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Re:Technology Decisions, The Team and the PO

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  • aldoc_uniblue
    thanks all for your replies. it seems that the general idea is that the PO needs to be in the loop when a decision is made. What about how and when a decision
    Message 1 of 9 , Aug 1, 2007
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      thanks all for your replies. it seems that the general idea is that
      the PO needs to be in the loop when a decision is made.

      What about how and when a decision is made? Do your teams usually have
      set times when they can investigate new technologies, you have a
      senior member with time allocated to research new tech or you place an
      allowance within every sprint for the team to 'catch up' on new tech.
      and investigate new technologies?

      cheers
      aldo
    • Roy Morien
      My view would be that checking out new technology, selecting it, training people in its use etc. is not part of any specific project, so where it fits in
      Message 2 of 9 , Aug 1, 2007
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        My view would be that checking out new technology, selecting it, training people in its use etc. is not part of any specific project, so where it fits in sprints is just not a question that needs to be debated. A project team should have its portfolio of tools, languages, object libraries, data dictionary, document standards, code standards etc etc ... ie: all of the infrastructure necessary to undertake development activities competently and efficiently ... all ready, willing and able to go before any project starts.
         
        Alternatively, if it is an essential and inherent part of a new project to decide on new technologies and tools specifically for that project, then the overhead of selecting, training and implementing the new technology (as well as an 'inefficiency allowance' necessitated by the fact that the team members just are not up to speed on this new technology) must be allocated to sprints as appropriate ... first and early sprints may be mostly learning and familiarisation activities, and the clear expectation that 'learning on the job' plus other training is necessary, will be built into the sprints. This overhead will diminish as time goes on and team members become more competent and efficient in the use of the tools. I think the idea that Scrum has a built-in concept of the project 'velocity' actually encompasses this ... the velocity will increase over sprints as a result of the education, learning and experience gained by the team members.





        To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
        From: aldoc@...
        Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2007 15:15:37 +0000
        Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re:Technology Decisions, The Team and the PO

        thanks all for your replies. it seems that the general idea is that
        the PO needs to be in the loop when a decision is made.

        What about how and when a decision is made? Do your teams usually have
        set times when they can investigate new technologies, you have a
        senior member with time allocated to research new tech or you place an
        allowance within every sprint for the team to 'catch up' on new tech.
        and investigate new technologies?

        cheers
        aldo




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      • David A Barrett
        ... Well, there is a certain point at which the PO simply won t care what the decision is. Nested IF s or a CASE statement? , maybe even Ruby or Java? .
        Message 3 of 9 , Aug 2, 2007
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          >> If a technology decision is not going to affect the schedule, limit what
          >> can be done in the future, change the cost of the project or have some
          >> other negative impact , then it falls to the developers to decide.
          >>
          >Just out of curiosity, why? How did you come to that conclusion?

          Well, there is a certain point at which the PO simply won't care what the
          decision is. "Nested IF's or a CASE statement?", maybe even "Ruby or
          Java?".

          What IS going to cause a problem is having to tell the the PO sometime down
          the road that you can't do something in a reasonable amount of time because
          you chose to use Ruby instead of Java back at the beginning of the project.

          There's probably a fairly large number of issues where there are company
          (or IT department) policies which dictate the choices, or where the PO is
          willing to simply trust that the developers will make the best choice.
          These are probably cases where the PO's main contribution to the decision
          making process would be to clarify outside criteria so that the developers
          have all of the information that the need to make an informed decision.

          Dave Barrett,
          Lawyers' Professional Indemnity Company
        • Roy Morien
          A project that is about to be commenced with a new development technology that the team members are unfamiliar with, do not have competence in and good
          Message 4 of 9 , Aug 2, 2007
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            A project that is about to be commenced with a new development technology that the team members are unfamiliar with, do not have competence in and good knowledge of, has a substantially increased risk inherent in this situation. If that high risk is known and understood, by all, including the PO, and cost and time estimates are struck to acknowledge that higher risk, and the potential for lower productivity by the team, then there should be no problem about using that technology. The 'experimental' and 'exploratory' nature of the project, imposed by the use of new development technology must be acknowledged, BY ALL STAKEHOLDERS.
             
            However, in my view, that risk is too high. A development team should have in place already, prior to commencing a project, their portfolio of development tools, standards, code libraries, testing regime, backup and archiving practices etc etc etc.
             
            So the possibility of hitting a wall somewhere downstream in the project, as David has rightly pointed out, should either not be a possibility, or has been accepted as a known risk beforehand.
             
            But at all times, in any or either situation, ALL STAKEHOLDERS should be fully informed ... that is the fundamental nature of the 'collaborative' environment implied in all agile methods.
             
            Regards,
            Roy Morien  





            To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
            From: dave.barrett@...
            Date: Thu, 2 Aug 2007 10:16:00 -0400
            Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Technology Decisions, The Team and the PO


            >> If a technology decision is not going to affect the schedule, limit what
            >> can be done in the future, change the cost of the project or have some
            >> other negative impact , then it falls to the developers to decide.
            >>
            >Just out of curiosity, why? How did you come to that conclusion?

            Well, there is a certain point at which the PO simply won't care what the
            decision is. "Nested IF's or a CASE statement?", maybe even "Ruby or
            Java?".

            What IS going to cause a problem is having to tell the the PO sometime down
            the road that you can't do something in a reasonable amount of time because
            you chose to use Ruby instead of Java back at the beginning of the project.

            There's probably a fairly large number of issues where there are company
            (or IT department) policies which dictate the choices, or where the PO is
            willing to simply trust that the developers will make the best choice.
            These are probably cases where the PO's main contribution to the decision
            making process would be to clarify outside criteria so that the developers
            have all of the information that the need to make an informed decision.

            Dave Barrett,
            Lawyers' Professional Indemnity Company




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