Re: Scrum on a Page (really "Its; your ship ...")
> C) What business doesn't need "operational excellence" first and foremost?Some might place more emphasis on product development or marketing. In my
> What are other things a business might need more than "operational
personal experience, I've come across more than one consumer goods
manufacturer that appears to rate both of these higher than operational
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
- Cost. Generally of interest to everyone, and distinct from price.
- Speed. Think of a breakdown service, where time to reach a call is a
- 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
- 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
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
- 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.