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RE: [scrumdevelopment] I am much more senior ...

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  • Richard Banks
    ... I agree with Ilja completely here. In any team there are some people who contribute more than others. Have you ever tried doing something like an MVP
    Message 1 of 30 , May 6, 2008
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      >> How do I know I have grown if all the time its just
      >> "team's success" thats the metric.
      >
      >You ask the team how much you have contributed to the success. Your
      >advancement on the career ladder should be mainly influenced by that metric.
      >
      >> Again, I am not against the team - I
      >> just want respect and slight authority." Then he went on to add - "After
      >> all, you too strive for a Scrum Master, Scrum Master of Scrum Master,
      >> Product Owner role as well?
      >
      >I think we have a misunderstanding here - the Scrum Master and Product
      >Owner roles are not about more respect or more authority, in my opinion.

      I agree with Ilja completely here. In any team there are some people who contribute more than others. Have you ever tried doing something like an MVP award? Each iteration get team members to vote for the best person on their team, and acknowledge/reward them accordingly.

      Also team member->scrum master->product owner is not a promotion path. They're completely different roles. Using a sporting analogy it'd be like saying that team member->coaching staff->spectator is a promotion path. They're all completely different, and in the sporting field the best team members will always get the greatest rewards.

      - Richard.

      From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Ilja Preuss
      Sent: Wednesday, 7 May 2008 5:26 AM
      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] I am much more senior ...

      Vikrama Dhiman wrote:

      > How do I know I have grown if all the time its just
      > "team's success" thats the metric.

      You ask the team how much you have contributed to the success. Your
      advancement on the career ladder should be mainly influenced by that metric.

      > Again, I am not against the team - I
      > just want respect and slight authority." Then he went on to add - "After
      > all, you too strive for a Scrum Master, Scrum Master of Scrum Master,
      > Product Owner role as well?

      I think we have a misunderstanding here - the Scrum Master and Product
      Owner roles are not about more respect or more authority, in my opinion.

      Cheers, Ilja

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    • mpkirby
      We have had exactly the same reaction from some of our senior developers. Why am I doing my (less capable) colleagues work for them Isn t it the managers
      Message 2 of 30 , May 6, 2008
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        We have had exactly the same reaction from some of our senior developers.

        "Why am I doing my (less capable) colleagues work for them"

        "Isn't it the managers job to help the less capable individuals on the team"

        The basic issue is that technical leadership is not rewarded in the company.

        If you have 3 salary bands

        Coder -- 40-60k
        Lead Developer -- 60-80k
        Senior Design/Technical Lead -- 80-100k

        You can fairly easily describe technical achievements.

        • Coder -- Works within well-established code, can debug problems, needs guidance in new areas, etc.
        • Lead Developer -- Does module-level design, works from system designs, independent debugger, participates on system design teams.
        • Senior Designer / Technical lead -- Innovates new technologies and designs, coordinates cross-module designs on top of existing legacy code (without destroying everything), etc.

        But there are behavioral attributes.

        • Coder -- Works well with peers, independent learner.
        • Lead Developer -- Pair programs with less experienced individuals, shares technical knowledge, provides technical feedback on other people's designs and programming technique, assists in module-level debugging.
        • Senior Designer / Technical Lead -- mentors lead developers and coders in new development techniques and technologies (e.g. introducing TDD or easymock, or a new database framework) to the team.  Conducts technical seminars on new techniques.  Holds system design reviews for new cross-module designs.  Participates in, and drives to completion complex cross-module debugging (e.g. may work with other module teams or competencies to make sure the end-to-end problem is solved -- Doesn't just "throw it over the wall" and forget it).

        It's the interactive skills and soft skills that truly separate the bands.

        If the people that left possessed the technical skills above (along with the domain knowledge that came with it), but weren't actively practicing the softer skills, then I'm not sure there is much you can do.

        If they are practicing the softer skills, then a lot of what agile development is about will come naturally (the mentoring, working together as a team, gravitating towards to leadership activities).

        This has been a struggle for us, and it takes time for people accustom to a technical role to learn to develop a leadership role.  Particularly if most of their career they have only been rewarded for the former.

        Mike




        An interesting thing happened at a friends company. They are really good at Agile and I know from first hand experience that right from the value system to practices are good. However, of late, 04 senior people whom they wanted to hire as a part of the team [technical people] refused to join - highlighting what they called "inadequate respect/ authority". The problem is that these 04 people have now gone to rival company and in last 04 months, the company [not doing Agile what so ever] has made rapid strides. If that was not bad in itself, a lot of people from this company have also joined the competing company citing what they call "we will learn more from seniors in the company." In short, there has been a serious human capital loss.

        I tried to call one of these person's and he told me this - "I have slogged hard for over 06 years to reach where I have. I don't have an issue working with people much less in experience - I would learn something from them too. But, I find it degrading to discredit all my 06 years of experience. How do I know I have grown if all the time its just "team's success" thats the metric. Again, I am not against the team - I just want respect and slight authority." Then he went on to add - "After all, you too strive for a Scrum Master, Scrum Master of Scrum Master, Product Owner role as well? Do you give it to someone with 02 years experience? Why not have something similar for technically experienced people too?"
        I thought long and hard about it. I have to yet come up with an answer. I don't know if there are studies whether experienced people [development team and not SM's or PO's] prefer Agile companies or more process driven companies with titles and authority.

        I would believe this is a real dilemma and there might be things which are not being addressed by Agile itself and needs support from some other research in HR/ organizational patterns etc. The people vs the team debate has an interesting angle.

        I am unsure how best to approach this issue. Any insight and thoughts are welcome.

      • Amanda Abelove
        It seems to me that super senior tends to speak for itself. Even if your knowledge is superior, you may not be communicating that knowledge. Outside artificial
        Message 3 of 30 , May 6, 2008
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          It seems to me that super senior tends to speak for itself. Even if your
          knowledge is superior, you may not be communicating that knowledge.
          Outside artificial votes and awards are not the same as truly listening.
          People mostly want to be listened to. If you listen, they think you are
          smarter/more senior.

          Communication skills are things you can learn just like any other
          skill... snowboarding, programming, whatever. If you communicate clearly
          and relate to people well, they'll naturally gravitate and follow. Have
          you ever taken a communication class? What about theater?

          Amanda

          Richard Banks wrote:
          >
          > >> How do I know I have grown if all the time its just
          > >> "team's success" thats the metric.
          > >
          > >You ask the team how much you have contributed to the success. Your
          > >advancement on the career ladder should be mainly influenced by that
          > metric.
          > >
          > >> Again, I am not against the team - I
          > >> just want respect and slight authority." Then he went on to add -
          > "After
          > >> all, you too strive for a Scrum Master, Scrum Master of Scrum Master,
          > >> Product Owner role as well?
          > >
          > >I think we have a misunderstanding here - the Scrum Master and Product
          > >Owner roles are not about more respect or more authority, in my opinion.
          >
          > I agree with Ilja completely here. In any team there are some people
          > who contribute more than others. Have you ever tried doing something
          > like an MVP award? Each iteration get team members to vote for the
          > best person on their team, and acknowledge/reward them accordingly.
          >
          > Also team member->scrum master->product owner is not a promotion path.
          > They're completely different roles. Using a sporting analogy it'd be
          > like saying that team member->coaching staff->spectator is a promotion
          > path. They're all completely different, and in the sporting field the
          > best team members will always get the greatest rewards.
          >
          > - Richard.
          >
          > From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
          > <mailto:scrumdevelopment%40yahoogroups.com>
          > [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
          > <mailto:scrumdevelopment%40yahoogroups.com>] On Behalf Of Ilja Preuss
          > Sent: Wednesday, 7 May 2008 5:26 AM
          > To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
          > <mailto:scrumdevelopment%40yahoogroups.com>
          > Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] I am much more senior ...
          >
          > Vikrama Dhiman wrote:
          >
          > > How do I know I have grown if all the time its just
          > > "team's success" thats the metric.
          >
          > You ask the team how much you have contributed to the success. Your
          > advancement on the career ladder should be mainly influenced by that
          > metric.
          >
          > > Again, I am not against the team - I
          > > just want respect and slight authority." Then he went on to add - "After
          > > all, you too strive for a Scrum Master, Scrum Master of Scrum Master,
          > > Product Owner role as well?
          >
          > I think we have a misunderstanding here - the Scrum Master and Product
          > Owner roles are not about more respect or more authority, in my opinion.
          >
          > Cheers, Ilja
          >
          > __________________________________________________________
          > T
          >
        • Richard Banks
          I don t see peer voting as artificial. Quite the opposite - better for peers to make a judgement about who they value most, than for it to be decided by
          Message 4 of 30 , May 6, 2008
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            I don't see peer voting as artificial. Quite the opposite - better for peers to make a judgement about who they value most, than for it to be decided by external sources. That's just a great way to reward the political players in your teams. And how does great listening make someone think you're more senior if they don't contribute something in return? The worst conversation is one where you explain a problem in great detail to someone, they listen really, really well and then at the end when you want some options or help they basically say "I dunno" or "I'll see if someone else can help". Damn, that's annoying!

            Listening and interpersonal skills are critical elements of a team's success, but it's the team's results that are measured, so why shouldn't the team nominate or highlight the people who they think made the greatest contribution to the result? If they decide that it is someone who went around and did nothing but help and mentor other people, fantastic! If it was someone who hid themselves in a corner and didn't talk to anyone, I'd be very surprised - but the team is autonomous. It's not up to us to override their decisions or tell them how to rate their peers, and every team develops different ways of working together.

            P.S. Have I taken communications classes or done theatre? No need to get personal :-) <joking!/> and "Yes" to both, plus plenty of public speaking, pre-sales work, dealing with hostile clients (when things went wrong), doing trade shows and more. Those are all activities where you need to not only listen well, but to communicate a message in a clear way that the audience understands. It definitely helps improve your soft skills :-) Probably something everyone should do. Theatre especially - standing in front of a crowd wearing Elizabethan gear can feel pretty weird the first time you do it.


            - Richard.


            From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Amanda Abelove
            Sent: Wednesday, 7 May 2008 2:26 PM
            To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [!! SPAM] RE: [scrumdevelopment] I am much more senior ...

            It seems to me that super senior tends to speak for itself. Even if your
            knowledge is superior, you may not be communicating that knowledge.
            Outside artificial votes and awards are not the same as truly listening.
            People mostly want to be listened to. If you listen, they think you are
            smarter/more senior.

            Communication skills are things you can learn just like any other
            skill... snowboarding, programming, whatever. If you communicate clearly
            and relate to people well, they'll naturally gravitate and follow. Have
            you ever taken a communication class? What about theater?

            Amanda


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          • Vikrama Dhiman
            Thanks for your feedback. I think I positioned my questions wrongly. First some clarifications: A] Where does comparison with SM and PO comes in? It comes in
            Message 5 of 30 , May 6, 2008
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              Thanks for your feedback.

              I think I positioned my questions wrongly. First some clarifications:

              A] Where does comparison with SM and PO comes in?

              It comes in because SM and PO are one person while the senior technical people are still "a part of the team". Some roles and responsibilities are entrusted in 01 person by virtue of being a SM or PO. In the team no one person has the complete responsibility. It is complete team's responsibility. It might be useful to point out that the company in question has no titles like Enterprise Architect, Lead Developer etc.

              B] Individuals have to realize what true leadership is.

              This is a non-starter in my opinion. It starts from an assumption that I am right [and my idea of leadership is right] rather than understanding where these people are coming from. Having the team vote for a person is a good idea - unfortunately, I don't think it would cut much ice at the interviewing table. It is useful to point out that getting people with Agile experience esp at senior level [development] is almost impossible, where we are.

              C] Talk to this person etc.

              It was more than one person.

              So, a rephrased situation is this:

              • A candidate is shortlisted [assume no experience with Agile, also assume that she was checked for Agile related soft skills like team work etc and everyone had glowing things to say about that]. She asks what is average team experience in the team? We say 04 years. She says that as you can see from my resume I have over 09 years of experience. However, as you can see last company I was a "Technical Lead". I am not a title freak but I need to know how will my experience be recognized and awarded.
              • A candidate [in same situation as above] but with 04 years experience: "So what is kind of career growth path we are looking at? Say, where would I be if I performed really well in 02 years time in the company? What is the next promotion likely to be"
              How would you handle this scenario?

              Thank You!

              --- On Wed, 5/7/08, Amanda Abelove <amanda@...> wrote:
              From: Amanda Abelove <amanda@...>
              Subject: Re: [!! SPAM] RE: [scrumdevelopment] I am much more senior ...
              To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
              Date: Wednesday, May 7, 2008, 9:55 AM

              It seems to me that super senior tends to speak for itself. Even if your
              knowledge is superior, you may not be communicating that knowledge.
              Outside artificial votes and awards are not the same as truly listening.
              People mostly want to be listened to. If you listen, they think you are
              smarter/more senior.

              Communication skills are things you can learn just like any other
              skill... snowboarding, programming, whatever. If you communicate clearly
              and relate to people well, they'll naturally gravitate and follow. Have
              you ever taken a communication class? What about theater?

              Amanda

              Richard Banks wrote:
              >
              > >> How do I know I have grown if all the time its just
              > >> "team's success" thats the metric.
              > >
              > >You ask the team how much you have contributed to the success. Your
              > >advancement on the career ladder should be mainly influenced by that
              > metric.
              > >
              > >> Again, I am not against the team - I
              > >> just want respect and slight authority." Then he went on to add -
              > "After
              > >> all, you too strive for a Scrum Master, Scrum Master of Scrum Master,
              > >> Product Owner role as well?
              > >
              > >I think we have a misunderstanding here - the Scrum Master and Product
              > >Owner roles are not about more respect or more authority, in my opinion.
              >
              > I agree with Ilja completely here. In any team there are some people
              > who contribute more than others. Have you ever tried doing something
              > like an MVP award? Each iteration get team members to vote for the
              > best person on their team, and acknowledge/ reward them accordingly.
              >
              > Also team member->scrum master->product owner is not a promotion path.
              > They're completely different roles. Using a sporting analogy it'd be
              > like saying that team member->coaching staff->spectator is a promotion
              > path. They're all completely different, and in the sporting field the
              > best team members will always get the greatest rewards.
              >
              > - Richard.
              >
              > From: scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com
              > <mailto:scrumdevelo pment%40yahoogro ups.com>
              > [mailto:scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com
              > <mailto:scrumdevelo pment%40yahoogro ups.com>] On Behalf Of Ilja Preuss
              > Sent: Wednesday, 7 May 2008 5:26 AM
              > To: scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com
              > <mailto:scrumdevelo pment%40yahoogro ups.com>
              > Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] I am much more senior ...
              >
              > Vikrama Dhiman wrote:
              >
              > > How do I know I have grown if all the time its just
              > > "team's success" thats the metric.
              >
              > You ask the team how much you have contributed to the success. Your
              > advancement on the career ladder should be mainly influenced by that
              > metric.
              >
              > > Again, I am not against the team - I
              > > just want respect and slight authority." Then he went on to add - "After
              > > all, you too strive for a Scrum Master, Scrum Master of Scrum Master,
              > > Product Owner role as well?
              >
              > I think we have a misunderstanding here - the Scrum Master and Product
              > Owner roles are not about more respect or more authority, in my opinion.
              >
              > Cheers, Ilja
              >
              > ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _
              > T
              >



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            • Richard Banks
              A) The scrum master shouldn t have any responsibilities other than to manage the scrum process. Similarly the PO role is the single wrenchable neck (normally
              Message 6 of 30 , May 6, 2008
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                A) The scrum master shouldn't have any responsibilities other than to manage the scrum process. Similarly the PO role is the single wrenchable neck (normally from the business side of things) - the one person to whom the business entrusts product backlog prioritisation. Without this you'll get design by committee or loudest shouter prioritisation which is not ideal. These people shouldn't have any other roles or responsibilities beyond that or you can get into potential conflict of interest issues. Admittedly this is sometimes unavoidable.

                B) & C)

                There's no restriction on the type of people you can hire or place in a team. I often have teams with mixes of Systems Analysts, Business Analysts, Testers, DBA's, Tech. Leads, Junior Devs etc in the one team. There just needs to be the understanding that you expect people to work together and not let job titles get in the way of getting the job itself done. This is why the team is rewarded first and foremost. However, individual recognition and further pay increases/promotions etc will come over time as candidates prove themselves valuable to the team and thus, to the business.

                To answer to the "Where would I be in 2 years time if I perform really well?" question you could say "It all depends on you. We promote based on a peer review process and the higher your peers value your contribution, the faster you will rise within the organisation".

                And to answer the other question of "how will my experience be recognized and awarded?" you can answer in a similar vein: "We can see that you have a lot of experience and will be a valuable addition to our team. We will bring you on at a salary that meets your expectations in the role of Technical Lead. In return we would ask you to share and spread that experience across the teams you will be a part of. We also have a peer review process that we will use to further reward you for doing so.".

                In both situations you might also want talk about the fact being agile means that staff have some flexibility to move around in terms of what they do. A candidate may not always want to be a tech lead and might want to move into the BI space? How would a normal company give them enough experience to do this? With an agile company you'll have a lot more exposure to areas outside of your normal job role, etc, etc.

                - Richard.

                From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Vikrama Dhiman
                Sent: Wednesday, 7 May 2008 3:15 PM
                To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] I am much more senior ...

                Thanks for your feedback.

                I think I positioned my questions wrongly. First some clarifications:

                A] Where does comparison with SM and PO comes in?

                It comes in because SM and PO are one person while the senior technical people are still "a part of the team". Some roles and responsibilities are entrusted in 01 person by virtue of being a SM or PO. In the team no one person has the complete responsibility. It is complete team's responsibility. It might be useful to point out that the company in question has no titles like Enterprise Architect, Lead Developer etc.

                B] Individuals have to realize what true leadership is.

                This is a non-starter in my opinion. It starts from an assumption that I am right [and my idea of leadership is right] rather than understanding where these people are coming from. Having the team vote for a person is a good idea - unfortunately, I don't think it would cut much ice at the interviewing table. It is useful to point out that getting people with Agile experience esp at senior level [development] is almost impossible, where we are.

                C] Talk to this person etc.

                It was more than one person.

                So, a rephrased situation is this:
                * A candidate is shortlisted [assume no experience with Agile, also assume that she was checked for Agile related soft skills like team work etc and everyone had glowing things to say about that]. She asks what is average team experience in the team? We say 04 years. She says that as you can see from my resume I have over 09 years of experience. However, as you can see last company I was a "Technical Lead". I am not a title freak but I need to know how will my experience be recognized and awarded.
                * A candidate [in same situation as above] but with 04 years experience: "So what is kind of career growth path we are looking at? Say, where would I be if I performed really well in 02 years time in the company? What is the next promotion likely to be"
                How would you handle this scenario?

                Thank You!



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              • Suhas
                Message 7 of 30 , May 7, 2008
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                • Benoit RAOUL
                  Hi everybody, It s a very interesting subject overhere! I m studying for my thesis (i m a french student) all the impacts of an APM on people. And that s right
                  Message 8 of 30 , May 7, 2008
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                    Hi everybody,
                    It's a very interesting subject overhere!
                    I'm studying for my thesis (i'm a french student) all the impacts of an APM on people. And that's right that for some people it's difficult to find recognition in this type of management because as it said only the team is recognize. I don't if this problem is only for senior person, i think that it depends on what you need to be effecient. Some of us needs a very organizational structure with some kind of authority, on the other hand, and maybe younger person, need to have flexibility and Agility to be efficient.
                    I'm sorry for my writing!
                     
                    Best Regards
                    Benoit
                    2008/5/6 Basharat Wani <bbw@...>:

                    Very interesting.
                     
                    We are using Agile\Scrum since last 3+ years, we have a very diverse teams with a bunch of folks who has over 27+ years of experience in software develp. in the teams ,in the same company, same products line, building with different technologies over this period of time.
                     
                    These awesome oldies welcome Agile\Scrum with open arms from the very beginning , actually they expedite its usages across the product devleopment rapidly, as they saw the gains very early one. SCRUM or Agile never takes away Respect or Seniority away from any one, it depends upon each individual perceptive, how they want to see it.I believe that it gives them more leverage  particularly during the sprint planning meetings (seniority and exp. matters) and things like that.
                     
                     I believe it depends upon individual personality how they want to see it , Right or Wrong .
                     
                     
                    Basharat


                    From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Vikrama Dhiman
                    Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2008 9:06 AM
                    To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] I am much more senior ...

                    Do these IITK grad's work independently or with some others? Do they report to someone? Whom?

                    --- On Tue, 5/6/08, ashok mallik <ashok_mallik@...> wrote:
                    From: ashok mallik <ashok_mallik@...>
                    Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] I am much more senior ...
                    To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Tuesday, May 6, 2008, 6:25 PM

                    I have some friends who have graduated from IIT Kanpur B. Tech computer science after 23 years they are still developers, that is what they love doing, some of their batch mates are senior Vice presidents in fortune 100 companies


                    To: scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com
                    From: vickydhiman@ yahoo.com
                    Date: Tue, 6 May 2008 05:42:21 -0700
                    Subject: [scrumdevelopment] I am much more senior ...

                    An interesting thing happened at a friends company. They are really good at Agile and I know from first hand experience that right from the value system to practices are good. However, of late, 04 senior people whom they wanted to hire as a part of the team [technical people] refused to join - highlighting what they called "inadequate respect/ authority". The problem is that these 04 people have now gone to rival company and in last 04 months, the company [not doing Agile what so ever] has made rapid strides. If that was not bad in itself, a lot of people from this company have also joined the competing company citing what they call "we will learn more from seniors in the company." In short, there has been a serious human capital loss.

                    I tried to call one of these person's and he told me this - "I have slogged hard for over 06 years to reach where I have. I don't have an issue working with people much less in experience - I would learn something from them too. But, I find it degrading to discredit all my 06 years of experience. How do I know I have grown if all the time its just "team's success" thats the metric. Again, I am not against the team - I just want respect and slight authority." Then he went on to add - "After all, you too strive for a Scrum Master, Scrum Master of Scrum Master, Product Owner role as well? Do you give it to someone with 02 years experience? Why not have something similar for technically experienced people too?"
                    I thought long and hard about it. I have to yet come up with an answer. I don't know if there are studies whether experienced people [development team and not SM's or PO's] prefer Agile companies or more process driven companies with titles and authority.

                    I would believe this is a real dilemma and there might be things which are not being addressed by Agile itself and needs support from some other research in HR/ organizational patterns etc. The people vs the team debate has an interesting angle.

                    I am unsure how best to approach this issue. Any insight and thoughts are welcome.


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                    --
                    Benoit
                    Blog: http://www.flickr.com/photos/25123884@N04/sets/
                    Msn: wolf_inlyon@...
                    Tel: 06 29 12 45 89
                  • davenicolette
                    Hi Vikrama, I wonder if this is just a personality issue. The agile style of work is very different from traditional work. Not everyone likes it. Some of the
                    Message 9 of 30 , May 7, 2008
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                      Hi Vikrama,

                      I wonder if this is just a personality issue. The agile style of work
                      is very different from traditional work. Not everyone likes it. Some
                      of the guy's comments suggest he may not be a person who would enjoy
                      agile work. For example:

                      "I find it degrading to discredit all my 06 years of experience." Who
                      has discredited his experience? Why would a team want him aboard at
                      all if they didn't respect his experience? Why is it degrading to be a
                      member of a team? This sounds like a personal attitude to me. It's
                      neither good nor bad, but it isn't an attitude that is compatible with
                      agile work.

                      "How do I know I have grown if all the time its just 'team's success'
                      thats the metric." Is it really true that he cannot tell whether he is
                      learning, improving, growing in his own craft? That sounds like a
                      personal problem, and nothing to do with agile.

                      I don't mean to denigrate, but I have to smile at this one: "I have
                      slogged hard for over 06 years to reach where I have." I, with 31
                      years experience, do not find his "slogging" terribly impressive. Is
                      he really "senior," or is he just a kid with an inflated ego? Maybe
                      it's a question of perspective. In any case, his is not an attitude I
                      would welcome on a team, and frankly I don't think the team would be
                      losing a great technical resource if he decided to take a job with a
                      competitor. Notwithstanding his technical skills, the friction he is
                      likely to cause on a team would be more destructive than it is worth.
                      No, thanks.

                      You write that "there might be things which are not being addressed by
                      Agile itself." Well, of course. Agile doesn't purport to solve all the
                      problems of the world. It's just an approach to software development.
                      For those who aren't personally suited to it, there are many
                      opportunities to do software development in a traditional environment.
                      Good luck to them!

                      How to approach the issue? Try to recruit people whose personalities
                      are compatible with this style of work. Many details will then fall
                      into place naturally.
                    • barvybe
                      I m actually not really sure I understand the issue. Just because the team succeeds as one, doesn t mean that recognition, authority and seniority don t
                      Message 10 of 30 , May 8, 2008
                      • 0 Attachment
                        I'm actually not really sure I understand the issue. Just because the
                        "team" succeeds as one, doesn't mean that recognition, authority and
                        seniority don't exist. Even in pair programming, one of the pair is
                        typically senior. If the pair succeeds they would get most of the
                        credit and if they fail most of the blame as accountability for the
                        pair's work is mostly on the senior person's shoulders.

                        There are other metrics which can be used such as individual story
                        point velocity, etc. that help distinguish individuals on the team and
                        there are also a great many informal structures around group
                        conversation where either tacit or explicit approval, sign-off, etc.
                        can occur.

                        It sounds to me that the issue here is really that the scrum master
                        has not established the communication methods by which individual
                        achievement is communicated to senior management or the rest of the
                        company. When it is communicated effectively, then these senior
                        people can (and should) graciously defer praise to the teams that they
                        lead as any good senior / manager would do.

                        In short - we don't have these problems AT ALL so it really sounds
                        like a corporate culture issue. I can see it happening, particularly
                        if you take any of the "extreme" agile methodologies word for
                        word...but that's the great thing about agile - it has some core
                        concepts that you can then tailor to meet your specific environment.

                        - Pete

                        --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Benoit RAOUL"
                        <beninlyon@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Hi everybody,
                        > It's a very interesting subject overhere!
                        > I'm studying for my thesis (i'm a french student) all the impacts of
                        an APM
                        > on people. And that's right that for some people it's difficult to find
                        > recognition in this type of management because as it said only the
                        team is
                        > recognize. I don't if this problem is only for senior person, i
                        think that
                        > it depends on what you need to be effecient. Some of us needs a very
                        > organizational structure with some kind of authority, on the other
                        hand, and
                        > maybe younger person, need to have flexibility and Agility to be
                        efficient.
                        > I'm sorry for my writing!
                        >
                        > Best Regards
                        > Benoit
                        > 2008/5/6 Basharat Wani <bbw@...>:
                        >
                        > > Very interesting.
                        > >
                        > > We are using Agile\Scrum since last 3+ years, we have a very
                        diverse teams
                        > > with a bunch of folks who has over 27+ years of experience in software
                        > > develp. in the teams ,in the same company, same products line,
                        building
                        > > with different technologies over this period of time.
                        > >
                        > > These awesome oldies welcome Agile\Scrum with open arms from the very
                        > > beginning , actually they expedite its usages across the product
                        devleopment
                        > > rapidly, as they saw the gains very early one. SCRUM or Agile
                        never takes
                        > > away Respect or Seniority away from any one, it depends upon each
                        individual
                        > > perceptive, how they want to see it.I believe that it gives them more
                        > > leverage particularly during the sprint planning meetings
                        (seniority and
                        > > exp. matters) and things like that.
                        > >
                        > > I believe it depends upon individual personality how they want to
                        see it
                        > > , Right or Wrong .
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > Basharat
                        > >
                        > > ------------------------------
                        > > *From:* scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:
                        > > scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] *On Behalf Of *Vikrama Dhiman
                        > > *Sent:* Tuesday, May 06, 2008 9:06 AM
                        > > *To:* scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                        > > *Subject:* RE: [scrumdevelopment] I am much more senior ...
                        > >
                        > > Do these IITK grad's work independently or with some others? Do
                        they
                        > > report to someone? Whom?
                        > >
                        > > --- On *Tue, 5/6/08, ashok mallik <ashok_mallik@...>* wrote:
                        > >
                        > > From: ashok mallik <ashok_mallik@...>
                        > > Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] I am much more senior ...
                        > > To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                        > > Date: Tuesday, May 6, 2008, 6:25 PM
                        > >
                        > > I have some friends who have graduated from IIT Kanpur B. Tech
                        computer
                        > > science after 23 years they are still developers, that is what
                        they love
                        > > doing, some of their batch mates are senior Vice presidents in
                        fortune 100
                        > > companies
                        > >
                        > > ------------------------------
                        > > To: scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com
                        > > From: vickydhiman@ yahoo.com
                        > > Date: Tue, 6 May 2008 05:42:21 -0700
                        > > Subject: [scrumdevelopment] I am much more senior ...
                        > >
                        > > An interesting thing happened at a friends company. They are
                        really good
                        > > at Agile and I know from first hand experience that right from the
                        value
                        > > system to practices are good. However, of late, 04 senior people
                        whom they
                        > > wanted to hire as a part of the team [technical people] refused to
                        join -
                        > > highlighting what they called "inadequate respect/ authority". The
                        problem
                        > > is that these 04 people have now gone to rival company and in last 04
                        > > months, the company [not doing Agile what so ever] has made rapid
                        strides.
                        > > If that was not bad in itself, a lot of people from this company
                        have also
                        > > joined the competing company citing what they call "we will learn
                        more from
                        > > seniors in the company." In short, there has been a serious human
                        capital
                        > > loss.
                        > >
                        > > I tried to call one of these person's and he told me this - "I have
                        > > slogged hard for over 06 years to reach where I have. I don't have
                        an issue
                        > > working with people much less in experience - I would learn
                        something from
                        > > them too. But, I find it degrading to discredit all my 06 years of
                        > > experience. How do I know I have grown if all the time its just
                        "team's
                        > > success" thats the metric. Again, I am not against the team - I
                        just want
                        > > respect and slight authority." Then he went on to add - "After
                        all, you too
                        > > strive for a Scrum Master, Scrum Master of Scrum Master, Product
                        Owner role
                        > > as well? Do you give it to someone with 02 years experience? Why
                        not have
                        > > something similar for technically experienced people too?"
                        > > I thought long and hard about it. I have to yet come up with an
                        answer. I
                        > > don't know if there are studies whether experienced people
                        [development team
                        > > and not SM's or PO's] prefer Agile companies or more process driven
                        > > companies with titles and authority.
                        > >
                        > > I would believe this is a real dilemma and there might be things
                        which are
                        > > not being addressed by Agile itself and needs support from some other
                        > > research in HR/ organizational patterns etc. The people vs the
                        team debate
                        > > has an interesting angle.
                        > >
                        > > I am unsure how best to approach this issue. Any insight and
                        thoughts are
                        > > welcome.
                        > >
                        > > ------------------------------
                        > > Be a better friend, newshound, and know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile.
                        Try it
                        > >
                        now.<http://us.rd.yahoo.com/evt=51733/*http://mobile.yahoo.com/;_ylt=Ahu06i62sR8HDtDypao8Wcj9tAcJ>
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > ------------------------------
                        > > Make Windows Vista more reliable and secure with Windows Vista Service
                        > > Pack 1. Learn
                        more.<http://www.windowsvista.com/SP1?WT.mc_id=hotmailvistasp1banner>
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > ------------------------------
                        > > Be a better friend, newshound, and know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile.
                        Try it
                        > >
                        now.<http://us.rd.yahoo.com/evt=51733/*http://mobile.yahoo.com/;_ylt=Ahu06i62sR8HDtDypao8Wcj9tAcJ>
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > --
                        > Benoit
                        > Blog: http://www.flickr.com/photos/25123884@N04/sets/
                        > Msn: wolf_inlyon@...
                        > Tel: 06 29 12 45 89
                        >
                      • David A Barrett
                        It seems to me that the measure of a great programmer is evolving. Decades ago, the very best progammers probably fit the classic nerd profile. They didn t
                        Message 11 of 30 , May 8, 2008
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                          It seems to me that the measure of a "great" programmer is evolving.
                          Decades ago, the very best progammers probably fit the classic nerd
                          profile. They didn't need social skills but they really needed to relate
                          to the technology in order to make it perform magic. Then the paradigm
                          shifted and the new "great" programmer needed the skills to relate to the
                          user community and understand the business challenges.

                          Now, I'd say that a "great" programmer needs to be able to work in a team
                          environment. There's a whole new set of skills to be learned - things like
                          influencing without authority - and personality traits that lead to
                          success. To me, the effectiveness of Scrum (and Agile in general) is what
                          makes this latest paradigm shift inevitable. Scrum teams just naturally
                          outperform traditional models using Waterfall.

                          I'd rather have a group of mediocre programmers committed to the principles
                          of working together as a Team, than a bunch of misanthropic geniuses all
                          looking for everyone else to bow down to their greatness. And by the way,
                          most of these "I am much more senior..." programmers are long shot off from
                          being geniuses.


                          Dave Barrett,
                          Lawyers' Professional Indemnity Company
                        • William Berger
                          ... Excellent post. I ve noticed this as well. This evolutionary process can t go fast enough for me. Regards, Bill Berger
                          Message 12 of 30 , May 8, 2008
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                            --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, David A Barrett
                            <dave.barrett@...> wrote:
                            >
                            >
                            > It seems to me that the measure of a "great" programmer is evolving.
                            > ...etc...
                            >
                            > Dave Barrett,
                            > Lawyers' Professional Indemnity Company
                            >

                            Excellent post. I've noticed this as well. This evolutionary process
                            can't go fast enough for me.

                            Regards,
                            Bill Berger
                          • Jeff
                            a boss who wants a hard and firm estimate on a project that is guessed to be 3 months. i told him we could estimate sprints, but not the entire project to
                            Message 13 of 30 , May 8, 2008
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                              a boss who wants a "hard and firm" estimate on a project that is guessed to be 3 months.  i told him we could estimate sprints, but not the entire project to an exact.  i said just double or triple the estimate if he wants a firm and exact time frame.  His respnose was that if this was how we ran our construction division our company would be out of business.  This guy was all hard core scrum/agile a while ago, but now all he cares about is firm estimates, detailed documention, and his favorite words "critical path". he thinks that doing scrum is having a daily 15 minute call. I am trying to convince my other non-technical boss how wrong this is... .(yeah i have 3 bosses actually, its almost like an office space nightmare --the scene from the movie--) and that software development is not building widgets.  i now feel like i am a broken record and ready to just give up on all this.



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                            • Ralph Jocham
                              Was this boss promoted recently? It is a pattern I see, that when someone who believes in agile/scrum/lean gets promoted to a higher level management position,
                              Message 14 of 30 , May 8, 2008
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                                Was this boss promoted recently? It is a pattern I see, that when someone
                                who believes in agile/scrum/lean gets promoted to a higher level management
                                position, they suddenly forget their former beliefs. Not sure, if it is pressure related.

                                You could try to explain and contrast 'Critical Chain' to 'Critical Path'.

                                /ralph

                                ----- Original Message ----
                                From: Jeff <asp_jobs@...>
                                To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                                Sent: Thursday, May 8, 2008 8:52:55 AM
                                Subject: [scrumdevelopment] how to respond to....

                                a boss who wants a "hard and firm" estimate on a project that is guessed to be 3 months.  i told him we could estimate sprints, but not the entire project to an exact.  i said just double or triple the estimate if he wants a firm and exact time frame.  His respnose was that if this was how we ran our construction division our company would be out of business.  This guy was all hard core scrum/agile a while ago, but now all he cares about is firm estimates, detailed documention, and his favorite words "critical path". he thinks that doing scrum is having a daily 15 minute call. I am trying to convince my other non-technical boss how wrong this is... .(yeah i have 3 bosses actually, its almost like an office space nightmare --the scene from the movie--) and that software development is not building widgets.  i now feel like i am a broken record and ready to just give up on all this.



                                Make Windows Vista more reliable and secure with Windows Vista Service Pack 1. Learn more.



                                Be a better friend, newshound, and know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile. Try it now.
                              • Ilja Preuss
                                ... Well, there *is* a way to have a hard and firm estimate - have the *scope* soft and labile. ... Have you talked to people from your construction division
                                Message 15 of 30 , May 8, 2008
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  Jeff wrote:
                                  > a boss who wants a "hard and firm" estimate on a project that is
                                  > guessed to be 3 months.

                                  Well, there *is* a way to have a hard and firm estimate - have the
                                  *scope* soft and labile.

                                  > i told him we could estimate sprints, but
                                  > not the entire project to an exact. i said just double or triple
                                  > the estimate if he wants a firm and exact time frame. His respnose
                                  > was that if this was how we ran our construction division our
                                  > company would be out of business.

                                  Have you talked to people from your construction division to learn how
                                  they estimate? Someone might learn something...

                                  Cheers, Ilja
                                • Peter Stevens
                                  ... I was just reading through Ilja s blog . His latest entry is a nice piece on retrospectives, and in particular
                                  Message 16 of 30 , May 8, 2008
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                                    barvybe wrote:

                                    I'm actually not really sure I understand the issue. Just because the
                                    "team" succeeds as one, doesn't mean that recognition, authority and
                                    seniority don't exist. Even in pair programming, one of the pair is
                                    typically senior. If the pair succeeds they would get most of the
                                    credit and if they fail most of the blame as accountability for the
                                    pair's work is mostly on the senior person's shoulders.

                                     


                                    
                                    
                                    I was just reading through Ilja's blog. His latest entry is a nice piece on retrospectives, and in particular "appreciative retrospectives", in which praise is given by the team to the other members of the team.

                                    Personally I have become a big fan of using retrospectives to build a common understanding of what's happened, a common vision of what should be done and most important, appreciation for what the team has been doing well.

                                    A little bit of ego soothing goes a long way ;-)

                                    Cheers,

                                    Peter
                                    -- 
                                    Peter Stevens, CSM
                                    http://scrum-breakfast.blogspot.com
                                    http://fingerspell.sierra-charlie.com
                                    tel: +41 44 586 6450
                                    
                                  • David H.
                                    ... Without wanting to sound rude, but how do you use a retrospective. Yes I agree the CSM is a facilitator you are a neutral retrospective guide and based
                                    Message 17 of 30 , May 8, 2008
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      >
                                      > Personally I have become a big fan of using retrospectives to build a

                                      Without wanting to sound rude, but how do you "use" a retrospective.
                                      Yes I agree the CSM is a facilitator you are a neutral retrospective
                                      guide and based on your perception you will aim to guide the
                                      retrospective towards a certain idea of a goal, but as the
                                      retrospective is owned by the team, how do you use it?


                                      -d
                                      --
                                      Sent from gmail so do not trust this communication.
                                      Do not send me sensitive information here, ask for my none-gmail accounts.

                                      "Therefore the considerations of the intelligent always include both
                                      benefit and harm." - Sun Tzu
                                    • Peter Stevens
                                      Hi David, As scrum master coming to a new project, I have to teach everyone the rules of scrum and start the game . Step 1: get them motivated to play the
                                      Message 18 of 30 , May 8, 2008
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                                        Hi David,

                                        As scrum master coming to a new project, I have to teach everyone the rules of scrum and start the "game". Step 1: get them motivated to play the game.

                                        Scrum is a Denning(sp?) cycle: Plan -> Do -> Evaluate -> Improve, where "Improve" is the retrospective. Question: where is the best place to start if you want to get the team motivated and organizing itself?

                                        I have done it both at Plan and Improve, where Plan is "Teach them Scrum, Do the Sprint Zero preplanning (definition of done, initial backlog, first planing meetings etc). Then start the first sprint." So I tell them they are going to be self organizing? Certain irony there, don't you think? And, my experience has been that this can plant the seeds of resistance in the team.

                                        By starting with a retrospective, you are: Learning what has happened (and assuring that everybody knows and understands the important issues faced by everyone in the team), finding out what works well (a classic consultant's attitude is telling everyone what they have been doing wrong, so having the consultant find out and keep the good is a new experience for a lot of people), then ask them what can be improved, then let prioritize it. At the end of the process, the team is motivated to move forward.

                                        I have started out with two projects in crisis using this method and found the results are fantastic, because a group of developers becomes a self organizing team -- without realizing it ;-) The only trick is making sure management is present for the retrospectives, so that the team will actually be allowed to do what they propose. If not, this can be a major impediment to success.

                                        My experience has also been, 4 of the top 5 issues raised by the team in these situations are issues optimally addressed by Scrum, and so now everyone is ready and willing to hear the Scrum training. And so acceptance is much easier.

                                        Cheers,

                                        Peter

                                        David H. wrote:

                                        >
                                        > Personally I have become a big fan of using retrospectives to build a

                                        Without wanting to sound rude, but how do you "use" a retrospective.
                                        Yes I agree the CSM is a facilitator you are a neutral retrospective
                                        guide and based on your perception you will aim to guide the
                                        retrospective towards a certain idea of a goal, but as the
                                        retrospective is owned by the team, how do you use it?

                                        -d
                                        --
                                        Sent from gmail so do not trust this communication.
                                        Do not send me sensitive information here, ask for my none-gmail accounts.

                                        "Therefore the considerations of the intelligent always include both
                                        benefit and harm." - Sun Tzu



                                        -- 
                                        Peter Stevens, CSM
                                        http://scrum-breakfast.blogspot.com
                                        http://fingerspell.sierra-charlie.com
                                        tel: +41 44 586 6450
                                        
                                      • Roy Morien
                                        You clearly can t take a new group and say OK, now self-organise . My experience includes introducing a couple of hundred students to Scrum and iterative
                                        Message 19 of 30 , May 10, 2008
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                                          You clearly can't take a new group and say "OK, now self-organise". My experience includes introducing a couple of hundred students to Scrum and iterative development, after they had waterfall method pushed down their throats for 2 years before.
                                           
                                          The students were quite bewildered by this. Basically, I just told them "OK, we start with small iterations of 1 week'. You are expected to select enough work in the project for one week ... it is up to you what you select". I had a job on my hands to get them to produce code as part of their first couple of iterations ... they did the inevitable thing of trying to produce a lot of documentation that outran the construction. But, very soon they got the knack of this iterative stuff, and they started rolling along quite happilly. Ultimately it was considered a great success by most of them, after they saw the point of it all.
                                           
                                          In an industry environment, I can't see that this is a bad idea. But you would have a longer time to then start introducing other ideas and practices, such as testing regimes.
                                           
                                          What they did learn was that you do not need a full database schema design before you can construct the database. That was a great learning experience for them ... database evolution.
                                           
                                          Regards,
                                          Roy Morien





                                          To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                                          From: peterstev@...
                                          Date: Thu, 8 May 2008 23:04:35 +0200
                                          Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Scrum Development - I am much more senior ...

                                          Hi David,

                                          As scrum master coming to a new project, I have to teach everyone the rules of scrum and start the "game". Step 1: get them motivated to play the game.

                                          Scrum is a Denning(sp?) cycle: Plan -> Do -> Evaluate -> Improve, where "Improve" is the retrospective. Question: where is the best place to start if you want to get the team motivated and organizing itself?

                                          I have done it both at Plan and Improve, where Plan is "Teach them Scrum, Do the Sprint Zero preplanning (definition of done, initial backlog, first planing meetings etc). Then start the first sprint." So I tell them they are going to be self organizing? Certain irony there, don't you think? And, my experience has been that this can plant the seeds of resistance in the team.

                                          By starting with a retrospective, you are: Learning what has happened (and assuring that everybody knows and understands the important issues faced by everyone in the team), finding out what works well (a classic consultant's attitude is telling everyone what they have been doing wrong, so having the consultant find out and keep the good is a new experience for a lot of people), then ask them what can be improved, then let prioritize it. At the end of the process, the team is motivated to move forward.

                                          I have started out with two projects in crisis using this method and found the results are fantastic, because a group of developers becomes a self organizing team -- without realizing it ;-) The only trick is making sure management is present for the retrospectives, so that the team will actually be allowed to do what they propose. If not, this can be a major impediment to success.

                                          My experience has also been, 4 of the top 5 issues raised by the team in these situations are issues optimally addressed by Scrum, and so now everyone is ready and willing to hear the Scrum training. And so acceptance is much easier.

                                          Cheers,

                                          Peter

                                          David H. wrote:

                                          >
                                          > Personally I have become a big fan of using retrospectives to build a

                                          Without wanting to sound rude, but how do you "use" a retrospective.
                                          Yes I agree the CSM is a facilitator you are a neutral retrospective
                                          guide and based on your perception you will aim to guide the
                                          retrospective towards a certain idea of a goal, but as the
                                          retrospective is owned by the team, how do you use it?

                                          -d
                                          --
                                          Sent from gmail so do not trust this communication.
                                          Do not send me sensitive information here, ask for my none-gmail accounts.

                                          "Therefore the considerations of the intelligent always include both
                                          benefit and harm." - Sun Tzu



                                          -- 
                                          Peter Stevens, CSM
                                          http://scrum- breakfast. blogspot. com
                                          http://fingerspell. sierra-charlie. com
                                          tel: +41 44 586 6450
                                          



                                          Click here Search for local singles online @ Lavalife.
                                        • Roy Morien
                                          A hard and firm estimate that is GUESSED ... yes, I suppose this is the way managers want it ... but what a contradiction, Regards, Roy Morien To:
                                          Message 20 of 30 , May 10, 2008
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                                            A 'hard and firm' estimate that is GUESSED ... yes, I suppose this is the way managers want it ... but what a contradiction,
                                             
                                            Regards,
                                            Roy Morien





                                            To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                                            From: it@...
                                            Date: Thu, 8 May 2008 21:55:14 +0200
                                            Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] how to respond to....

                                            Jeff wrote:
                                            > a boss who wants a "hard and firm" estimate on a project that is
                                            > guessed to be 3 months.

                                            Well, there *is* a way to have a hard and firm estimate - have the
                                            *scope* soft and labile.

                                            > i told him we could estimate sprints, but
                                            > not the entire project to an exact. i said just double or triple
                                            > the estimate if he wants a firm and exact time frame. His respnose
                                            > was that if this was how we ran our construction division our
                                            > company would be out of business.

                                            Have you talked to people from your construction division to learn how
                                            they estimate? Someone might learn something...

                                            Cheers, Ilja



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