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[scrumdevelopment] Scrum on a Page

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  • daniel
    To help me deepen my understanding of Scrum, I ve created a one-page summary of development in Scrum. It s at http://xp123.com/xplor/xp0401/index.shtml; I d
    Message 1 of 22 , Jan 25, 2004
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      To help me deepen my understanding of Scrum, I've created a one-page
      summary of development in Scrum. It's at
      http://xp123.com/xplor/xp0401/index.shtml;
      I'd welcome your feedback.

      (And if you want to compare, "XP on a Page" is at
      http://www.xp123.com/xplor/xp0202/index.shtml)

      Thanks!
        Bill Wake  William.Wake@...  www.xp123.com





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    • daniel
      To help me deepen my understanding of Scrum, I ve created a one-page summary of development in Scrum. It s at http://xp123.com/xplor/xp0401/index.shtml; I d
      Message 2 of 22 , Jan 25, 2004
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        To help me deepen my understanding of Scrum, I've created a one-page
        summary of development in Scrum. It's at
        http://xp123.com/xplor/xp0401/index.shtml;
        I'd welcome your feedback.

        (And if you want to compare, "XP on a Page" is at
        http://www.xp123.com/xplor/xp0202/index.shtml)

        Thanks!
          Bill Wake  William.Wake@...  www.xp123.com





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      • Bill Wake
        ... Thanks - and of course - you re welcome to share it. (I put a new notice on it.) ... I made it 1/2-1 day (though I see Ken s reply pushing more for a day).
        Message 3 of 22 , Jan 25, 2004
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          --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Cohn" <mike@m...>
          wrote:
          > Hi Bill--
          > I like this. I think I'll print a few out and hang them around
          > the office, if that's OK with you.

          Thanks - and of course - you're welcome to share it. (I put a new
          notice on it.)

          > The only thing I'd change on your Scrum-on-a-Page is that I
          > believe the standard advice is to do the Sprint Planning
          > Meeting in 1/2 day.

          I made it 1/2-1 day (though I see Ken's reply pushing more for a
          day). I'll take it as "normal variation":)

          Thanks,
          Bill Wake William.Wake@... www.xp123.com
        • Bill Wake
          ... Thanks. I ve made that change too. -- Bill Wake William.Wake@acm.org www.xp123.com
          Message 4 of 22 , Jan 25, 2004
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            --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Ken Schwaber"
            <ken.schwaber@v...> wrote:
            > Bill,
            > Nice; only one change - the team manages the Sprint Backlog
            > to manage themselves. If the ScrumMaster does it for them,
            > then it appears to them that he/she is managing them.

            Thanks. I've made that change too.

            --
            Bill Wake William.Wake@... www.xp123.com
          • Edmund Schweppe
            ... The notion of the captain of the ship is not at all obsolete ... for a ship. It s not that good a metaphor for a development group, though - after all,
            Message 5 of 22 , Jan 25, 2004
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              Ron Jeffries wrote:

              > On Sunday, January 25, 2004, at 12:31:25 PM, Chak wrote:
              >>One thing that baffles me in the 'Agile process' (with
              >>my little knowledge of it), is that it seems to
              >>believe in headless teams. To me , a software project
              >>is like the voyage of a ship, because it is buffetted
              >>by many winds , and one of the 'winds' is that many of
              >>the people on the team are with varying levels of
              >>experience, and a ship can have only ONE captain, even
              >>if it is the Titanic.
              > Maybe the notion of the captain of the ship is too limited. Maybe it is
              > even less than optimal. It might even be ... obsolete.

              The notion of "the captain of the ship" is not at all obsolete ... for a
              ship. It's not that good a metaphor for a development group, though -
              after all, ships tend to operate in a rather deadly environments, and
              one simple mistake can easily kill off the entire crew. I've yet to see
              that being an issue with a development group. (Not to say that software
              can't kill people. But it doesn't tend to kill the *developers*, even on
              "death march" projects.)

              I wonder how many of the folks who use the "captain of the ship"
              metaphor have ever actually *served* on a ship ...

              --
              Edmund Schweppe -- schweppe@... -- http://schweppe.home.tiac.net
              The opinions expressed herein are at best coincidentally related to
              those of any past, present or future employer.
            • Ron Jeffries
              ... In fact, the captain of the ship rarely really does anything. The Exec gets things done a bit more. As with everything else in the military, all the real
              Message 6 of 22 , Jan 25, 2004
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                On Sunday, January 25, 2004, at 9:55:20 PM, Edmund Schweppe wrote:

                > The notion of "the captain of the ship" is not at all obsolete ... for a
                > ship. It's not that good a metaphor for a development group, though -
                > after all, ships tend to operate in a rather deadly environments, and
                > one simple mistake can easily kill off the entire crew. I've yet to see
                > that being an issue with a development group. (Not to say that software
                > can't kill people. But it doesn't tend to kill the *developers*, even on
                > "death march" projects.)

                > I wonder how many of the folks who use the "captain of the ship"
                > metaphor have ever actually *served* on a ship ...

                In fact, the captain of the ship rarely really does anything. The Exec gets
                things done a bit more. As with everything else in the military, all the
                real stuff gets done by immediate decisions "in the trenches". If you want
                something done in the Army, find a guy with lots of stripes on his sleeve,
                not someone with stars on his shoulder.

                Ron Jeffries
                www.XProgramming.com
                Logic is overrated as a system of thought.
              • Mike Cohn
                True! True! Continuing with the captain of the ship idea I have to recommend the book It s Your Ship by Captain D. Michael Abrashoff. (See it here:
                Message 7 of 22 , Jan 25, 2004
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                  True! True!
                  Continuing with the "captain of the ship" idea I have to recommend the book
                  "It's Your Ship" by Captain D. Michael Abrashoff. (See it here:
                  http://tinyurl.com/yttvu.)

                  The author/captain tells about his experiences completely turning around a
                  ship. His approach was entirely capable with agile software development. One
                  of his key points (made clear by the title) was that decision-making got
                  pushed down well below the captain level.

                  --Mike

                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: Ron Jeffries [mailto:ronjeffries@...]
                  Sent: Sunday, January 25, 2004 8:08 PM
                  To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Scrum on a Page

                  On Sunday, January 25, 2004, at 9:55:20 PM, Edmund Schweppe wrote:

                  > The notion of "the captain of the ship" is not at all obsolete ... for a
                  > ship. It's not that good a metaphor for a development group, though -
                  > after all, ships tend to operate in a rather deadly environments, and
                  > one simple mistake can easily kill off the entire crew. I've yet to see
                  > that being an issue with a development group. (Not to say that software
                  > can't kill people. But it doesn't tend to kill the *developers*, even on
                  > "death march" projects.)

                  > I wonder how many of the folks who use the "captain of the ship"
                  > metaphor have ever actually *served* on a ship ...

                  In fact, the captain of the ship rarely really does anything. The Exec gets
                  things done a bit more. As with everything else in the military, all the
                  real stuff gets done by immediate decisions "in the trenches". If you want
                  something done in the Army, find a guy with lots of stripes on his sleeve,
                  not someone with stars on his shoulder.

                  Ron Jeffries
                  www.XProgramming.com
                  Logic is overrated as a system of thought.


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                  scrumdevelopment-unsubscribe@...

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                • Ron Jeffries
                  ... Ordered. Thanks! Ron Jeffries www.XProgramming.com Questioner: How do I sell my executive team on doing this stuff? Jim Highsmith: Don t. Just do it. They
                  Message 8 of 22 , Jan 25, 2004
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                    On Sunday, January 25, 2004, at 10:21:30 PM, Mike Cohn wrote:

                    > Continuing with the "captain of the ship" idea I have to recommend the book
                    > "It's Your Ship" by Captain D. Michael Abrashoff. (See it here:
                    > http://tinyurl.com/yttvu.)

                    > The author/captain tells about his experiences completely turning around a
                    > ship. His approach was entirely capable with agile software development. One
                    > of his key points (made clear by the title) was that decision-making got
                    > pushed down well below the captain level.

                    Ordered. Thanks!

                    Ron Jeffries
                    www.XProgramming.com
                    Questioner: How do I sell my executive team on doing this stuff?
                    Jim Highsmith: Don't. Just do it. They don't know what you're doing anyway.
                  • John Redfield
                    Yes and no, no and yes.. My understanding thus far of Agile is it is able to morph, bend and sprout appendiges or lose them as required by the conditions
                    Message 9 of 22 , Jan 25, 2004
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                      Yes and no, no and yes……

                       

                      My understanding thus far of Agile is it is able to morph, bend and sprout appendiges or lose them as required by the conditions arising, unlike the non flexible “traditional structure”. Am I on track here?

                       

                      It seems we can get lost in allegorical trivia, plotting an opinion as if project conditions were actually static? Bill’s idea to map out the general philosophy is a good communication tool, and aptly expresses the Agile recipe. The captain could be a team member on any given day or moment, ScrumMaster the next, or the whole when everyone is in the “zone’. Does it matter? Will it be constant, or a repeatable function for the next project? I doubt both.

                       

                      Captain, Scrummaster, Team, Agile… do we benefit from delineating a fixed idea about what these are?

                       

                      J

                       

                      John Redfield

                       


                      From: Ron Jeffries [mailto:ronjeffries@...]
                      Sent: Sunday, January 25, 2004 10:08 PM
                      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Scrum on a Page

                       

                      On Sunday, January 25, 2004, at 9:55:20 PM, Edmund Schweppe wrote:

                      > The notion of "the captain of the ship" is not at all obsolete ... for a
                      > ship. It's not that good a metaphor for a development group, though -
                      > after all, ships tend to operate in a rather deadly environments, and
                      > one simple mistake can easily kill off the entire crew. I've yet to see
                      > that being an issue with a development group. (Not to say that software
                      > can't kill people. But it doesn't tend to kill the *developers*, even on
                      > "death march" projects.)

                      > I wonder how many of the folks who use the "captain of the ship"
                      > metaphor have ever actually *served* on a ship ...

                      In fact, the captain of the ship rarely really does anything. The Exec gets
                      things done a bit more. As with everything else in the military, all the
                      real stuff gets done by immediate decisions "in the trenches". If you want
                      something done in the Army, find a guy with lots of stripes on his sleeve,
                      not someone with stars on his shoulder.

                      Ron Jeffries
                      www.XProgramming.com
                      Logic is overrated as a system of thought.



                      To Post a message, send it to:   scrumdevelopment@...
                      To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: scrumdevelopment-unsubscribe@...



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                    • John Redfield
                      I concur Mike. We just read this book (required) at my company. I didn t think of it until you drew the comparison, but it is very much in agreement with
                      Message 10 of 22 , Jan 25, 2004
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                        I concur Mike.

                         

                        We just read this book (required) at my company. I didn’t think of it until you drew the comparison, but it is very much in agreement with AGILE.

                         

                        JR

                         


                        From: Mike Cohn [mailto:mike@...]
                        Sent: Sunday, January 25, 2004 10:22 PM
                        To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] Scrum on a Page

                         

                        True! True!
                        Continuing with the "captain of the ship" idea I have to recommend the book
                        "It's Your Ship" by Captain D. Michael Abrashoff. (See it here:
                        http://tinyurl.com/yttvu.)

                        The author/captain tells about his experiences completely turning around a
                        ship. His approach was entirely capable with agile software development. One
                        of his key points (made clear by the title) was that decision-making got
                        pushed down well below the captain level.

                        --Mike

                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: Ron Jeffries [mailto:ronjeffries@...]
                        Sent: Sunday, January 25, 2004 8:08 PM
                        To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Scrum on a Page

                        On Sunday, January 25, 2004, at 9:55:20 PM, Edmund Schweppe wrote:

                        > The notion of "the captain of the ship" is not at all obsolete ... for a
                        > ship. It's not that good a metaphor for a development group, though -
                        > after all, ships tend to operate in a rather deadly environments, and
                        > one simple mistake can easily kill off the entire crew. I've yet to see
                        > that being an issue with a development group. (Not to say that software
                        > can't kill people. But it doesn't tend to kill the *developers*, even on
                        > "death march" projects.)

                        > I wonder how many of the folks who use the "captain of the ship"
                        > metaphor have ever actually *served* on a ship ...

                        In fact, the captain of the ship rarely really does anything. The Exec gets
                        things done a bit more. As with everything else in the military, all the
                        real stuff gets done by immediate decisions "in the trenches". If you want
                        something done in the Army, find a guy with lots of stripes on his sleeve,
                        not someone with stars on his shoulder.

                        Ron Jeffries
                        www.XProgramming.com
                        Logic is overrated as a system of thought.


                        To Post a message, send it to:   scrumdevelopment@...
                        To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                        scrumdevelopment-unsubscribe@...

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                      • Stan Rifkin
                        Here is a comment about It s your ship ... from a career naval officer who now works for us: I havent come across this book, Stan. I am a member of the Naval
                        Message 11 of 22 , Jan 26, 2004
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                          Here is a comment about "It's your ship ..." from a career naval officer who now works for us:

                          I haven’t come across this book, Stan.  I am a member of the Naval Institute and the Naval Institute Press normally publishes books like this.  I’m surprised that this book was published by a business publishing house.  Captain Abrashoff is probably sowing the fields for his next career. 

                          Not that it is bad to do that, only that I would think he might be looking to show that management and leadership for his ship is much the same as management and leadership of a large business organization.  This is a notion that has been suggested over and over before, but I think it is fundamentally flawed because a Navy ship has no profit motive to deal with and a business has no “mission” involving the total destruction and death of an enemy effected through complete obedience of the crew to commands of superiors (well, there is Microsoft). 

                          All ships, Navy or commercial, would be perfect examples of organizations that need operational excellence more than anything else.  While I was in Navy ships and actively leading a division or department, there were many influential officers who authored books and articles about how to effectively “fight” the ship, the ultimate objective of a Navy ship, and satisfy the ship’s various mission areas (ASW, AAW, ASUW, land attack, force projection, etc.).  There were always sections on how to create an excellent team for propulsion, ship handling, weaponry, tactical communications, underway replenishment, navigation, and damage control.  Since Admiral Elmo Zumwalt became the CNO in 1970, there has been increasing emphasis on personnel management and leadership excellence, but it is always in the context of managing and leading a “captive” audience, as we used to say.  No one can get fed up and quit on the spot, so much of the advice includes the concept that folks will get over petty grievances in time and see the big picture.  In business orgs, attrition would become unacceptable if the Navy way was implemented in the fashion as I used to know it.


                        • Alleman, Glen B.
                          Chak, Our experiences with XP teams does not turn out this way. We have only two specific external reporting role: (1) Scorekeeper who must report the
                          Message 12 of 22 , Jan 26, 2004
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                            Chak,

                            Our experiences with XP teams does not turn out this way. We have only
                            two specific "external" reporting role:

                            (1) Scorekeeper who must report the financial aspects of the team to
                            management.
                            (2) Spokesperson who must be able to give a standup talk about the teams
                            progress to management.

                            Multiple and changing leadership roles are common. We used to be a
                            "command and control" shop were a single pre-designated leader was
                            assigned to the team. Now the team is formed (sometimes with much
                            turmoil) and the team defines the leadership role. In John Kotter's
                            terms these are self-directed teams.

                            Such teams are not without problems, but the problems are solved with
                            everyone having a smile on their face.

                            Glen B. Alleman
                            CH2M HILL
                            Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site
                            glen.alleman@...
                            glen.alleman@...
                            >-----Original Message-----
                            >From: Chak

                            [GBA] snip
                            >
                            >One thing that baffles me in the 'Agile process' (with
                            >my little knowledge of it), is that it seems to
                            >believe in headless teams. To me , a software project
                            >is like the voyage of a ship, because it is buffetted
                            >by many winds , and one of the 'winds' is that many of
                            >the people on the team are with varying levels of
                            >experience, and a ship can have only ONE captain, even
                            >if it is the Titanic.
                            >
                            >I find that SCRUM and XP seem to delegate planning
                            >more and more to the team. This may be fine in an
                            >ideal world, but in a software project, which is
                            >typically crisis prone, i would rather have ONE
                            >captain, who breathes down the neck , and goes down
                            >with the ship if necessary...
                            >
                            ><RANT> Sorry, the expressions of an 'Agile-challenged'
                            >person.
                            ></RANT>
                          • Tiseo, Paul
                            Some comments/questions: A) Isn t any capitalist business, in part, out to destroy any competitor? Isn t it an issue of physical and corporeal destruction
                            Message 13 of 22 , Jan 26, 2004
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                              Some comments/questions:

                               

                              A) Isn’t any capitalist business, in part, out to “destroy” any competitor? Isn’t it an issue of physical and corporeal destruction versus financial destruction?

                               

                              B) One can “lead through fear” (a.k.a. command-and-control) or lead through empowerment (a.k.a. something like Scrum) in either war or software development. The fact that lives are at stake might push more military structure towards CandC, perhaps with good reason.

                               

                              C) What business doesn’t need “operational excellence” first and foremost? What are other things a business might need more than “operational excellence”?

                               

                              Not intending to be antagonistic. I find this discussion interesting…

                               

                              _________________________________

                              Paul Tiseo, Systems Programmer

                              Research Computing Facility

                              Mayo Clinic Jacksonville , Griffin 371

                              tiseo.paul@...

                                

                               


                              From: Stan Rifkin [mailto:sr@...]
                              Sent: Monday, January 26, 2004 10:20 AM
                              To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Scrum on a Page (really "Its; your ship ...")

                               

                              Here is a comment about "It's your ship ..." from a career naval officer who now works for us:

                              I haven’t come across this book, Stan.  I am a member of the Naval Institute and the Naval Institute Press normally publishes books like this.  I’m surprised that this book was published by a business publishing house.  Captain Abrashoff is probably sowing the fields for his next career. 

                              Not that it is bad to do that, only that I would think he might be looking to show that management and leadership for his ship is much the same as management and leadership of a large business organization.  This is a notion that has been suggested over and over before, but I think it is fundamentally flawed because a Navy ship has no profit motive to deal with and a business has no “mission” involving the total destruction and death of an enemy effected through complete obedience of the crew to commands of superiors (well, there is Microsoft). 

                              All ships, Navy or commercial, would be perfect examples of organizations that need operational excellence more than anything else.  While I was in Navy ships and actively leading a division or department, there were many influential officers who authored books and articles about how to effectively “fight” the ship, the ultimate objective of a Navy ship, and satisfy the ship’s various mission areas (ASW, AAW, ASUW, land attack, force projection, etc.).  There were always sections on how to create an excellent team for propulsion, ship handling, weaponry, tactical communications, underway replenishment, navigation, and damage control.  Since Admiral Elmo Zumwalt became the CNO in 1970, there has been increasing emphasis on personnel management and leadership excellence, but it is always in the context of managing and leading a “captive” audience, as we used to say.  No one can get fed up and quit on the spot, so much of the advice includes the concept that folks will get over petty grievances in time and see the big picture.  In business orgs, attrition would become unacceptable if the Navy way was implemented in the fashion as I used to know it.




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                            • Steven Gordon
                              A business might need a market more than it needs operational excellence . ... From: Tiseo, Paul [mailto:tiseo.paul@mayo.edu] Sent: Mon 1/26/2004 8:59 AM To:
                              Message 14 of 22 , Jan 26, 2004
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                                A business might need a market more than it needs "operational excellence".

                                -----Original Message-----
                                From: Tiseo, Paul [mailto:tiseo.paul@...]
                                Sent: Mon 1/26/2004 8:59 AM
                                To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                                Cc:
                                Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] Scrum on a Page (really "Its; your ship ...")



                                Some comments/questions:



                                A) Isn’t any capitalist business, in part, out to “destroy” any competitor? Isn’t it an issue of physical and corporeal destruction versus financial destruction?



                                B) One can “lead through fear” (a.k.a. command-and-control) or lead through empowerment (a.k.a. something like Scrum) in either war or software development. The fact that lives are at stake might push more military structure towards CandC, perhaps with good reason.



                                C) What business doesn’t need “operational excellence” first and foremost? What are other things a business might need more than “operational excellence”?



                                Not intending to be antagonistic. I find this discussion interesting…



                                _________________________________

                                Paul Tiseo, Systems Programmer

                                Research Computing Facility

                                Mayo Clinic Jacksonville, Griffin 371

                                tiseo.paul@...






                                _____


                                From: Stan Rifkin [mailto:sr@...]
                                Sent: Monday, January 26, 2004 10:20 AM
                                To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Scrum on a Page (really "Its; your ship ...")



                                Here is a comment about "It's your ship ..." from a career naval officer who now works for us:

                                I haven’t come across this book, Stan. I am a member of the Naval Institute and the Naval Institute Press normally publishes books like this. I’m surprised that this book was published by a business publishing house. Captain Abrashoff is probably sowing the fields for his next career.

                                Not that it is bad to do that, only that I would think he might be looking to show that management and leadership for his ship is much the same as management and leadership of a large business organization. This is a notion that has been suggested over and over before, but I think it is fundamentally flawed because a Navy ship has no profit motive to deal with and a business has no “mission” involving the total destruction and death of an enemy effected through complete obedience of the crew to commands of superiors (well, there is Microsoft).

                                All ships, Navy or commercial, would be perfect examples of organizations that need operational excellence more than anything else. While I was in Navy ships and actively leading a division or department, there were many influential officers who authored books and articles about how to effectively “fight” the ship, the ultimate objective of a Navy ship, and satisfy the ship’s various mission areas (ASW, AAW, ASUW, land attack, force projection, etc.). There were always sections on how to create an excellent team for propulsion, ship handling, weaponry, tactical communications, underway replenishment, navigation, and damage control. Since Admiral Elmo Zumwalt became the CNO in 1970, there has been increasing emphasis on personnel management and leadership excellence, but it is always in the context of managing and leading a “captive” audience, as we used to say. No one can get fed up and quit on the spot, so much of the advice includes the concept that folks will get over petty grievances in time and see the big picture. In business orgs, attrition would become unacceptable if the Navy way was implemented in the fashion as I used to know it.




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                              • Stan Rifkin
                                Pl ease see my intersticed notes below. - Stan Tiseo, Paul wrote: Some comments/questions: A) Isnt any capitalist business, in part, out to destroy any
                                Message 15 of 22 , Jan 26, 2004
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                                  Please see my intersticed notes below. - Stan

                                  Tiseo, Paul wrote:

                                  Some comments/questions:

                                   

                                  A) Isn’t any capitalist business, in part, out to “destroy” any competitor? Isn’t it an issue of physical and corporeal destruction versus financial destruction?

                                  No, some enterprises exist to help, not to destroy. Say, the Mayo Clinic!

                                   

                                  B) One can “lead through fear” (a.k.a. command-and-control) or lead through empowerment (a.k.a. something like Scrum) in either war or software development. The fact that lives are at stake might push more military structure towards CandC, perhaps with good reason.

                                  Empowerment, as you note, means giving up power. In emergency situations we often need to coordinate large groups of people quickly, so we cannot afford too much thinking (= the power to take independent action) at the leaves of the organization. This is one of the strengths of bureaucracy. Pretty anti-agile.

                                   

                                  C) What business doesn’t need “operational excellence” first and foremost? What are other things a business might need more than “operational excellence”?

                                  While all organizations need some operational excellence, only a few need to focus on it. Operational excellence is one of three strategies identified in The discipline of market leaders. Operationally excellent organizations focus on high quality as the way to reduce costs and therefore price. They have short menus of products or services and a formula for their delivery. They are process-centric. Think of MacDonald's, Wal-Mart, FedEx. They are the intended audience for the SEI CMM/CMMI. They are the opposite of agile. That is Dick's point.

                                   

                                  Not intending to be antagonistic. I find this discussion interesting…

                                   

                                  _________________________________

                                  Paul Tiseo, Systems Programmer

                                  Research Computing Facility

                                  Mayo Clinic Jacksonville , Griffin 371

                                  tiseo.paul@...

                                    

                                   


                                  From: Stan Rifkin [mailto:sr@...]
                                  Sent: Monday, January 26, 2004 10:20 AM
                                  To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                                  Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Scrum on a Page (really "Its; your ship ...")

                                   

                                  Here is a comment about "It's your ship ..." from a career naval officer who now works for us:

                                  I haven’t come across this book, Stan.  I am a member of the Naval Institute and the Naval Institute Press normally publishes books like this.  I’m surprised that this book was published by a business publishing house.  Captain Abrashoff is probably sowing the fields for his next career. 

                                  Not that it is bad to do that, only that I would think he might be looking to show that management and leadership for his ship is much the same as management and leadership of a large business organization.  This is a notion that has been suggested over and over before, but I think it is fundamentally flawed because a Navy ship has no profit motive to deal with and a business has no “mission” involving the total destruction and death of an enemy effected through complete obedience of the crew to commands of superiors (well, there is Microsoft). 

                                  All ships, Navy or commercial, would be perfect examples of organizations that need operational excellence more than anything else.  While I was in Navy ships and actively leading a division or department, there were many influential officers who authored books and articles about how to effectively “fight” the ship, the ultimate objective of a Navy ship, and satisfy the ship’s various mission areas (ASW, AAW, ASUW, land attack, force projection, etc.).  There were always sections on how to create an excellent team for propulsion, ship handling, weaponry, tactical communications, underway replenishment, navigation, and damage control.  Since Admiral Elmo Zumwalt became the CNO in 1970, there has been increasing emphasis on personnel management and leadership excellence, but it is always in the context of managing and leading a “captive” audience, as we used to say.  No one can get fed up and quit on the spot, so much of the advice includes the concept that folks will get over petty grievances in time and see the big picture.  In business orgs, attrition would become unacceptable if the Navy way was implemented in the fashion as I used to know it.

                                  [...]

                                • Simon Coles
                                  ... Some might place more emphasis on product development or marketing. In my personal experience, I ve come across more than one consumer goods manufacturer
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Jan 26, 2004
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    > C) What business doesn't need "operational excellence" first and foremost?
                                    > What are other things a business might need more than "operational
                                    > excellence"?

                                    Some might place more emphasis on product development or marketing. In my
                                    personal experience, I've come across more than one consumer goods
                                    manufacturer that appears to rate both of these higher than operational
                                    excellence!

                                    As for "operational excellence" itself, different organisations will define
                                    this in different ways. Operational objectives can be categorised against 5
                                    different dimensions (see 'Operations Management', Slack et al, ISBN
                                    0273679066):

                                    - Cost. Generally of interest to everyone, and distinct from price.

                                    - Speed. Think of a breakdown service, where time to reach a call is a
                                    key measure.

                                    - Quality. Can mean very different things in different sectors.

                                    - Dependability. Keeping promises.

                                    - Flexibility. The 'agility' we talk about obsessively on this list!
                                    Comes in different flavours:
                                    - volume (scaling up/down quickly)
                                    - mix (offering a wide range of products/services)
                                    - product/service (ability to introduce new
                                    products/services)
                                    - delivery (flexible about when things are delivered)

                                    I suspect a warship places a lot more emphasis on dependability, say, then
                                    the postal service (turning up for battle a day late having rather more
                                    severe consequences than delivering a letter a day late).

                                    I would categorise agile development as follows:

                                    - Cost: No
                                    SCRUM, XP, etc never set-out specifically to make software development
                                    cheaper.
                                    We might choose to claim lower costs through high quality (less rework,
                                    refactoring) and speed (less chance
                                    of requirements going 'stale'), but Cost is still not a principal
                                    objective.

                                    - Speed: Yes
                                    Heavy emphasis on frequent releases, and within SPRINTs/increments, lots
                                    of emphasis on rapid feedback.

                                    - Quality: Yes
                                    Particularly in XP, lots of disciplines to ensure high quality. SCRUM
                                    also preaches good development practices, but
                                    does not prescribe one particular set.

                                    - Dependability: No
                                    We might be tempted to say yes because of time-boxing, but whilst we peg
                                    dates, we don't promise up
                                    front exactly what will ship. The eventual end-date of a project against
                                    a fixed set of requirements
                                    is as uncertain as when using non-agile approaches.

                                    - Flexibility: Yes
                                    Agile development evolved specifically to address environments where
                                    business needs change rapidly.


                                    Cheers,
                                    Simon
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