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Scrum for Sales/Marketing/Creative Services?

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  • Bruno Monkus
    Hi All, I m hoping that some of you may have some ideas to share with me. I work for a large company that is still making the transition to Scrum. Some of
    Message 1 of 18 , Apr 28 10:33 AM
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      Hi All,
       
      I'm hoping that some of you may have some ideas to share with me.  I work for a large company that is still making the transition to Scrum.  Some of our engineering teams are still in defiance of any process whatsoever while others have transitioned and are reliabily contributing between 400% and 1000% more targeted value than when they formed. 
       
      Seeing the successes of Scrum in some corners of the company, our Creative Services team has asked for help transitioning themselves.  But their list of "can't change" behaviors is formidable. 
       
      For starters, they insist that fixed time boxes are impossible because of customer demands -- sometimes a 24-hour turn-around is necessary while other times they get several weeks.  They also absoltuely must provide estimates in hours ("Component X will be ready for review at 2:30PM on Tuesday", etc), which has to be written into the contract.  Finally, the composition of the teams is extremely dynamic -- ranging from 2 to 7 contributors, depending on the complexity of the campaign. 
       
      My first avenue of exploration was to see if we could change the way that Sales & Marketing were constructing the contracts but, though their engagement seemed sincere, they swear they cannot change how they do business.  And if they can't change, I'm having trouble seeing how Creative Services could.
       
      Am I staring certain failure in the face here?  Or am I overlooking something obvious?  Your feedback and ideas would be greatly appreciated!!
       
      Best,
      Scott
       


      Be a better friend, newshound, and know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile. Try it now.
    • Four Hewes, Caspian Design
      Scott, A few Q.s in response to your Q.s: If asked, how does Creative Services themselves characterize Scrum s success? And what answer would their customers
      Message 2 of 18 , Apr 28 10:53 AM
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        Scott,

        A few Q.s in response to your Q.s:

        If asked, how does Creative Services themselves characterize Scrum's
        success? And what answer would their customers give?

        Can you use Creative Services' own words/claims about that to bring
        them around to be flexible on the details of how they operate?

        The view that timeboxes are unworkable suggests to me that they
        aren't ready to imagine another way their clients might engage them.
        Can you get them and their customers in the same room/conversation to
        discuss these behaviors they resist re-considering?

        Is there a project with low risk to career/politics that the
        corageous ones can use to start Scrum?

        My two cents.

        Four

        At 10:33 AM -0700 4/28/08, Bruno Monkus wrote:
        Hi All,

        I'm hoping that some of you may have some ideas to share with me. I
        work for a large company that is still making the transition to
        Scrum. Some of our engineering teams are still in defiance of any
        process whatsoever while others have transitioned and are reliabily
        contributing between 400% and 1000% more targeted value than when
        they formed.

        Seeing the successes of Scrum in some corners of the company, our
        Creative Services team has asked for help transitioning themselves.
        But their list of "can't change" behaviors is formidable.

        For starters, they insist that fixed time boxes are impossible
        because of customer demands -- sometimes a 24-hour turn-around is
        necessary while other times they get several weeks. They also
        absoltuely must provide estimates in hours ("Component X will be
        ready for review at 2:30PM on Tuesday", etc), which has to be written
        into the contract. Finally, the composition of the teams is
        extremely dynamic -- ranging from 2 to 7 contributors, depending on
        the complexity of the campaign.

        My first avenue of exploration was to see if we could change the way
        that Sales & Marketing were constructing the contracts but, though
        their engagement seemed sincere, they swear they cannot change how
        they do business. And if they can't change, I'm having trouble
        seeing how Creative Services could.

        Am I staring certain failure in the face here? Or am I overlooking
        something obvious? Your feedback and ideas would be greatly
        appreciated!!

        Best,
        Scott
        --
        --
        Four Hewes, Principal
        Caspian Design | A Hybrid Consultancy for changing marketplace,
        technology and business
        Strategic Guidance | New Product Development | Product + Interaction Design
      • Don Gray
        Bruno, What problem does Creative Services propose solving by changing to Scrum? -- Don (336)374-7591 He who knows others is clever; He who knows himself is
        Message 3 of 18 , Apr 28 11:20 AM
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          Bruno,

          What problem does Creative Services propose solving by changing to
          Scrum?

          --
          Don (336)374-7591

          He who knows others is clever;
          He who knows himself is enlightened.
          Lao-Tzu

          Learn about yourself at the AYE Conference, Nov 2 - 5, 2008.
          www.AYEconference.com
        • Bruno Monkus
          Excellent question, Don. I asked them that myself. Their response was that they want the improved efficiency and accuracy while working within a flexible
          Message 4 of 18 , Apr 28 1:21 PM
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            Excellent question, Don.  I asked them that myself.  Their response was that they want the improved efficiency and accuracy while working within a flexible system that allows for a lot of change.  It seems that the customers (not surprisingly) are changing their minds about what they want mid-campaign.  A lot.  Dealing with the high volume of change on what tend to be short deadlines has proven difficult, and their failure rate is higher than they would like.
             
            Thanks,
            Scott


            Don Gray <don@...> wrote:
            Bruno,

            What problem does Creative Services propose solving by changing to
            Scrum?

            --
            Don (336)374-7591

            He who knows others is clever;
            He who knows himself is enlightened.
            Lao-Tzu

            Learn about yourself at the AYE Conference, Nov 2 - 5, 2008.
            www.AYEconference. com



            Be a better friend, newshound, and know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile. Try it now.

          • Don Gray
            Bruno, ... If you go back to the Agile Manifesto, which of the values does Creative Services think will provide the most benefit? Ask them: What is the
            Message 5 of 18 , Apr 28 1:45 PM
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              Bruno,

              > Dealing with the high volume of change on what tend to be short
              > deadlines has proven difficult, and their failure rate is higher
              > than they would like.

              If you go back to the Agile Manifesto, which of the values does
              Creative Services think will provide the most benefit? Ask them: What
              is the simplest thing we could do that will provide .... ?

              --
              Don (336)374-7591

              Change your thoughts, and you change your world..
              Norman Vincent Peale
              Get some new thoughts at the AYE Conference Nov 2 - 5, 2008
              www.AYEconference.com
            • Bruno Monkus
              Hi Four, Thanks for responding. I ll try to be as brief as possible in my answers but am happy to go into further detail if it would help. To help avoid
              Message 6 of 18 , Apr 28 4:37 PM
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                Hi Four,
                 
                Thanks for responding.  I'll try to be as brief as possible in my answers but am happy to go into further detail if it would help.  To help avoid scrolling, I've paraphrased your questions above my answers.  Much appreciated!
                 
                Q:  What value does CS see in Scrum?  And their Customers?
                The Director of Creative Services hopes to achieve hyper-productivity with his teams.  He and his team believe that Scrum can help them better cope with the myriad changes that occur to the customer contracts throughout the campaign.  As for their customers (Sales, Marketing and API Development) have mixed opinions about Scrum.  Sales and Marketing -- so far -- will not even engage the conversation.  API Development has engaged and tried "Cowboy Scrum" but declared it a failure because they did not interface well with other teams.  (That is to say they didn't interface well, not that Scrum couldn't have).
                 
                Q:  Can you use CS's own words to bring them around?
                CS is completely on board with the notion -- they're asking for it, in fact.  What they can't see -- nor can I -- is how they can effectively adopt the best practices of Scrum if they'll constantly break their time box and cannot use Story Points because of customer demands or those of "upstream" teams.  They're perfectly willing to try to stabilize the team structure across multiple campaigns but until they can crack some of the larger concerns, I'm not sure that matters much.
                 
                Q:  Can I get the "upstream" teams involved in the conversation?
                No luck on that so far.  If CS is to have any success, it seems they'll have to do it on their own and in spite of what's going on around them. 
                 
                Q: Could we start small and grow Scrum adoption?
                We have several product teams at the company that have achieved great results.  None of them are in Creative Services, though, and because of the old-style customer requirements written into every single campaign, it's unlikely that we'll find an easy starting point.
                 
                Best,
                Scott

                "Four Hewes, Caspian Design" <four@...> wrote:
                Scott,

                A few Q.s in response to your Q.s:

                If asked, how does Creative Services themselves characterize Scrum's
                success? And what answer would their customers give?

                Can you use Creative Services' own words/claims about that to bring
                them around to be flexible on the details of how they operate?

                The view that timeboxes are unworkable suggests to me that they
                aren't ready to imagine another way their clients might engage them.
                Can you get them and their customers in the same room/conversation to
                discuss these behaviors they resist re-considering?

                Is there a project with low risk to career/politics that the
                corageous ones can use to start Scrum?

                My two cents.

                Four

                At 10:33 AM -0700 4/28/08, Bruno Monkus wrote:
                Hi All,

                I'm hoping that some of you may have some ideas to share with me. I
                work for a large company that is still making the transition to
                Scrum. Some of our engineering teams are still in defiance of any
                process whatsoever while others have transitioned and are reliabily
                contributing between 400% and 1000% more targeted value than when
                they formed.

                Seeing the successes of Scrum in some corners of the company, our
                Creative Services team has asked for help transitioning themselves.
                But their list of "can't change" behaviors is formidable.

                For starters, they insist that fixed time boxes are impossible
                because of customer demands -- sometimes a 24-hour turn-around is
                necessary while other times they get several weeks. They also
                absoltuely must provide estimates in hours ("Component X will be
                ready for review at 2:30PM on Tuesday", etc), which has to be written
                into the contract. Finally, the composition of the teams is
                extremely dynamic -- ranging from 2 to 7 contributors, depending on
                the complexity of the campaign.

                My first avenue of exploration was to see if we could change the way
                that Sales & Marketing were constructing the contracts but, though
                their engagement seemed sincere, they swear they cannot change how
                they do business. And if they can't change, I'm having trouble
                seeing how Creative Services could.

                Am I staring certain failure in the face here? Or am I overlooking
                something obvious? Your feedback and ideas would be greatly
                appreciated! !

                Best,
                Scott
                --
                --
                Four Hewes, Principal
                Caspian Design | A Hybrid Consultancy for changing marketplace,
                technology and business
                Strategic Guidance | New Product Development | Product + Interaction Design


                Be a better friend, newshound, and know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile. Try it now.

              • Bruno Monkus
                Good point. I didn t approach the question from that perspective. I ll give that a go and see if we can gain any ground, though their Director is
                Message 7 of 18 , Apr 28 4:38 PM
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                  Good point.   I didn't approach the question from that perspective.  I'll give that a go and see if we can gain any ground, though their Director is disheartened right now at the rigidity of the world around him.
                   
                  I appreciate your ideas, Don.
                   
                  -Scott


                  Don Gray <don@...> wrote:
                  Bruno,

                  > Dealing with the high volume of change on what tend to be short
                  > deadlines has proven difficult, and their failure rate is higher
                  > than they would like.

                  If you go back to the Agile Manifesto, which of the values does
                  Creative Services think will provide the most benefit? Ask them: What
                  is the simplest thing we could do that will provide .... ?

                  --
                  Don (336)374-7591

                  Change your thoughts, and you change your world..
                  Norman Vincent Peale
                  Get some new thoughts at the AYE Conference Nov 2 - 5, 2008
                  www.AYEconference. com



                  Be a better friend, newshound, and know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile. Try it now.

                • Don Gray
                  Bruno, ... That s why we have this list. To get more perspective. ... When you shift paradigms you really should use a clutch. People move through change at
                  Message 8 of 18 , Apr 28 4:58 PM
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                    Bruno,

                    > I didn't approach the question from that perspective.

                    That's why we have this list. To get more perspective.

                    > I'll give that a go and see if we can gain any ground, though their
                    > Director is disheartened right now at the rigidity of the world around him.

                    When you shift paradigms you really should use a clutch. People move
                    through change at different speeds. I wrote about this in 2005
                    http://www.ayeconference.com/this-title-may-change-at-any-time-how-do-you-feel-about-that/

                    Any change that improves the situation and moves the team ever so
                    little towards agile values is a good thing.

                    --
                    Don (336)374-7591

                    For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.
                    Aristotle

                    Practice doing the things you need to learn at the AYE Conference Nov 2 - 5, 2008
                    www.AYEconference.com
                  • Four Hewes, Caspian Design
                    Scott, You sure have your work cut out for you! Something has to give, I d say. I presume that the successful teams apply the Scrum methods with discipline. If
                    Message 9 of 18 , Apr 28 5:24 PM
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                      Scott,

                      You sure have your work cut out for you!

                      Something has to give, I'd say. I presume that the successful teams
                      apply the Scrum methods with discipline. If CS badly wants what Scrum
                      offers, perhaps the teams that have experienced what they want are
                      your best advocates for CS to change their ways. The Horse's Mouth,
                      as it were.

                      Otherwise: rejecting Scrum principles, unwilling customers, deathgrip
                      on broken methods - hard to see how they can get there.

                      Having been in creative services myself, I can sympathize with the
                      position they seem to be in: at the unreasonable beck and call of
                      their colleagues in Sales and Marketing, without the resources (time)
                      to do their best work. These cultural problems must be attacked
                      jointly by both leadership AND by staff.

                      Is this helpful, Scott? Maybe I'm stating the obvious. I'm trying to
                      avoid unilateral solutions (bride them! fire them! whip them!)

                      Best,

                      Four

                      At 4:37 PM -0700 4/28/08, Bruno Monkus wrote:
                      Hi Four,

                      Thanks for responding. I'll try to be as brief as possible in my
                      answers but am happy to go into further detail if it would help. To
                      help avoid scrolling, I've paraphrased your questions above my
                      answers. Much appreciated!

                      Q: What value does CS see in Scrum? And their Customers?
                      The Director of Creative Services hopes to achieve hyper-productivity
                      with his teams. He and his team believe that Scrum can help them
                      better cope with the myriad changes that occur to the customer
                      contracts throughout the campaign. As for their customers (Sales,
                      Marketing and API Development) have mixed opinions about Scrum.
                      Sales and Marketing -- so far -- will not even engage the
                      conversation. API Development has engaged and tried "Cowboy Scrum"
                      but declared it a failure because they did not interface well with
                      other teams. (That is to say they didn't interface well, not that
                      Scrum couldn't have).

                      Q: Can you use CS's own words to bring them around?
                      CS is completely on board with the notion -- they're asking for it,
                      in fact. What they can't see -- nor can I -- is how they can
                      effectively adopt the best practices of Scrum if they'll constantly
                      break their time box and cannot use Story Points because of customer
                      demands or those of "upstream" teams. They're perfectly willing to
                      try to stabilize the team structure across multiple campaigns but
                      until they can crack some of the larger concerns, I'm not sure that
                      matters much.

                      Q: Can I get the "upstream" teams involved in the conversation?
                      No luck on that so far. If CS is to have any success, it seems
                      they'll have to do it on their own and in spite of what's going on
                      around them.

                      Q: Could we start small and grow Scrum adoption?
                      We have several product teams at the company that have achieved great
                      results. None of them are in Creative Services, though, and because
                      of the old-style customer requirements written into every single
                      campaign, it's unlikely that we'll find an easy starting point.

                      Best, Scott

                      "Four Hewes, Caspian Design" <four@...> wrote:

                      Scott, A few Q.s in response to your Q.s:

                      If asked, how does Creative Services themselves characterize Scrum's
                      success? And what answer would their customers give?

                      Can you use Creative Services' own words/claims about that to bring
                      them around to be flexible on the details of how they operate?

                      The view that timeboxes are unworkable suggests to me that they
                      aren't ready to imagine another way their clients might engage them.
                      Can you get them and their customers in the same room/conversation to
                      discuss these behaviors they resist re-considering?

                      Is there a project with low risk to career/politics that the
                      corageous ones can use to start Scrum?

                      My two cents.

                      Four

                      At 10:33 AM -0700 4/28/08, Bruno Monkus wrote:
                      Hi All, I'm hoping that some of you may have some ideas to share with
                      me. I work for a large company that is still making the transition to
                      Scrum. Some of our engineering teams are still in defiance of any
                      process whatsoever while others have transitioned and are reliabily
                      contributing between 400% and 1000% more targeted value than when
                      they formed.

                      Seeing the successes of Scrum in some corners of the company, our
                      Creative Services team has asked for help transitioning themselves.
                      But their list of "can't change" behaviors is formidable.

                      For starters, they insist that fixed time boxes are impossible
                      because of customer demands -- sometimes a 24-hour turn-around is
                      necessary while other times they get several weeks. They also
                      absoltuely must provide estimates in hours ("Component X will be
                      ready for review at 2:30PM on Tuesday", etc), which has to be written
                      into the contract. Finally, the composition of the teams is extremely
                      dynamic -- ranging from 2 to 7 contributors, depending on the
                      complexity of the campaign.

                      My first avenue of exploration was to see if we could change the way
                      that Sales & Marketing were constructing the contracts but, though
                      their engagement seemed sincere, they swear they cannot change how
                      they do business. And if they can't change, I'm having trouble seeing
                      how Creative Services could.

                      Am I staring certain failure in the face here? Or am I overlooking
                      something obvious? Your feedback and ideas would be greatly
                      appreciated!!

                      Best, Scott
                      --
                      --
                      Four Hewes, Principal
                      Caspian Design | A Hybrid Consultancy for changing marketplace,
                      technology and business
                      Strategic Guidance | New Product Development | Product + Interaction Design
                    • Bruno Monkus
                      Four, Many thanks. I really do appreciate your insight. I was this
                      Message 10 of 18 , Apr 28 9:43 PM
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                        Four,

                        Many thanks.  I really do appreciate your insight.  I was >this< close to throwing up my hands and saying "if nothing can change, then everything has to stay the same".  I'm trying to influence them the way water influences rocks but I just wanted to see if there were a faster way anyone might see.

                        I'll keep it up with the multilateral approach.  Thanks for taking some time to think through it with me.

                        Best,
                        Scott


                        "Four Hewes, Caspian Design" <four@...> wrote:
                        Scott,

                        You sure have your work cut out for you!

                        Something has to give, I'd say. I presume that the successful teams
                        apply the Scrum methods with discipline. If CS badly wants what Scrum
                        offers, perhaps the teams that have experienced what they want are
                        your best advocates for CS to change their ways. The Horse's Mouth,
                        as it were.

                        Otherwise: rejecting Scrum principles, unwilling customers, deathgrip
                        on broken methods - hard to see how they can get there.

                        Having been in creative services myself, I can sympathize with the
                        position they seem to be in: at the unreasonable beck and call of
                        their colleagues in Sales and Marketing, without the resources (time)
                        to do their best work. These cultural problems must be attacked
                        jointly by both leadership AND by staff.

                        Is this helpful, Scott? Maybe I'm stating the obvious. I'm trying to
                        avoid unilateral solutions (bride them! fire them! whip them!)

                        Best,

                        Four

                        At 4:37 PM -0700 4/28/08, Bruno Monkus wrote:
                        Hi Four,

                        Thanks for responding. I'll try to be as brief as possible in my
                        answers but am happy to go into further detail if it would help. To
                        help avoid scrolling, I've paraphrased your questions above my
                        answers. Much appreciated!

                        Q: What value does CS see in Scrum? And their Customers?
                        The Director of Creative Services hopes to achieve hyper-productivity
                        with his teams. He and his team believe that Scrum can help them
                        better cope with the myriad changes that occur to the customer
                        contracts throughout the campaign. As for their customers (Sales,
                        Marketing and API Development) have mixed opinions about Scrum.
                        Sales and Marketing -- so far -- will not even engage the
                        conversation. API Development has engaged and tried "Cowboy Scrum"
                        but declared it a failure because they did not interface well with
                        other teams. (That is to say they didn't interface well, not that
                        Scrum couldn't have).

                        Q: Can you use CS's own words to bring them around?
                        CS is completely on board with the notion -- they're asking for it,
                        in fact. What they can't see -- nor can I -- is how they can
                        effectively adopt the best practices of Scrum if they'll constantly
                        break their time box and cannot use Story Points because of customer
                        demands or those of "upstream" teams. They're perfectly willing to
                        try to stabilize the team structure across multiple campaigns but
                        until they can crack some of the larger concerns, I'm not sure that
                        matters much.

                        Q: Can I get the "upstream" teams involved in the conversation?
                        No luck on that so far. If CS is to have any success, it seems
                        they'll have to do it on their own and in spite of what's going on
                        around them.

                        Q: Could we start small and grow Scrum adoption?
                        We have several product teams at the company that have achieved great
                        results. None of them are in Creative Services, though, and because
                        of the old-style customer requirements written into every single
                        campaign, it's unlikely that we'll find an easy starting point.

                        Best, Scott

                        "Four Hewes, Caspian Design" <four@caspiandesign. com> wrote:

                        Scott, A few Q.s in response to your Q.s:

                        If asked, how does Creative Services themselves characterize Scrum's
                        success? And what answer would their customers give?

                        Can you use Creative Services' own words/claims about that to bring
                        them around to be flexible on the details of how they operate?

                        The view that timeboxes are unworkable suggests to me that they
                        aren't ready to imagine another way their clients might engage them.
                        Can you get them and their customers in the same room/conversation to
                        discuss these behaviors they resist re-considering?

                        Is there a project with low risk to career/politics that the
                        corageous ones can use to start Scrum?

                        My two cents.

                        Four

                        At 10:33 AM -0700 4/28/08, Bruno Monkus wrote:
                        Hi All, I'm hoping that some of you may have some ideas to share with
                        me. I work for a large company that is still making the transition to
                        Scrum. Some of our engineering teams are still in defiance of any
                        process whatsoever while others have transitioned and are reliabily
                        contributing between 400% and 1000% more targeted value than when
                        they formed.

                        Seeing the successes of Scrum in some corners of the company, our
                        Creative Services team has asked for help transitioning themselves.
                        But their list of "can't change" behaviors is formidable.

                        For starters, they insist that fixed time boxes are impossible
                        because of customer demands -- sometimes a 24-hour turn-around is
                        necessary while other times they get several weeks. They also
                        absoltuely must provide estimates in hours ("Component X will be
                        ready for review at 2:30PM on Tuesday", etc), which has to be written
                        into the contract. Finally, the composition of the teams is extremely
                        dynamic -- ranging from 2 to 7 contributors, depending on the
                        complexity of the campaign.

                        My first avenue of exploration was to see if we could change the way
                        that Sales & Marketing were constructing the contracts but, though
                        their engagement seemed sincere, they swear they cannot change how
                        they do business. And if they can't change, I'm having trouble seeing
                        how Creative Services could.

                        Am I staring certain failure in the face here? Or am I overlooking
                        something obvious? Your feedback and ideas would be greatly
                        appreciated! !

                        Best, Scott
                        --
                        --
                        Four Hewes, Principal
                        Caspian Design | A Hybrid Consultancy for changing marketplace,
                        technology and business
                        Strategic Guidance | New Product Development | Product + Interaction Design


                        Be a better friend, newshound, and know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile. Try it now.

                      • brett_a_bernstein
                        Hi Scott- I think many people on the list would agree with the idea that scrum can serve as a wrapper around just about anything. There is value in the
                        Message 11 of 18 , Apr 29 6:53 AM
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                          Hi Scott-

                          I think many people on the list would agree with the idea that scrum
                          can serve as a wrapper around just about anything. There is value in
                          the simplicity of its structure.

                          In talking to folks about scrum, one of the most common statements was
                          something to the effect of "but we are different ... and we have to be
                          because of <foo> ... so it will never work for us"

                          My response after banging my head against a wall is something to the
                          effect of bovine-excrement.

                          With these folks I try to play the 'what-if+why' game. What if that
                          constraint that you think is an absolute rule wasn't? Why is it that
                          we do that one thing that one way (<under_breath>that no one feels
                          works very well but does anyway</under_breath>)?

                          Sometimes the resulting conversation goes well and we can re-define
                          the problem space without constraint. Sometimes it does not go well
                          and I can't get them to open up to the idea. Either way, more is
                          learned about the problem space (and the organization) through the
                          discussion.

                          Good luck!

                          Brett

                          --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Don Gray <don@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Bruno,
                          >
                          > > I didn't approach the question from that perspective.
                          >
                          > That's why we have this list. To get more perspective.
                          >
                          > > I'll give that a go and see if we can gain any ground, though their
                          > > Director is disheartened right now at the rigidity of the world
                          around him.
                          >
                          > When you shift paradigms you really should use a clutch. People move
                          > through change at different speeds. I wrote about this in 2005
                          >
                          http://www.ayeconference.com/this-title-may-change-at-any-time-how-do-you-feel-about-that/
                          >
                          > Any change that improves the situation and moves the team ever so
                          > little towards agile values is a good thing.
                          >
                          > --
                          > Don (336)374-7591
                          >
                          > For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by
                          doing them.
                          > Aristotle
                          >
                          > Practice doing the things you need to learn at the AYE Conference
                          Nov 2 - 5, 2008
                          > www.AYEconference.com
                          >
                        • Paul Oldfield
                          (responding to Scott) ... Almost all agile approaches use timeboxed iterations of fixed requirements. There are just a couple of cases where this is not
                          Message 12 of 18 , Apr 29 7:18 AM
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                            (responding to Scott)

                            > For starters, they insist that fixed time boxes are
                            > impossible because of customer demands -- sometimes a
                            > 24-hour turn-around is necessary while other times they
                            > get several weeks...

                            Almost all agile approaches use timeboxed iterations of
                            fixed requirements. There are just a couple of cases
                            where this is not appropriate, and needing a response
                            faster than can be done in the iteration is one of them
                            ... maybe.

                            One such approach is advocated on the Yahoo 'kanbandev'
                            group mailing list... but it's not for the faint hearted.
                            I'm not an expert on that approach, but what they do
                            in essence is pick items off the backlog as soon as they
                            have the capacity, but they have a strict rule with
                            regard to capacity about how much work in progress is
                            allowed at one time. This means they could start a
                            new backlog item rapidly rather than waiting until next
                            iteration.

                            Needless to say, there are a lot of other things that
                            need to happen for this to work; in effect everything WE
                            do between iterations needs to be fitted into their flow
                            for the regular work.

                            Paul Oldfield
                          • Bruno Monkus
                            Hi Brett, Thank you for taking time to respond to my problem. The ideas and encouragement being offered by the group have helped me find some new foot holds
                            Message 13 of 18 , Apr 29 12:24 PM
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                              Hi Brett,
                               
                              Thank you for taking time to respond to my problem.  The ideas and encouragement being offered by the group have helped me find some new foot holds on the sheer face of that department.  Their Director is on vacation this week but I'm going to land in front of him the minute he's back and try some of these things out.
                               
                              Much appreciated,
                              Scott


                              brett_a_bernstein <brett.a.bernstein@...> wrote:
                              Hi Scott-

                              I think many people on the list would agree with the idea that scrum
                              can serve as a wrapper around just about anything. There is value in
                              the simplicity of its structure.

                              In talking to folks about scrum, one of the most common statements was
                              something to the effect of "but we are different ... and we have to be
                              because of <foo> ... so it will never work for us"

                              My response after banging my head against a wall is something to the
                              effect of bovine-excrement.

                              With these folks I try to play the 'what-if+why' game. What if that
                              constraint that you think is an absolute rule wasn't? Why is it that
                              we do that one thing that one way (<under_breath> that no one feels
                              works very well but does anyway</under_ breath>)?

                              Sometimes the resulting conversation goes well and we can re-define
                              the problem space without constraint. Sometimes it does not go well
                              and I can't get them to open up to the idea. Either way, more is
                              learned about the problem space (and the organization) through the
                              discussion.

                              Good luck!

                              Brett

                              --- In scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com, Don Gray <don@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Bruno,
                              >
                              > > I didn't approach the question from that perspective.
                              >
                              > That's why we have this list. To get more perspective.
                              >
                              > > I'll give that a go and see if we can gain any ground, though their
                              > > Director is disheartened right now at the rigidity of the world
                              around him.
                              >
                              > When you shift paradigms you really should use a clutch. People move
                              > through change at different speeds. I wrote about this in 2005
                              >
                              http://www.ayeconfe rence.com/ this-title- may-change- at-any-time- how-do-you- feel-about- that/
                              >
                              > Any change that improves the situation and moves the team ever so
                              > little towards agile values is a good thing.
                              >
                              > --
                              > Don (336)374-7591
                              >
                              > For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by
                              doing them.
                              > Aristotle
                              >
                              > Practice doing the things you need to learn at the AYE Conference
                              Nov 2 - 5, 2008
                              > www.AYEconference. com
                              >



                              Be a better friend, newshound, and know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile. Try it now.

                            • Bruno Monkus
                              Thank you, Paul. I have actually achieved something similar with my other teams and have enjoyed great success with it -- to the tune of 450% to 1000%
                              Message 14 of 18 , Apr 29 12:35 PM
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                                Thank you, Paul.  I have actually achieved something similar with my other teams and have enjoyed great success with it -- to the tune of 450% to 1000% consistently higher targeted value contribution per Iteration.  We plan up to our Velocity in the Planning Meetings then pull work from the backlog to fill the remaining time.  Because they are all still new teams (less than 3 months together), each is pulling 3-5 Stories per Iteration from the Product Backlog.  It's pretty exciting and, for teams that can pull it off, it's a great approach. 
                                 
                                The biggest problem I see for this approach with Creative Services is that each Story on their Product Backlog -- in their current world view -- requires the formation of a new and non-overlapping team.  I have considered treating their entire division as a single "team" with XP-style sub-teams forming around each card that comes from a single backlog.  It is one of the proposals I intend to make to their Director when he returns from vacation.  Though not without issue, it may be the best we can do. 
                                 
                                Thank you for taking time to consider and assist with my situation.
                                 
                                Best,
                                Scott Downey

                                Paul Oldfield <PaulOldfield1@...> wrote:
                                (responding to Scott)

                                > For starters, they insist that fixed time boxes are
                                > impossible because of customer demands -- sometimes a
                                > 24-hour turn-around is necessary while other times they
                                > get several weeks...

                                Almost all agile approaches use timeboxed iterations of
                                fixed requirements. There are just a couple of cases
                                where this is not appropriate, and needing a response
                                faster than can be done in the iteration is one of them
                                ... maybe.

                                One such approach is advocated on the Yahoo 'kanbandev'
                                group mailing list... but it's not for the faint hearted.
                                I'm not an expert on that approach, but what they do
                                in essence is pick items off the backlog as soon as they
                                have the capacity, but they have a strict rule with
                                regard to capacity about how much work in progress is
                                allowed at one time. This means they could start a
                                new backlog item rapidly rather than waiting until next
                                iteration.

                                Needless to say, there are a lot of other things that
                                need to happen for this to work; in effect everything WE
                                do between iterations needs to be fitted into their flow
                                for the regular work.

                                Paul Oldfield



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                              • Don Gray
                                Scott, ... Have you reviewed the Change Patterns in Fearless Change? They might also provide some ideas and insight. -- Don (336)374-7591 Traditions are group
                                Message 15 of 18 , Apr 29 1:26 PM
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                                  Scott,

                                  > The ideas and encouragement being offered by the group have helped me find some new
                                  > foot holds on the sheer face of that department.

                                  Have you reviewed the Change Patterns in Fearless Change? They might
                                  also provide some ideas and insight.

                                  --
                                  Don (336)374-7591

                                  Traditions are group efforts to keep the unexpected from happening.
                                  Barbara Tober

                                  Break tradition at the AYE Conference Nov 2 - 5, 2008
                                  www.AYEconference.com
                                • Scott Downey
                                  I haven t but I ll certainly check it out. Thanks, Don! :-) Don Gray wrote: Scott, ... Have you reviewed the Change Patterns in
                                  Message 16 of 18 , Apr 29 4:20 PM
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                                    I haven't but I'll certainly check it out.  Thanks, Don! :-)

                                    Don Gray <don@...> wrote:
                                    Scott,

                                    > The ideas and encouragement being offered by the group have helped me find some new
                                    > foot holds on the sheer face of that department.

                                    Have you reviewed the Change Patterns in Fearless Change? They might
                                    also provide some ideas and insight.

                                    --
                                    Don (336)374-7591

                                    Traditions are group efforts to keep the unexpected from happening.
                                    Barbara Tober

                                    Break tradition at the AYE Conference Nov 2 - 5, 2008
                                    www.AYEconference. com



                                    Be a better friend, newshound, and know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile. Try it now.

                                  • Don Gray
                                    Scott, ... I /strongly/ suggest/recommend reading the book. Until you do, you can find links for the Pattern Summaries in 3x5 format on my home page. I did
                                    Message 17 of 18 , Apr 29 5:45 PM
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                                      Scott,

                                      > I haven't but I'll certainly check it out.  Thanks, Don! :-)

                                      I /strongly/ suggest/recommend reading the book. Until you do, you
                                      can find links for the Pattern Summaries in 3x5 format on my home
                                      page. I did them in .doc formatted for Avery 5388 card stock. George
                                      Dinwiddie took that file and converted it to OO and pdf format.

                                      I say again, the 3x5 summaries are not a substitute for reading the
                                      book. They're a handy way to review the patterns while you're
                                      waiting for a plane ... not that I would be sitting in a airport
                                      somewhere ...

                                      --
                                      Don (336)374-7591

                                      The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.
                                      Arthur C. Clarke

                                      Discover new possibilities at the AYE Conference Nov 2 - 5, 2008
                                      www.AYEconference.com
                                    • Steve Freeman
                                      The interesting thing about kanbandev is that David Anderson originally adopted it to throttle the work down to a level the (waterfall) team could cope with,
                                      Message 18 of 18 , May 4, 2008
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                                        The interesting thing about kanbandev is that David Anderson
                                        originally adopted it to throttle the work down to a level the
                                        (waterfall) team could cope with, the more exciting effects came
                                        afterwards. The other technique is that they allowed up to one
                                        expedited feature (customer emergency that just had to be done) in the
                                        system at a time, so they had an escape mechanism and could also
                                        measure how much the disruption cost.

                                        S.

                                        On 29 Apr 2008, at 15:18, Paul Oldfield wrote:
                                        > (responding to Scott)
                                        >
                                        >> For starters, they insist that fixed time boxes are
                                        >> impossible because of customer demands -- sometimes a
                                        >> 24-hour turn-around is necessary while other times they
                                        >> get several weeks...
                                        >
                                        > Almost all agile approaches use timeboxed iterations of
                                        > fixed requirements. There are just a couple of cases
                                        > where this is not appropriate, and needing a response
                                        > faster than can be done in the iteration is one of them
                                        > ... maybe.
                                        >
                                        > One such approach is advocated on the Yahoo 'kanbandev'
                                        > group mailing list... but it's not for the faint hearted.
                                        > I'm not an expert on that approach, but what they do
                                        > in essence is pick items off the backlog as soon as they
                                        > have the capacity, but they have a strict rule with
                                        > regard to capacity about how much work in progress is
                                        > allowed at one time. This means they could start a
                                        > new backlog item rapidly rather than waiting until next
                                        > iteration.
                                        >
                                        > Needless to say, there are a lot of other things that
                                        > need to happen for this to work; in effect everything WE
                                        > do between iterations needs to be fitted into their flow
                                        > for the regular work.
                                        >
                                        > Paul Oldfield
                                        >

                                        Steve Freeman
                                        http://www.mockobjects.com

                                        Winner of the Agile Alliance Gordon Pask award 2006
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