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Re: Scrum Development - I am much more senior ...

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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.



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          • 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 5 of 30 , May 8, 2008
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              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 6 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 7 of 30 , May 8, 2008
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                  >
                  > 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 8 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 9 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
                      



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                    • 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 10 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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