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Quick Poll: Take the Nokia Test

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  • peterstev
    Last week, I asked the question, How agile are you ? which I defined in Lean
    Message 1 of 7 , May 30, 2008
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      Last week, I asked the question, "How agile are you?" which I defined in Lean terms, i.e. the amount of time needed to generate business value for the customer.

      This week, I thought it would be interesting to take the temperature of agile teams in terms of the Nokia Test. So please come and vote (please note that there are two questions to answer).

      As usual, I will publish the results when the poll is complete.

      Thanks!

      Peter
    • peterstev
      Joe Little pointed out some important corrections to my formulation of the Nokia test
      Message 2 of 7 , May 31, 2008
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        Joe Little pointed out some important corrections to my formulation of the Nokia test . So I corrected the text and pulled and reformulated the poll.

        Now I know what it's like to cancel a sprint: a lot of work, a lot of hectic under time pressure, and you have to throw away all your work. :-(  Not recommended.

        So if you already voted, please come vote again (and if you haven't, please come and vote any way). Please note that there are two polls: one is for the individual points in the test, the other for your total score.

        And, if your score isn't 8, it would be interesting to hear why you skipped some of these points...

        Thanks & Cheers,

        Peter


      • Joseph Little
        Peter, Thanks! I think it is good if people think about the Nokia Test more. The Nokia Test does not address every issue. It is a blunt instrument. It is
        Message 3 of 7 , May 31, 2008
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          Peter,

          Thanks! I think it is good if people think about the Nokia Test more.

          The Nokia Test does not address every issue. It is a blunt
          instrument. It is the thinking that we want most.

          When you don't get a perfect score (and very many won't), ask
          yourself: Why did we think we could live without that? And why would
          Nokia think it was essential?

          If it were my test, I would ask if the team has an Impediments List
          and knocks down one impediment per week. As one small example. But
          then, I think people rightly might pay more attention to a Nokia Test
          than a Little Test.

          Thanks, Joe

          CST --
          Blog: Agile & Business
          leanagiletraining.com


          --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "peterstev" <peterstev@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Joe Little pointed out some important corrections to my formulation of
          > the Nokia test
          > <http://scrum-breakfast.blogspot.com/2008/05/quick-poll-nokia-test.html>
          > . So I corrected the text and pulled and reformulated the poll.
          >
          > Now I know what it's like to cancel a sprint: a lot of work, a lot of
          > hectic under time pressure, and you have to throw away all your work.
          > :-( Not recommended.
          >
          > So if you already voted, please come vote again
          > <http://scrum-breakfast.blogspot.com/2008/05/quick-poll-nokia-test.html>
          > (and if you haven't, please come and vote any way). Please note that
          > there are two polls: one is for the individual points in the test, the
          > other for your total score.
          >
          > And, if your score isn't 8, it would be interesting to hear why you
          > skipped some of these points...
          >
          > Thanks & Cheers,
          >
          > Peter
          >
        • Tobias Mayer
          I don t like all the recent focus on the Nokia Test. Any Scrum test that has absolutely no mention of empiricism (inspect/adapt) is utterly missing the point.
          Message 4 of 7 , May 31, 2008
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            I don't like all the recent focus on the Nokia Test. Any Scrum test
            that has absolutely no mention of empiricism (inspect/adapt) is utterly
            missing the point. How could keeping a burndown chart possibly be more
            important than holding reviews and retrospectives?

            Does anyone actually know if Nokia are really doing Scrum? My guess is
            that if Nokia see so little value in the empirical nature of Scrum as to
            exclude it from their survey then they are probably not.

            Personally I'd prefer the Little Test, at least it would have come from
            someone with some known experience and reputation in this field.

            Tobias





            --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Joseph Little" <jhlittle@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > Peter,
            >
            > Thanks! I think it is good if people think about the Nokia Test more.
            >
            > The Nokia Test does not address every issue. It is a blunt
            > instrument. It is the thinking that we want most.
            >
            > When you don't get a perfect score (and very many won't), ask
            > yourself: Why did we think we could live without that? And why would
            > Nokia think it was essential?
            >
            > If it were my test, I would ask if the team has an Impediments List
            > and knocks down one impediment per week. As one small example. But
            > then, I think people rightly might pay more attention to a Nokia Test
            > than a Little Test.
            >
            > Thanks, Joe
            >
            > CST --
            > Blog: Agile & Business
            > leanagiletraining.com
            >
            >
            > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "peterstev" peterstev@
            > wrote:
            > >
            > > Joe Little pointed out some important corrections to my formulation
            of
            > > the Nokia test
            > >
            <http://scrum-breakfast.blogspot.com/2008/05/quick-poll-nokia-test.html>
            > > . So I corrected the text and pulled and reformulated the poll.
            > >
            > > Now I know what it's like to cancel a sprint: a lot of work, a lot
            of
            > > hectic under time pressure, and you have to throw away all your
            work.
            > > :-( Not recommended.
            > >
            > > So if you already voted, please come vote again
            > >
            <http://scrum-breakfast.blogspot.com/2008/05/quick-poll-nokia-test.html>
            > > (and if you haven't, please come and vote any way). Please note that
            > > there are two polls: one is for the individual points in the test,
            the
            > > other for your total score.
            > >
            > > And, if your score isn't 8, it would be interesting to hear why you
            > > skipped some of these points...
            > >
            > > Thanks & Cheers,
            > >
            > > Peter
            > >
            >
          • Peter Stevens
            Hi Joe, I agree with you, the Nokia test is an excellent place to start. Yes, it s a blunt instrument and it s not perfect. Personally, I would change point
            Message 5 of 7 , May 31, 2008
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              Hi Joe,

              I agree with you, the Nokia test is an excellent place to start. Yes, it's a blunt instrument and it's not perfect. Personally, I would change point two from "Is software tested and working" to "Is there a definition of done which is consistently applied?" Still, as first test, it is simple and easy to apply.

              If a team scores 7 or 8, they have probably thought about Scrum and made a serious effort to implement it. If they only scored 7, there is probably a reason. (I speak from experience - I have been involved in two major projects, one scored a 7, the other an 8. Why was one project a seven? Because the customer ordered HTML templates from us, not working code, so there was nothing to test. We did have a definition of done though. So in my opinion, we were doing Scrum.).

              So if the team scores 6 or less, then they probably need to work on the basics and may need some remedial Scrum training. The team that scores 7 or 8 may need some coaching, but they are surely on the right track.

              In public health, there is a distinction between screening tests and diagnostic tests. Screening tests are potentially given to large numbers of people. Ideally, they should be cheap and produce few false negatives, so infected persons don't slip through, but they may produce false positives.

              So the Nokia test is our screening test. A basic check of the health of the team and the Scrum process. The "Stevens Cut": 6 or less and you're not doing Scrum. A 7 or 8 doesn't guarrantee that the team is doing Scrum, but that a closer look is merited to see how the team is doing.

              Diagnostic tests are given to a much smaller number of people: only those who turned up positive on the screening test, in our case, those who pass the Stevens Cut. So they can be much more expensive and/or require specialized training and equipment to perform. However this test should produce few if any false negatives.

              What then is the diagnostic test for Scrum teams?

              I think this is where the"Little" test comes in. It should complement, not replace the Nokia test. It would ask more questions and probe deeper (which will prevent it from being used as quick poll on my blog though ;-) ). In short, the Little test should not assess whether the team is doing Scrum, but how well the team is doing Scrum.

              My candidate topics for the Little test:
              • Scrummaster/servant leadership
              • Daily Scrum
              • Retrospectives
              • Impediment handling
              • Interfaces outside of team, e.g. customer and organization
              • Protection of Team from Management and Customer
              Cheers,

              Peter



              Joseph Little schrieb:
              >
              > Peter,
              >
              > Thanks! I think it is good if people think about the Nokia Test
              more.
              >
              > The Nokia Test does not address every issue. It is a blunt
              > instrument. It is the thinking that we want most.
              >
              > When you don't get a perfect score (and very many won't), ask
              > yourself: Why did we think we could live without that? And why
              would
              > Nokia think it was essential?
              >
              > If it were my test, I would ask if the team has an Impediments List
              > and knocks down one impediment per week. As one small example. But
              > then, I think people rightly might pay more attention to a Nokia
              Test
              > than a Little Test.
              >
              > Thanks, Joe
              >
              > CST --
              > Blog: Agile & Business
              > leanagiletraining.com

              -- 
              Peter Stevens, CSM
              http://scrum-breakfast.blogspot.com
              http://fingerspell.sierra-charlie.com
              tel: +41 44 586 6450
              
              
            • Nina Niskanen
              ... Yes, they are doing Scrum. And a +1 to Peter. According to what info has been published and talked about in miniseminars here in Finland (the birthplace of
              Message 6 of 7 , Jun 1 2:26 AM
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                2008/6/1, Tobias Mayer <tobias.mayer@...>:
                >
                > Does anyone actually know if Nokia are really doing Scrum? My guess is
                > that if Nokia see so little value in the empirical nature of Scrum as to
                > exclude it from their survey then they are probably not.

                Yes, they are doing Scrum.

                And a +1 to Peter. According to what info has been published and
                talked about in miniseminars here in Finland (the birthplace of
                Nokia), the Nokia test is hardly even the tip of the iceberg regarding
                Nokias agile adoption. To me at least the Nokia test is very
                indicative of whether or not a team is at all agile. They might get
                top scores with the test and still not do agile very well, but they
                are still agile/IID. That's the other thing; if memory serves me
                correct, the test is not to indicate, whether the team is doing Scrum,
                but whether the team is doing agile/IID.

                Nina
                --
                I reject your reality and substitute my own.
              • Joseph Little
                I think Nina gets the idea. It is NOT a test of whether a team is doing Scrum well. It is whether one team is possibly doing something like Scrum (ie, a fair
                Message 7 of 7 , Jun 1 7:13 AM
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                  I think Nina gets the idea.

                  It is NOT a test of whether a team is doing Scrum well. It is whether
                  one team is possibly doing something like Scrum (ie, a fair chance
                  that they are not doing Waterfall and calling it Scrum, and a fair
                  chance that they are not doing Cowboy Agile and calling it Scrum).

                  It is to keep away from the worst smells.

                  If you don't have a pitcher, if you don't call an out after 3 strikes,
                  you are NOT playing baseball. Those questions don't say whether you
                  are playing baseball. And certainly not whether you are playing at a
                  major league level.

                  Little Test: I will of course in my head use a Little Test to judge
                  whether the teams I am working with a doing it "well enough for now".
                  But I would never publicly declare a Little Test. I think it has to
                  come from user firms. I welcome additional tests, such as the Exxon
                  Mobil test or the IBM Test or the Sam's Web Design Test, etc. And one
                  hopes they will listen to smart folks like you all in constructing
                  their version.

                  I think that Tobias and Peter and Nina raised some good issues. No
                  test would be perfect (in my opinion), and certainly the Nokia Test is
                  not perfect. Imperfection does not void its usefulness in some
                  contexts. If you wait for perfection, you will wait too long.

                  Regards, Joe


                  --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Nina Niskanen"
                  <nina.niskanen@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > 2008/6/1, Tobias Mayer <tobias.mayer@...>:
                  > >
                  > > Does anyone actually know if Nokia are really doing Scrum? My
                  guess is
                  > > that if Nokia see so little value in the empirical nature of
                  Scrum as to
                  > > exclude it from their survey then they are probably not.
                  >
                  > Yes, they are doing Scrum.
                  >
                  > And a +1 to Peter. According to what info has been published and
                  > talked about in miniseminars here in Finland (the birthplace of
                  > Nokia), the Nokia test is hardly even the tip of the iceberg regarding
                  > Nokias agile adoption. To me at least the Nokia test is very
                  > indicative of whether or not a team is at all agile. They might get
                  > top scores with the test and still not do agile very well, but they
                  > are still agile/IID. That's the other thing; if memory serves me
                  > correct, the test is not to indicate, whether the team is doing Scrum,
                  > but whether the team is doing agile/IID.
                  >
                  > Nina
                  > --
                  > I reject your reality and substitute my own.
                  >
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