore one and
          then the other Customer) or we'd need to have two sets of these
          meetings, each focused on a given Customer. I'd think the latter
          would be better, as wasting Customer time does not make a good case
          for Scrum's efficiency.

          Something feels strange here. I'd guess it's better for a Sprint to
          be serving a single Customer... and we could run two parallel
          Sprints, each focusing on one Customer. But this scenario would occur
          when work for one customer does not fill a whole sprint...

          Can anyone share their insight on this or point me to an
          article/discussion pertinent to multi-customer sprint planning?

          Thanks
          deb

          (oh, the conundrums we encounter in the REAL world of Scrum! :-)


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