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New Scrum Article Available

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  • Gamble, Ken
    Ken, Liked the article. I think the problem that you are having comes from a deep seated human need to want to control and predict the future and I don t know
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 2, 2003
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      Ken,

      Liked the article.

      I think the problem that you are having comes from a deep seated human need
      to want to control and predict the future and I don't know if you can ever
      really overcome that without the recipient getting to the point where they
      percieve the world as a complex system that in the end is unpredicable.

      That idea makes lots of folks very uncomfortable at a very personal level.
      It also goes against what people see as the "common sense" of the
      increasingly sophisticated modern world. Doesn't this increase in
      complexity in the world result from people "understanding" and "predicting"
      the future through all this scientific endeavour that we have been doing for
      the last few hundred years? If we just apply the tools and techniques that
      has created the modern sophisticated world to software development then we
      should be able to develop more complex systems.

      The falicy of this "common sense" is that modern sophistication is the
      result of "scientific planning" rather than the behavior of complex adaptive
      systems.

      There is an interesting novel that I am reading called Boomeritis that,
      amoung a lot of other things, talks about the levels of cultural growth that
      individuals can go through and it seems to speak to a lot of the issues you
      are raising. Basically it says that you have to develop a world view that
      allows complexity before you can understand these types of issues.

      On another point: one of the concepts of chaotic systems that doesn't get
      the play that it should is that "small changes in initial values can result
      in large differences in the outcome of a process" and somehow I think that
      idea needs to be brought into Scrum training as a further explanation for
      the need to closely "Scrum manage" a project.

      No matter how well someone measures past estimates against actuals even a
      small change in the estimate can have a big effect on the outcome of a
      chaotic/complex process no matter how good the model is or the resolution of
      the measurements.

      I read once (can't remember the reference) that there isn't sufficient space
      in the universe to hold the information for one variable with enough
      precision to effectively use it to absolutely predict the outcome of a
      process, let alone all the variables in our processes. The most accurate
      model of the real world is the real world so we need to keep an eye on it
      because "things happen"

      What this means for software development is that even though we can use
      previous estimates as part of a process model for delivering software we
      have to keep a sharp eye (Scrum management) on the process because it can
      wonder off course simply because of these small values, even if the process
      model is very tightly defined.

      Models are good for helping to guide process behavior but you need the sharp
      eye of Scrum management to monitor the process to watch for the inevitable
      "wandering off course"

      Ken Gamble
      Industrial Technology Advisor
      National Research Council
      Industrial Research Assistance Program
      ken.gamble@...
      T 403.210.5239
      F 403.210.5385



      -----Original Message-----
      From: Scrum Alliance [mailto:bzarnett@...]
      Sent: August 28, 2003 5:24 AM
      To: Ken Gamble
      Subject: New Scrum Article Available

      Morning fellow Scrum Master,

      Ken has posted on control chaos, an article concerning why people have so
      much trouble understanding Scrum. It can be found on his website at
      http://www.controlchaos.com/scrumhard.pdf. Ken would appreciate comments on
      this article.

      Excerpt:

      SCRUM, COMPLEXITY, AND PROCESS IMPROVEMENT
      ------------------------------------------
      Everyone likes Scrum. What's not to like? Scrum increases productivity,
      improves return on investment, delivers useful functionality every mont, and
      helps everyone enjoy working. Yet, everyone wants to tinker with it, to
      improve it, to increase his accuracy, to make it more amenable to his or her
      culture.

      I use to help people modify Scrum to make it more compatible with their
      perceptions. Lately, I've come to realize that this is a mistake. For
      sustained improvements with Scrum, to stop yourself from making changes that
      undercut the core of Scrum, you have to understand Scrum at the deepest,
      theoretical level. And this is very hard. But only then will you understand
      why these improvements will destroy the very success you desire. How did
      this paradox come to be?

      Read more at: http://www.controlchaos.com/scrumhard.pdf
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