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RE: [scrumdevelopment] Scrum illness, symptoms and possible treatments

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  • Mark Graybill
    I sure wish I had time to stay on this forum - lots of good stuff. I m curious about the people-factor characteristics. How would you describe their general
    Message 1 of 18 , Jan 8, 2007

      I sure wish I had time to stay on this forum – lots of good stuff.


      I’m curious about the people-factor characteristics… How would you describe their general attitudes, level of enthusiasm and other observations you may have noticed, such as inability to agree  - even conflict, or negative hallway conversations?  Do they surf or take breaks often or otherwise spend a lot of time socializing outside of work-related issues?  


      Have the teams ever really come together and developed into interdependent and cohesive teams?  Did they ever really buy into Scrum?  Have they been working overtime – do you think burnout and/or work-life imbalances?  I wonder if there may be external, non-Scrum factors involved (layoffs, sociopolitical/organizational stressors, or consistent discouragements and disappointments.


      How do you get along with the teams?  Are you overworked, such as also doing the people management side as well as development?  Do you lean toward Theory-X and/or Taylorism philosophies of management or do you like to be in control?  Do you feel the team needs to be managed or coached into a self-organizing, self-directing team?  Do you make task assignments or do they determine assignments?  Describe the confidence you have in team members and the team.  How well do you think you are leading?


      Has the teams’ team formation and leadership ever been developed?  Are there any strong personalities on the team?  What is the typical load factor?  Are there many distractions/fires to put out stealing their time?  Are there hero developers on the team?  Is there inconsistent (hypocritical) sponsorship or stakeholder support?


      Have they openly communicated ideas and concerns often, and then no longer?  


      What is your role?  Are you one of the Scrum masters or are you doing Scrum of Scrums and/or managing the Scrum masters?  If the latter, apply the inquiry above to your Scrum masters as well.  Also, how do the items mentioned above compare between the problematic teams and the others?  


      Was there a noticeable turning point, or was it more gradual?  


      If you are interested in this exchange, feel free to respond to me directly (Mark@...).





      From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Clinton Keith
      Sent: Friday, December 29, 2006 12:35 PM
      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Scrum illness, symptoms and possible treatments




      I’ve been following the debate on Daily Burndowns here with interest  We’ve been using Scrum for three years now and it seems as if a couple of  teams are experiencing an increased drag from the lack of novelty or more of a robotic adherence to the Scrum practices.  The Daily Burndown is a good example of a practice that they are following, but not taking full advantage of.


      I would like to get some advice on how to rejuvenate the Scrum principles among teams. 

      First, the symptoms:

      - Lot ’s of dropped user stories.

      - “completeness” isn’t quite there on stories that are marked as complete (bugs, lack of polish)

      - Lots of new tasks added during a sprint (without stories changing)

      - Very quiet daily scrums


      I know these symptoms point to a lack of commitment and ownership on the teams.  We customers have pointed out the failures in the stories delivered during the reviews.  The question that I have is, apart from beating the teams during the reviews, are there some exercises and coaching practices that can be used to help focus on these issues? 


      There was mention of 2-day Sprints being used to help teams examine how they function and what they deliver.  Does this work?  Are there others? 




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