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Re: Scrum on a Page (really "Its; your ship ...")

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  • 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 1 of 22 , Jan 26, 2004
      > 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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