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Re: [scrumdevelopment] Potentially releasable software

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  • Ron Morsicato
    I assume as a medical device you have embedded software. Here are two very important things to do: 1. Abstract your hardware. Make sure you have a well-defined
    Message 1 of 20 , Nov 1, 2007
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      I assume as a medical device you have embedded software. Here are two very important things to do:

      1. Abstract your hardware. Make sure you have a well-defined hardware abstract layer. On the hardware side of the interface, develop a mock object that mimics the hardware. (In fact, the mock object can produce non-functional scenarios, such as hazardous conditions or heavy loads, that can help you with other types of testing.)

      2  Using the mock object,  maintain dual targeting - on the development machine and the embedded hardware. You can then automate testing to the hardware interface. Run automated tests on the development machine using the mock hardware

      Distinguish between sprint (software integration) testing and release (software/hardware integration) testing. Run your automated tests to your hearts content (which ought to mean often) and the tests with hardware in the loop judiciously (here's where good engineering judgment comes in). In my experience, most errors are logical in nature and will be caught by automated testing on the development environment, if your architecture is as above. Thusly, you have cut down on the number of times you do the lengthy testing (which hopefully is a bear primarily because of dealing with the hardware).

      Hope this helps,

      Ron

      Vikrama Dhiman wrote:
      In that case I will ask what can I do make the process of passing the audit a bit painless. I am sure you already incorporate automated tests for some/ all parts of the audit requirements.
       
      Is the audit process painful despite that? Are they open to test/ audit frequently [every 30 days]? What happens if you only did test/ audits for each release and not a sprint?

      Ilja Preuss <it@iljapreuss. de> wrote:
      Vikrama Dhiman wrote:

      > Lets examine it quite literally. "Potentially" shippable "software" -
      > just because you have "potentially" shippable "software" does not mean
      > you should but you can. If it needs to pass through some additional
      > auditing/ test/ regulatory procedures - that should comprise activities
      > which are additional to "main software". I know you can argue that till
      > they pass this, you dont know if the code is shippable or not.

      Perhaps more importantly, it won't provide value until they pass it. It
      is an investment sitting on the shelf waiting to produce value. Waste.

      Cheers, Ilja

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    • Rob Park
      ... That s obviously a big problem. How much is (or could be) automated? Can things be parallelized? Imagine how much better things would be if you could get
      Message 2 of 20 , Nov 1, 2007
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        Can you talk more about this:

        --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Mark Graybill" <Mark@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > - Our full testing suite takes a full week.

        That's obviously a big problem.

        How much is (or could be) automated?
        Can things be parallelized?

        Imagine how much better things would be if you could get that down to
        24 hours.

        .rob.
      • Rob Park
        ... That s obviously a big problem. How much is (or could be) automated? Can things be parallelized? Imagine how much better things would be if you could get
        Message 3 of 20 , Nov 1, 2007
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          Can you talk more about this:

          --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Mark Graybill" <Mark@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > - Our full testing suite takes a full week.

          That's obviously a big problem.

          How much is (or could be) automated?
          Can things be parallelized?

          Imagine how much better things would be if you could get that down to
          24 hours.

          .rob.
        • Mark Graybill
          Thanks Wolfgang, I agree. We might be ready to file if our sprints were 4 weeks and we can automate most of our tests. Our software is advanced visualization
          Message 4 of 20 , Nov 1, 2007
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            Thanks Wolfgang, I agree.  We might be ready to file if our sprints were 4 weeks and we can automate most of our tests.  Our software is advanced visualization and so a few tests require a person to visually inspect the rendered images.
             
            There is more to discuss in this regard, but suffice me to say our test group has managers that are my peers, and we have a long way to go.
             
            I'm soliciting the forum to get experience and insight.  When I start hearing talk about whether something does or does not measure up to Scrum or Agile, I get the willies envisioning it all ending up as yet another silver bullet sighting.  While we're looking, time marches on.
             
            "Reality is here and is what it is; it doesn't change instantly; and it neve reaches ideal." 
             
            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2007 4:31 AM
            Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] Potentially releasable software

            Hi Mark,
             
            "potentially releasable" does not mean you should go and file for a Class II approval every 4 weeks (or whatever your sprint cycle is). It only means that if you wanted to, you could go and do it. Quite clearly there is no sense in actually doing it at that frequency.
            If you need a full week to run a complete cycle of tests, then I would suggest that there are probably improvements to be made to your testing. The vast majority of your testing should be automated and run in less than 15 minutes. There are numerous test frameworks available for just about any programming environment you can think of. That should reduce the number of tests that have to be run manually drastically and therefore shorten that time dramatically.
             
            Scrum is quite clear about the fact that there should be release planning and that the PO and the team should consider doing a "release sprint" prior to an actual release to do all those things that you would not add to a normal sprint. I am not an expert on this, because we write internal software and we actually do release every 2 weeks (but then we don't have to get FDA Class II approval), but I am sure others on this list can say more about this.
             

            Regards,

            Wolfgang

             


            From: scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:scrumdevelo pment@yahoogroup s.com] On Behalf Of Mark Graybill
            Sent: 01 November 2007 00:40
            To: scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com
            Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Potentially releasable software

            A debate has brewed here regarding a statement someone made that we are not really doing Scrum because we do not have a releasable product at the end of every Sprint.
             
            The dilemma is this:
             
            - Our software is classified by the FDA as a Class II medical device so getting filing done every 30 days is a challenge.
            - Our full testing suite takes a full week.
            - In order to faciliate quicker ramp-up for the team in assimilating and being productive using Scrum, we are doing 15 day Sprints (in speaking with Mike Cohn I think this is a preference we have in common.) 
            - From a project standpoint, 30 day Sprints are challenging and 15 day Sprints impose a near impossibility to produce a releasable product or even potentially releasable at the end of every Sprint.
            - The idea of deploying at this frequency has not been well received by our customers.
             
            The proposal in debate is this:
             
            - Each user story involves a procedure to bring it to potentially releasable status.
            - The end result is a feature tested and integrated into the product.
            - But the product itself does not go through full testing every Sprint.
            - Have alpha releases that only require an alpha contract and do that every two Sprints.
             
            What are some of your experiences and opinions in this regard?

            Thanks,
            Mark

          • Mark Graybill
            ... Apples and eggplant. :) ... I cannot do anything officially, unfortunately. The test team has managers that are my peers. Regardless, there are some tests
            Message 5 of 20 , Nov 1, 2007
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              Ilja Preuss wrote:
               
              > I wonder how PatientKeeper is doing it.
               
              Apples and eggplant. :)
               
              > What are you planning to do to decrease this time?
               
              I cannot do anything officially, unfortunately.  The test team has managers that are my peers. Regardless, there are some tests that are hopelessly manual and tedious (see my previous post).
               
              It is however in my power to do sufficient testing on the development side that their side finds minimal issues.  Plus, we are trying to lead them toward their own change (from inside out).
               
              > What are the roadblocks to getting a releasable product in that time
              frame?
               
              The process to getting us ready to file, the testing required, and the defect fixing afterwork and all the tracework and documentation.
               
              > That probably means that receiving a deployment is in some way
              "painful"
              > to your customers. Where is that pain coming from, and how
              could you
              > mitigate it? What would be needed to make it a
              no-brainer?
               
              Good thinking.  Unfortunately, the pain lies in the market.  Special workflows, specific uses of the visualization, and specific DICOM characteristics make careful consideration for each case prudent.  We screw it up now.   So anything from video hardware upgrade requirements to clinical application bioalgorithms to image rendering to new DICOM enigmas, require great care in who gets what when.  It might work for most releases if every site had staging hardware so they can try it out before we screw up their workflow (and no hardware upgrades), but multiply that by about 4000.
               
              > I always thought that was the *definition* of a user story. Isn't
              it?
               
              That is what I was thinking.
               
              > Sure. "Done done".
               
              We have a checklist explicating what "done" means.
               
              > If you don't fully test the product, how do you never whether you are
              > really *done*?
               
              Good question...
               
              > What does "alpha contract" mean in this context, and how would it
              help?
               
              That is just paperwork.  The FDA requires it.  Until we file, customers have restrictions how they use it.
               
              Thanks for the post - it was thought provoking!
               
              Cheers!
              Mark
            • Scott Preece
              ... It ... The point of the Scrum approach is to deliver value to the customer. In many cases (maybe most cases) it s not feasible for every iteration to
              Message 6 of 20 , Nov 2, 2007
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                Ilja Preuss wrote:

                | Vikrama Dhiman wrote:
                |
                | > Lets examine it quite literally. "Potentially" shippable "software" -
                | > just because you have "potentially" shippable "software" does not mean
                | > you should but you can. If it needs to pass through some additional
                | > auditing/ test/ regulatory procedures - that should comprise activities
                | > which are additional to "main software". I know you can argue that till
                | > they pass this, you dont know if the code is shippable or not.
                |
                | Perhaps more importantly, it won't provide value until they pass it.
                It
                | is an investment sitting on the shelf waiting to produce value. Waste.
                ---

                The point of the Scrum approach is to deliver value to the customer. In
                many cases (maybe most cases) it's not feasible for every iteration to
                deliver a complete, shippable *product*, just shippable value. The
                value delivered may be ready to ship, but it may not constitute
                a complete product that makes sense for the customer to ship, or the
                customer may simply not want to ship that product at that time (not
                enough to satisfy her customers, too soon after the previous release,
                etc.). The customer determines when there is enough value to
                actually ship by setting priorities and the release plan. The customer
                could equally decide at some point to throw in the towel and sell the
                delivered value to another company.

                Depending on the nature of the certification testing process, it might
                make sense to treat that testing as a story that is scheduled for each
                release or it might make sense to treat it as something the
                customer
                does after the software is delivered.

                regards,
                scott
              • Roy Morien
                I wonder if we are all singing from the same hymn book when we talk about customers and shippable software . My understanding of the concept of customer
                Message 7 of 20 , Nov 2, 2007
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                  I wonder if we are all singing from the same hymn book when we talk about 'customers' and 'shippable software'.
                   
                  My understanding of the concept of 'customer' in an iterative, agile environment does not just include the final user. Other developers whose software depends on your outcomes are also customers. So perhaps "shippable software" means software that is of value to the next 'customer', whoever that next customer may be; including other developers even on the same team.
                   
                  Do others understand this in the same way as I do? Does making the concept of 'customer' more inclusive in this way help the discussion about 'shippable software'.
                   
                  What it does do is essentially say that the outcome of every sprint could be 'shippable software', provided that software is useable 'as is' by the next in line 'customer'.
                   
                  Regards
                  Roy Morien





                  To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                  From: sepreece@...
                  Date: Fri, 2 Nov 2007 08:40:53 -0700
                  Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Potentially releasable software

                  Ilja Preuss wrote:

                  | Vikrama Dhiman wrote:
                  |
                  | > Lets examine it quite literally. "Potentially" shippable "software" -
                  | > just because you have "potentially" shippable "software" does not mean
                  | > you should but you can. If it needs to pass through some additional
                  | > auditing/ test/ regulatory procedures - that should comprise activities
                  | > which are additional to "main software". I know you can argue that till
                  | > they pass this, you dont know if the code is shippable or not.
                  |
                  | Perhaps more importantly, it won't provide value until they pass it.
                  It
                  | is an investment sitting on the shelf waiting to produce value. Waste.
                  ---

                  The point of the Scrum approach is to deliver value to the customer. In
                  many cases (maybe most cases) it's not feasible for every iteration to
                  deliver a complete, shippable *product*, just shippable value. The
                  value delivered may be ready to ship, but it may not constitute
                  a complete product that makes sense for the customer to ship, or the
                  customer may simply not want to ship that product at that time (not
                  enough to satisfy her customers, too soon after the previous release,
                  etc.). The customer determines when there is enough value to
                  actually ship by setting priorities and the release plan. The customer
                  could equally decide at some point to throw in the towel and sell the
                  delivered value to another company.

                  Depending on the nature of the certification testing process, it might
                  make sense to treat that testing as a story that is scheduled for each
                  release or it might make sense to treat it as something the
                  customer
                  does after the software is delivered.

                  regards,
                  scott




                  Find it at www.seek.com.au Your Future Starts Here. Dream it? Then be it!
                • Ilja Preuss
                  The first time a feature produces real value is when an end user uses it in a production environment. The less delay there is between the development of a
                  Message 8 of 20 , Nov 4, 2007
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                    The first time a feature produces "real" value is when an end user uses
                    it in a production environment. The less delay there is between the
                    development of a feature and an end user using it, the less waste.

                    Of course there often is also value in delivering the feature to someone
                    in between. I think it is generally true that that is less value than
                    actually delivering to an end user. The better we get at delivering more
                    often to the end user, the better.

                    Am I missing something?

                    Cheers, Ilja

                    Roy Morien wrote:
                    > I wonder if we are all singing from the same hymn book when we talk
                    > about 'customers' and 'shippable software'.
                    >
                    > My understanding of the concept of 'customer' in an iterative, agile
                    > environment does not just include the final user. Other developers whose
                    > software depends on your outcomes are also customers. So perhaps
                    > "shippable software" means software that is of value to the next
                    > 'customer', whoever that next customer may be; including other
                    > developers even on the same team.
                    >
                    > Do others understand this in the same way as I do? Does making the
                    > concept of 'customer' more inclusive in this way help the discussion
                    > about 'shippable software'.
                    >
                    > What it does do is essentially say that the outcome of every sprint
                    > could be 'shippable software', provided that software is useable 'as is'
                    > by the next in line 'customer'.
                    >
                    > Regards
                    > Roy Morien
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    > To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                    > From: sepreece@...
                    > Date: Fri, 2 Nov 2007 08:40:53 -0700
                    > Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Potentially releasable software
                    >
                    > Ilja Preuss wrote:
                    >
                    > | Vikrama Dhiman wrote:
                    > |
                    > | > Lets examine it quite literally. "Potentially" shippable
                    > "software" -
                    > | > just because you have "potentially" shippable "software" does
                    > not mean
                    > | > you should but you can. If it needs to pass through some additional
                    > | > auditing/ test/ regulatory procedures - that should comprise
                    > activities
                    > | > which are additional to "main software". I know you can argue
                    > that till
                    > | > they pass this, you dont know if the code is shippable or not.
                    > |
                    > | Perhaps more importantly, it won't provide value until they pass it.
                    > It
                    > | is an investment sitting on the shelf waiting to produce value. Waste.
                    > ---
                    >
                    > The point of the Scrum approach is to deliver value to the customer. In
                    > many cases (maybe most cases) it's not feasible for every iteration to
                    > deliver a complete, shippable *product*, just shippable value. The
                    > value delivered may be ready to ship, but it may not constitute
                    > a complete product that makes sense for the customer to ship, or the
                    > customer may simply not want to ship that product at that time (not
                    > enough to satisfy her customers, too soon after the previous release,
                    > etc.). The customer determines when there is enough value to
                    > actually ship by setting priorities and the release plan. The customer
                    > could equally decide at some point to throw in the towel and sell the
                    > delivered value to another company.
                    >
                    > Depending on the nature of the certification testing process, it might
                    > make sense to treat that testing as a story that is scheduled for each
                    > release or it might make sense to treat it as something the
                    > customer
                    > does after the software is delivered.
                    >
                    > regards,
                    > scott
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    > Find it at www.seek.com.au Your Future Starts Here. Dream it? Then be
                    > it!
                    > <http://a.ninemsn.com.au/b.aspx?URL=http%3A%2F%2Fninemsn%2Eseek%2Ecom%2Eau%2F%3Ftracking%3Dsk%3Ahet%3Ask%3Anine%3A0%3Ahot%3Atext&_t=764565661&_r=OCT07_endtext_Future&_m=EXT>
                    >
                  • Michael James
                    ... Also less risk. Building subsystems while deferring their integration and testing is asking for trouble. Potentially shippable means shippable within
                    Message 9 of 20 , Nov 4, 2007
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                      --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Ilja Preuss <it@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > The first time a feature produces "real" value is when an end user uses
                      > it in a production environment. The less delay there is between the
                      > development of a feature and an end user using it, the less waste.

                      Also less risk. Building subsystems while deferring their
                      integration and testing is asking for trouble.

                      "Potentially shippable" means shippable within one stabilization
                      sprint, or less. I'd rather have a smaller number of potentially
                      shippable features than a larger number of features that
                      haven't been integrated with the end product.

                      --mj
                    • Dan Rawsthorne
                      I don t think you are missing anything. However, it s not so simple. A deliverable feature may take several (in fact, many) stories to develop. The value we
                      Message 10 of 20 , Nov 6, 2007
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                        I don't think you are missing anything. However, it's not so simple. A
                        deliverable feature may take several (in fact, many) stories to develop.
                        The value we deliver with each story may be potentially releasable, but
                        that does not mean that the feature is usable or understandable by a
                        "real" user. Therefore, we often need to release to an intermediate user
                        representative that can understand the difference. This could be a
                        tester, an analyst, or some other developer -- whatever it takes to
                        mitigate the risk of if not being the right thing.

                        Dan Rawsthorne, PhD, CST
                        Senior Coach, Danube Technologies
                        dan@..., 425-269-8628



                        Ilja Preuss wrote:
                        >
                        > The first time a feature produces "real" value is when an end user uses
                        > it in a production environment. The less delay there is between the
                        > development of a feature and an end user using it, the less waste.
                        >
                        > Of course there often is also value in delivering the feature to someone
                        > in between. I think it is generally true that that is less value than
                        > actually delivering to an end user. The better we get at delivering more
                        > often to the end user, the better.
                        >
                        > Am I missing something?
                        >
                        > Cheers, Ilja
                        >
                        > Roy Morien wrote:
                        > > I wonder if we are all singing from the same hymn book when we talk
                        > > about 'customers' and 'shippable software'.
                        > >
                        > > My understanding of the concept of 'customer' in an iterative, agile
                        > > environment does not just include the final user. Other developers
                        > whose
                        > > software depends on your outcomes are also customers. So perhaps
                        > > "shippable software" means software that is of value to the next
                        > > 'customer', whoever that next customer may be; including other
                        > > developers even on the same team.
                        > >
                        > > Do others understand this in the same way as I do? Does making the
                        > > concept of 'customer' more inclusive in this way help the discussion
                        > > about 'shippable software'.
                        > >
                        > > What it does do is essentially say that the outcome of every sprint
                        > > could be 'shippable software', provided that software is useable 'as
                        > is'
                        > > by the next in line 'customer'.
                        > >
                        > > Regards
                        > > Roy Morien
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > ----------------------------------------------------------
                        > > To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                        > <mailto:scrumdevelopment%40yahoogroups.com>
                        > > From: sepreece@... <mailto:sepreece%40yahoo.com>
                        > > Date: Fri, 2 Nov 2007 08:40:53 -0700
                        > > Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Potentially releasable software
                        > >
                        > > Ilja Preuss wrote:
                        > >
                        > > | Vikrama Dhiman wrote:
                        > > |
                        > > | > Lets examine it quite literally. "Potentially" shippable
                        > > "software" -
                        > > | > just because you have "potentially" shippable "software" does
                        > > not mean
                        > > | > you should but you can. If it needs to pass through some additional
                        > > | > auditing/ test/ regulatory procedures - that should comprise
                        > > activities
                        > > | > which are additional to "main software". I know you can argue
                        > > that till
                        > > | > they pass this, you dont know if the code is shippable or not.
                        > > |
                        > > | Perhaps more importantly, it won't provide value until they pass it.
                        > > It
                        > > | is an investment sitting on the shelf waiting to produce value. Waste.
                        > > ---
                        > >
                        > > The point of the Scrum approach is to deliver value to the customer. In
                        > > many cases (maybe most cases) it's not feasible for every iteration to
                        > > deliver a complete, shippable *product*, just shippable value. The
                        > > value delivered may be ready to ship, but it may not constitute
                        > > a complete product that makes sense for the customer to ship, or the
                        > > customer may simply not want to ship that product at that time (not
                        > > enough to satisfy her customers, too soon after the previous release,
                        > > etc.). The customer determines when there is enough value to
                        > > actually ship by setting priorities and the release plan. The customer
                        > > could equally decide at some point to throw in the towel and sell the
                        > > delivered value to another company.
                        > >
                        > > Depending on the nature of the certification testing process, it might
                        > > make sense to treat that testing as a story that is scheduled for each
                        > > release or it might make sense to treat it as something the
                        > > customer
                        > > does after the software is delivered.
                        > >
                        > > regards,
                        > > scott
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > ----------------------------------------------------------
                        > > Find it at www.seek.com.au Your Future Starts Here. Dream it? Then be
                        > > it!
                        > >
                        > <http://a.ninemsn.com.au/b.aspx?URL=http%3A%2F%2Fninemsn%2Eseek%2Ecom%2Eau%2F%3Ftracking%3Dsk%3Ahet%3Ask%3Anine%3A0%3Ahot%3Atext&_t=764565661&_r=OCT07_endtext_Future&_m=EXT
                        > <http://a.ninemsn.com.au/b.aspx?URL=http%3A%2F%2Fninemsn%2Eseek%2Ecom%2Eau%2F%3Ftracking%3Dsk%3Ahet%3Ask%3Anine%3A0%3Ahot%3Atext&_t=764565661&_r=OCT07_endtext_Future&_m=EXT>>
                        >
                        > >
                        >
                        >
                      • jsfosdickcsp
                        ... There are a lot of good comments in this thread already, but I have a couple thoughts one is more theoretical one is a practical answer to the original
                        Message 11 of 20 , Nov 7, 2007
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                          --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Mark Graybill" <Mark@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > A debate has brewed here regarding a statement someone
                          > made that we are not really doing Scrum because we do
                          > not have a releasable product at the end of every Sprint.

                          There are a lot of good comments in this thread already, but I have a
                          couple thoughts one is more theoretical one is a practical answer to
                          the original question.

                          Whenever I hear someone, regardless of who it is, say, "You're not
                          doing Scrum because...," my initial response is always to evaluate the
                          understanding of Scrum implicit in the statement. Scrum has extremely
                          few moving parts. That fact makes it extremely flexible, but likewise
                          open to many different interpretations and, consequently, many
                          different ways to approach the use of Scrum in practice. Anyone making
                          such pronouncements should be cautious. Conversely it is possible to
                          adhere to the "letter of the law but not the spirit". Ultimately our
                          goal is to do software better. A slavish devotion to a particular
                          dogma is counterproductive to that aim (and is in fact what has plague
                          PMI style project management for decades).

                          Now in terms of the question asked I would say that the terms are in
                          adequately stated. What is meant by "releaseable product"? It strikes
                          me that there are crucial modfiers missing from that term. It should
                          read, "potentially releaseable product increment." It is an absurd
                          standard to suggest, if this is what's really meant, to have a
                          releaseable product at the end of every sprint. The first couple of
                          sprints Scrum frontloads architecture and infrastructure types of
                          tasks onto the backlog. Those are unlikely to result in a releaseable
                          product in all but the simplest systems.

                          So then is it simple pedantry to distinguish between "releaseable
                          product" and "potentially releaseable product increment"? I would say
                          no. A releaseable product is, by definition, "ready for primetime".
                          That is to say its ready for end users on will do something useful.
                          That is an end goal of the software development enterprise but it is
                          not an intermediate step. Conversely a "potentially releaseable
                          product increment" is a small piece of the system that does something,
                          no matter how small that something is, and which has been as
                          thoroughly vetted as possible with appropriate levels of design,
                          coding, unit testing, system testing and MAYBE integration testing.
                          There is no requirement, in my opinion, that it must do something
                          useful to the target user by itself.

                          Jimi Fosdick CSP
                          blog: scrumblog.scrumpractitioner.com
                        • Jeff Heinen
                          I ve found it useful to use the distinction of potentially releasable vs. sellable. Each sprint ends with a delivered product increment that is
                          Message 12 of 20 , Nov 7, 2007
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                            I’ve found it useful to use the distinction of “potentially releasable” vs. “sellable.”  Each sprint ends with a delivered product increment that is production-ready from a quality standpoint, and the PO could, at their discretion, choose to release it. That doesn’t mean that the product itself is sellable. The decision to actually release it would be contingent on the product having acquired enough business value to be “sellable.” The important point is that each sprint should end with the PO being able to make that choice.

                             

                            -Jeff H.

                             

                            From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of jsfosdickcsp
                            Sent: Wednesday, November 07, 2007 10:14 AM
                            To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Potentially releasable software

                             

                            --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Mark Graybill" <Mark@...> wrote:

                            >
                            > A debate has brewed here regarding a statement someone
                            > made that we are not really doing Scrum because we do
                            > not have a releasable product at the end of every Sprint.

                            There are a lot of good comments in this thread already, but I have a
                            couple thoughts one is more theoretical one is a practical answer to
                            the original question.

                            Whenever I hear someone, regardless of who it is, say, "You're not
                            doing Scrum because...," my initial response is always to evaluate the
                            understanding of Scrum implicit in the statement. Scrum has extremely
                            few moving parts. That fact makes it extremely flexible, but likewise
                            open to many different interpretations and, consequently, many
                            different ways to approach the use of Scrum in practice. Anyone making
                            such pronouncements should be cautious. Conversely it is possible to
                            adhere to the "letter of the law but not the spirit". Ultimately our
                            goal is to do software better. A slavish devotion to a particular
                            dogma is counterproductive to that aim (and is in fact what has plague
                            PMI style project management for decades).

                            Now in terms of the question asked I would say that the terms are in
                            adequately stated. What is meant by "releaseable product"? It strikes
                            me that there are crucial modfiers missing from that term. It should
                            read, "potentially releaseable product increment." It is an absurd
                            standard to suggest, if this is what's really meant, to have a
                            releaseable product at the end of every sprint. The first couple of
                            sprints Scrum frontloads architecture and infrastructure types of
                            tasks onto the backlog. Those are unlikely to result in a releaseable
                            product in all but the simplest systems.

                            So then is it simple pedantry to distinguish between "releaseable
                            product" and "potentially releaseable product increment"? I would say
                            no. A releaseable product is, by definition, "ready for primetime".
                            That is to say its ready for end users on will do something useful.
                            That is an end goal of the software development enterprise but it is
                            not an intermediate step. Conversely a "potentially releaseable
                            product increment" is a small piece of the system that does something,
                            no matter how small that something is, and which has been as
                            thoroughly vetted as possible with appropriate levels of design,
                            coding, unit testing, system testing and MAYBE integration testing.
                            There is no requirement, in my opinion, that it must do something
                            useful to the target user by itself.

                            Jimi Fosdick CSP
                            blog: scrumblog.scrumpractitioner.com

                          • Michael James
                            ... Yes, exactly. Every feature shown should be done/done/done , not just the smoke and mirrors of untested code. Whether it s sufficiently feature rich to
                            Message 13 of 20 , Nov 7, 2007
                            • 0 Attachment
                              --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff Heinen" <jheinen@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > I've found it useful to use the distinction of "potentially releasable"
                              > vs. "sellable."

                              Yes, exactly. Every feature shown should be "done/done/done", not
                              just the smoke and mirrors of untested code. Whether it's sufficiently
                              feature rich to release is a Product Owner call. Sometimes we need
                              a "stabilization Sprint" for polish, not deferred testing.

                              --mj
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