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RE: [scrumdevelopment] RE: Two articles in ComputerWorld

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  • Ken Schwaber
    Uttam and Mike, I know, we get so much excitement, but we re definitely at the early adopter stage. Alistair Cockburn did help get an article in the
    Message 1 of 10 , Mar 21, 2002
    • 0 Attachment
      Uttam and Mike,
      I know, we get so much excitement, but we're definitely at the "early
      adopter" stage. Alistair Cockburn did help get an article in the Economist
      (pretty mainstream, there) in late September, but that didn't seem to have
      much of an impact. I really like the idea of the CEO asking the CIO to wash
      the car before doing an agile project, especially since he has so much extra
      time. Whew, enough sarcasm.

      I think Mike has some excellent points about why people tend to dismiss
      agile. I think the IT personality also plays into the picture: we want to
      act like we know what we're doing, have it covered, not to worry. This has
      been a pretty important cover story while we scramble to find out what
      really is going on. More resistance probably arises from the number of
      silver bullets that have been announced in our lifetimes; we get jaded.

      I was presenting Scrum to the management of a project that was purported to
      be in trouble; the technical architects understood and were all for it, the
      regular project and program managers were all for pretending that they were
      already doing it. I detected fear, fear of changing from something that they
      knew how to work, to something that was radically different and might be
      uncontrollable. I find that unless you have experienced the "agile epiphany"
      it is really hard to understand.

      Ross Taylor of TransCanada and I jointly wrote an article for Software
      Development Magazine (to be published in June) that describes this epiphany.
      I writing the article, I realized that there are several defining moments
      when the people really get it:

      Agile processes have several defining moments. When these happen, I know
      everything is going well and the expected benefits will result. At these
      moments, tkey participants really "get it." These key participants are the
      business project manager, the IT project manager, and the development
      team(s). These moments include:
      1. The business project manager realizing that it's ok to proceed without
      all of the requirements being defined.
      2. The business project manager seeing a product increment demonstrated at
      the end of each of the several Sprints. They realize that their involvement
      was important and had an immediate, tangible result. They also realize that
      the project will be successful and deliver them something they want and
      need.
      3. A team member realizing that someone will help when problems occur. After
      identifying an impediment or problem during a daily Scrum, either the
      ScrumMaster or a fellow team member provides immediate help to him or her.
      4. The IT project manager sensing teamwork after walking through a
      co-located team area where pair programming is going on. The buzz, energy,
      and focus are palpable.
      5. The business and IT Project Managers realizing they don't have to tell
      the team what to do and ensure that it does it.
      The team when it realizes that no one is going to tell it what to do; the
      team has to figure out what work to do on its own.

      Ken

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Narsu, Uttam [mailto:UNarsu@...]
      Sent: Thursday, March 21, 2002 10:47 AM
      To: 'scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com'
      Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] RE: Two articles in ComputerWorld


      Ken, I presume that you mean "the attendees at the Giga conference", rather
      than "everyone at Giga"! I certainly do not subscribe to the view that Agile
      methods are just the same old stuff repackaged, and neither does my
      co-presenter Liz Barnett. In fact, we made that quite clear at the
      presentation we gave the next day (sadly after you had already left the
      conference).

      I think a better point Carol could have emphasized is the tremendous
      interest in Agile methods. At the time of Liz's and my presentation, we were
      running two tracks, one a geek track and one a process/management track. Our
      talk on Agile methods packed the room, and outdrew the geek track, which is
      the inverse of what happened last year.

      In part, the "we do that, same old stuff" is not what I would have focus on.
      That attitude actually creates an easier sell to management, because
      people's minds are already half in agreement. I think the more problematic
      issue is why there is greater resistance in mainstream corporate North
      America (as opposed to the UK) over the value of Agile methods. In part,
      it's due to concern about the maturity of the ideas, but the greater part is
      due to the (still) prevalent view that one process can fit for all roles and
      all projects.

      Once that view is questioned (and I think Alastair Cockburn's work really
      hits home there), then the perception of Agile methods will change.

      P.S. Thanks for helping make the panel (Ken Schwaber, Martin Fowler, Jeff
      Bitner, Dale Churchett) a real highlight of the conference!

      Uttam

      --
      Uttam M. Narsu
      Vice President, Giga Information Group
      139 Main Street, 4th Floor
      Cambridge, MA 02142
      617-577-4730 617-577-4906 (fax)
      unarsu@... <mailto:unarsu@...>


      -----Original Message-----
      From: Ken Schwaber [mailto:ken.schwaber@...]
      Sent: Thursday, March 21, 2002 10:18 AM
      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] RE: Two articles in ComputerWorld


      Right on the head!! Well said!!! I couldn't believe it when the
      Computerworld editor told me that everyone at Giga said, "Well, we already
      do that, same old stuff, some interesting ideas, but..." Reminds me of
      Rational and saying that RUP is agile. They are definitely lightening RUP,
      which is always good, but it missed the shift to agile to which you refer. I
      thought I was pretty blunt at the Giga conference in a panel discussion, but
      even with that they missed it.

      I'm working on a new speech which I'll call, "Well, we already that that",
      and see if I can get any more direct. However, I still get most of Scrum
      implementations where the current project has failed; people seem to operate
      better in desperation rather than with foresight.

      Ken

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Lowell Lindstrom [mailto:lindstrom@...]
      Sent: Thursday, March 21, 2002 9:09 AM
      To: 'scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com'
      Subject: [scrumdevelopment] RE: Two articles in ComputerWorld


      It is great PR, so, yes, great going.

      But, boy, did those articles lack substance. I didn't read anything that
      would compell me to change what I am doing today.

      As I read the increasing amount of press on Agile methods, I am increasing
      disallusioned by the quality of the what is being said. How do we get these
      writers to understand what is really going on here? That it is not simply a
      bunch of consultants that have figured out how to sell something new, but
      rather a fundamental shift in the way that software is being written and
      ultimately a shift in how software driven businesses will operate.

      Again, it is a great start, but there so much more substance to report on.
      How do we get that out there?

      Lowell

      ================
      Lowell Lindstrom
      Object Mentor, Inc | www.objectmentor.com | 1-800-338-6716
      lindstrom@...
      Office: 847-573-1565 x20 Fax: 847-573-1565
      Cell: 847-732-9330





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    • Mike Cohn
      Ken- I really like that list of epiphanies. You are right that things are starting to go well when these occur. I d probably add two: 1a) you mention the
      Message 2 of 10 , Mar 21, 2002
      • 0 Attachment

        Ken—

        I really like that list of epiphanies. You are right that things are starting to go well when these occur. I’d probably add two:

         

        1a) you mention the business project manager deciding it’s OK to proceed without complete requirements but I think this also needs to come as an epiphany to programmers. I have had many programmers fight this concept (“I’ll just end up rewriting this” or “I’ll go ask for a lot more detail” or “I’ll build in flexibility to cover both cases”)

         

        6) When a team stops seeming like “testers and programmers” and just “developers”. This sometimes happens on agile projects but never seems to on non-agile projects (here comes that tiger again).

         

        I’m looking forward to your article.

         

        --Mike

         

        -----Original Message-----
        From: Ken Schwaber [mailto:ken.schwaber@...]
        Sent: Thursday, March 21, 2002 9:24 AM
        To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] RE: Two articles in ComputerWorld

         

        Uttam and Mike,
        I know, we get so much excitement, but we're definitely at the "early
        adopter" stage. Alistair Cockburn did help get an article in the Economist
        (pretty mainstream, there) in late September, but that didn't seem to have
        much of an impact. I really like the idea of the CEO asking the CIO to wash
        the car before doing an agile project, especially since he has so much extra
        time. Whew, enough sarcasm.

        I think Mike has some excellent points about why people tend to dismiss
        agile. I think the IT personality also plays into the picture: we want to
        act like we know what we're doing, have it covered, not to worry. This has
        been a pretty important cover story while we scramble to find out what
        really is going on. More resistance probably arises from the number of
        silver bullets that have been announced in our lifetimes; we get jaded.

        I was presenting Scrum to the management of a project that was purported to
        be in trouble; the technical architects understood and were all for it, the
        regular project and program managers were all for pretending that they were
        already doing it. I detected fear, fear of changing from something that they
        knew how to work, to something that was radically different and might be
        uncontrollable. I find that unless you have experienced the "agile epiphany"
        it is really hard to understand.

        Ross Taylor of TransCanada and I jointly wrote an article for Software
        Development Magazine (to be published in June) that describes this epiphany.
        I writing the article, I realized that there are several defining moments
        when the people really get it:

        Agile processes have several defining moments. When these happen, I know
        everything is going well and  the expected benefits will result. At these
        moments, tkey participants really "get it." These key participants are the
        business project manager, the IT project manager, and the development
        team(s). These moments include:
        1.      The business project manager realizing that it's ok to proceed without
        all of the requirements being defined.
        2.      The business project manager seeing a product increment demonstrated at
        the end of each of the several Sprints. They realize that their involvement
        was important and had an immediate, tangible result. They also realize that
        the project will be successful and deliver them something they want and
        need.
        3.      A team member realizing that someone will help when problems occur. After
        identifying an impediment or problem during a daily Scrum, either the
        ScrumMaster or a fellow team member provides immediate help to him or her.
        4.      The IT project manager sensing teamwork after walking through a
        co-located team area where pair programming is going on. The buzz, energy,
        and focus are palpable.
        5.      The business and IT Project Managers realizing they don't have to tell
        the team what to do and ensure that it does it.
        The team when it realizes that no one is going to tell it what to do; the
        team has to figure out what work to do on its own.

        Ken

        -----Original Message-----
        From: Narsu, Uttam [mailto:UNarsu@...]
        Sent: Thursday, March 21, 2002 10:47 AM
        To: 'scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com'
        Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] RE: Two articles in ComputerWorld


        Ken, I presume that you mean "the attendees at the Giga conference", rather
        than "everyone at Giga"! I certainly do not subscribe to the view that Agile
        methods are just the same old stuff repackaged, and neither does my
        co-presenter Liz Barnett. In fact, we made that quite clear at the
        presentation we gave the next day (sadly after you had already left the
        conference).

        I think a better point Carol could have emphasized is the tremendous
        interest in Agile methods. At the time of Liz's and my presentation, we were
        running two tracks, one a geek track and one a process/management track. Our
        talk on Agile methods packed the room, and outdrew the geek track, which is
        the inverse of what happened last year.

        In part, the "we do that, same old stuff" is not what I would have focus on.
        That attitude actually creates an easier sell to management, because
        people's minds are already half in agreement. I think the more problematic
        issue is why there is greater resistance in mainstream corporate North
        America (as opposed to the UK) over the value of Agile methods. In part,
        it's due to concern about the maturity of the ideas, but the greater part is
        due to the (still) prevalent view that one process can fit for all roles and
        all projects.

        Once that view is questioned (and I think Alastair Cockburn's work really
        hits home there), then the perception of Agile methods will change.

        P.S. Thanks for helping make the panel (Ken Schwaber, Martin Fowler, Jeff
        Bitner, Dale Churchett) a real highlight of the conference!

        Uttam

        --
        Uttam M. Narsu
        Vice President, Giga Information Group
        139 Main Street, 4th Floor
        Cambridge, MA   02142
        617-577-4730    617-577-4906 (fax)
        unarsu@... <mailto:unarsu@...>


        -----Original Message-----
        From: Ken Schwaber [mailto:ken.schwaber@...]
        Sent: Thursday, March 21, 2002 10:18 AM
        To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] RE: Two articles in ComputerWorld


        Right on the head!! Well said!!! I couldn't believe it when the
        Computerworld editor told me that everyone at Giga said, "Well, we already
        do that, same old stuff, some interesting ideas, but..." Reminds me of
        Rational and saying that RUP is agile. They are definitely lightening RUP,
        which is always good, but it missed the shift to agile to which you refer. I
        thought I was pretty blunt at the Giga conference in a panel discussion, but
        even with that they missed it.

        I'm working on a new speech which I'll call, "Well, we already that that",
        and see if I can get any more direct. However, I still get most of Scrum
        implementations where the current project has failed; people seem to operate
        better in desperation rather than with foresight.

        Ken

        -----Original Message-----
        From: Lowell Lindstrom [mailto:lindstrom@...]
        Sent: Thursday, March 21, 2002 9:09 AM
        To: 'scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com'
        Subject: [scrumdevelopment] RE: Two articles in ComputerWorld


        It is great PR, so, yes, great going.

        But, boy, did those articles lack substance.  I didn't read anything that
        would compell me to change what I am doing today.

        As I read the increasing amount of press on Agile methods, I am increasing
        disallusioned by the quality of the what is being said.  How do we get these
        writers to understand what is really going on here?  That it is not simply a
        bunch of consultants that have figured out how to sell something new, but
        rather a fundamental shift in the way that software is being written and
        ultimately a shift in how software driven businesses will operate.

        Again, it is a great start, but there so much more substance to report on.
        How do we get that out there?

        Lowell

        ================
        Lowell Lindstrom
        Object Mentor, Inc | www.objectmentor.com | 1-800-338-6716
        lindstrom@...
        Office: 847-573-1565 x20   Fax:  847-573-1565
        Cell: 847-732-9330





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