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Re: Challenge of increasing velocity - what level

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  • Paul Oldfield
    (responding to Don) ... I don t have the book handy either, but the usual quoted reason is that if you offer more than 10% you are implying that the management
    Message 1 of 13 , Jun 2, 2008
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      (responding to Don)

      > In Secrets of Consulting Jerry Weinberg advises not to offer
      > improvement figures > 10%. I'm at the Agile Coach Camp so
      > I don't have my book so read why ...

      I don't have the book handy either, but the usual quoted reason
      is that if you offer more than 10% you are implying that the
      management have been doing things wrong in the past, which
      gives them a motivation for finding fault with you and your
      ideas.

      Personally, I try telling it like it is. If I think there's
      potential for 5x, 10x or occasionally 20x improvement, but
      what I'll do is say "This is what's been achieved elsewhere.
      I believe we can use some of those ideas here and make some
      of those improvements in productivty". That allows them a
      way out; they can think that not all of the techniques
      would work here; think that "some" means a few percent when I
      have in mind more like 90%. A direct quote from one of my
      clients - "When I look back to what we were doing a year ago
      - I didn't realise how bad we were!"

      Paul.
    • Don Gray
      Joe, ... I believe it can. I d like to suggest this is necessary but not sufficient. To be sufficient I d like to hear more about the environment and team
      Message 2 of 13 , Jun 2, 2008
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        Joe,

        > Jeff Sutherland says that Scrum was built to increase productivity
        > 5x to 10x.

        I believe it can. I'd like to suggest this is necessary but not
        sufficient. To be sufficient I'd like to hear more about the
        environment and team composition. I once worked with a team built by
        the "you 5 people are now a team and we'll be using Scrum" method. To
        make team dynamics more interesting one person was remotely located in
        upstate New York with the rest of the team in California. Oh, and the
        three most senior people had prior responsibilities that didn't go
        away when the team ?formed?. I worked with this team from the sprint 2
        retrospective (demo crashed and burned) through sprint 7 (or so). They
        went from abysmal results to getting close to finishing the sprint
        backlog. The ScrumMaster who followed me told me somewhere around
        sprint 10 he saw some team like behavior.

        > We need to (figuratively) grab management by the collar and say: We
        > ain't doing business as usual any more! We're serious. You have to
        > help us knock down the impediments.

        Could we say "Scrum is capable of increasing a team's productivity
        between 5x and 10x. How much improvement your teams achieve is based
        on how much you support the change including appropriate training,
        changes in the team environment and engineering practices. You decide
        how much additional value you'd like to generate."

        --
        Don (336)374-7591

        The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life
        by altering his attitudes of mind.
        William James

        Change your attitude by attending the AYE Conference Nov 2 - 5, 2008
        www.AYEconference.com
      • Cory Foy
        Hi Joe, ... It seems like you know or have an idea of what the improvements can lead to. At least, you seem rather confident that you can have a significant
        Message 3 of 13 , Jun 2, 2008
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          Hi Joe,

          Joseph Little wrote:
          > We need to (figuratively) grab management by the collar and say: We
          > ain't doing business as usual any more! We're serious. You have to
          > help us knock down the impediments.

          It seems like you know or have an idea of what the improvements can lead
          to. At least, you seem rather confident that you can have a significant
          improvement in the organization by helping the teams have the courage to
          remove impediments.

          To steal a little from Paul's reply - I'm picturing the following
          scenario. Let's say I have dinner with the CTO, and he is sold on Scrum.
          I mean, he really gets it. Now you are talking with the managers, and
          telling them you are going to increase velocity, or improve the team,
          etc, etc. They know there is executive buy-in, but other than keeping
          their jobs, what is the incentive for them to jump in?

          It would seem like answering that question would give you the figurative
          collar grabbing mechanism. But as you know, it's a mechanism that
          requires respect and a light hand.

          (I've done this twice on teams where the manager was the cause of or was
          the impediment. By removing emotion (but not passion!) and showing
          improvements, and timelines for improvements, I was able to make it
          work. In one case, we started under the radar, so had some concrete
          numbers to show, but in both cases the managers took it personally - as
          I would expect many of us would.)

          --
          Cory Foy
          http://www.cornetdesign.com
        • Joseph Little
          Good comments all. My added riff is this: First you must be confident yourself. And feel the challenge yourself. Then, you must have a capable team (a team
          Message 4 of 13 , Jun 3, 2008
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            Good comments all. My added riff is this:

            First you must be confident yourself. And feel the challenge yourself.
            Then, you must have a capable team (a team that can complete a Sprint
            in this specific domain). If they aren't good enough, get the effort
            canned.
            You need to show a challenging vision, where you raise more promise
            than resistance.
            Finally you need to guide them gently to getting better and better.

            Without a vision, the people perish. (I think the Bible said that.)

            I agree one can present it like a jerk or one can present it in an
            inspiring way.

            I am finding courage, and all the little blankies that enable us to
            act on our courage, are so important. And the willingness to leave
            behind the past (not hard in most of the cases I see, except that we
            became comfortable with pain).

            Regards, Joe



            --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Cory Foy <usergroup@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi Joe,
            >
            > Joseph Little wrote:
            > > We need to (figuratively) grab management by the collar and say: We
            > > ain't doing business as usual any more! We're serious. You have to
            > > help us knock down the impediments.
            >
            > It seems like you know or have an idea of what the improvements can
            lead
            > to. At least, you seem rather confident that you can have a significant
            > improvement in the organization by helping the teams have the
            courage to
            > remove impediments.
            >
            > To steal a little from Paul's reply - I'm picturing the following
            > scenario. Let's say I have dinner with the CTO, and he is sold on
            Scrum.
            > I mean, he really gets it. Now you are talking with the managers, and
            > telling them you are going to increase velocity, or improve the team,
            > etc, etc. They know there is executive buy-in, but other than keeping
            > their jobs, what is the incentive for them to jump in?
            >
            > It would seem like answering that question would give you the
            figurative
            > collar grabbing mechanism. But as you know, it's a mechanism that
            > requires respect and a light hand.
            >
            > (I've done this twice on teams where the manager was the cause of or
            was
            > the impediment. By removing emotion (but not passion!) and showing
            > improvements, and timelines for improvements, I was able to make it
            > work. In one case, we started under the radar, so had some concrete
            > numbers to show, but in both cases the managers took it personally - as
            > I would expect many of us would.)
            >
            > --
            > Cory Foy
            > http://www.cornetdesign.com
            >
          • jay_conne
            Hi Cory, I like your approach - it s about what s in it for them. The only important answer should be that they can deliver real value faster, better and
            Message 5 of 13 , Jul 1, 2008
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              Hi Cory,

              I like your approach - it's about what's in it for them. The only
              important answer should be that they can deliver real value faster,
              better and cheaper.

              If they are primarily invested in hiding their incompetence and that
              of their team in the current context, they should be fired. Anyone
              with better character will jump at the chance to achieve the results
              Agile can demonstrate.

              Let me also say that my reference to incompetence of their team is not
              to blame the team. As Deming and Poppendieck write - it's usually
              about the system and not the individuals that are often victims of a
              dysfunctional system.

              Jay

              In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Cory Foy <usergroup@...> wrote:
              > ... Let's say I have dinner with the CTO, and he is sold on Scrum.
              > I mean, he really gets it. Now you are talking with the managers,
              and telling them you are going to increase velocity, or improve the
              team, etc, etc. They know there is executive buy-in, but other than
              keeping their jobs, what is the incentive for them to jump in?
              >
              > It would seem like answering that question would give you the
              figurative collar grabbing mechanism. But as you know, it's a
              mechanism that requires respect and a light hand.
              >
              > (I've done this twice on teams where the manager was the cause of or
              was the impediment. By removing emotion (but not passion!) and showing
              improvements, and timelines for improvements, I was able to make it
              work. In one case, we started under the radar, so had some concrete
              numbers to show, but in both cases the managers took it personally -
              as I would expect many of us would.)
              >
              > --
              > Cory Foy
              > http://www.cornetdesign.com
              >
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