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Scrum and requirements (was Re: SCRUM process with other methodologies)

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  • Claude Montpetit
    We just implemented a Scrum process and there are many stories that were added just for requirement analysis. This became necessary because the product is
    Message 1 of 22 , Apr 6 2:58 PM
      We just implemented a Scrum process and there are many stories that
      were added just for requirement analysis. This became necessary
      because the product is already sold and installed at some customer
      locations (a server product). These customers have custom
      requirements that we do for them and they (generally) pay us. So we
      need to estimate the work required for it. Producing an estimate is
      therefore a story that must be prioritized. Once the estimate is
      completed and the quote sent to the customer, another story is created
      in the product backlog:

      Implement request X for customer Y based on estimate Z

      Implementing Scrum is very new to me and I am not sure about how to
      deal with, for example, urgent estimates that must enter the current
      sprint. Telling the salesman to wait for the next iteration for the
      quote is not usually a good thing as it means that the implementation
      would in theory start very late:

      - month 1: submit the request
      - month 2: produce the estimate
      - month 3: implement the request

      This is not practical of course so we have been inserting estimates in
      the current sprint and informed the customer that he must decide in
      the current month whether he wants to go ahead or not if he wants it
      to be done in the next sprint.

      One of the strongest problem I had (and still have) implementing this
      process was to convince people outside of the development team
      (client, marketing, sales) that they should know about details of the
      products (bugs, certain improvements that look "too technical"...)

      Once the product backlog was transfered to "clients", and when I asked
      them to prioritize items, they thought that there was too many
      details. I then realized that they felt this way because they did not
      understand the product enough, and that the development team had been
      driving the product on their own since day one. Changing this around
      is a real challenge. For this reason, I am currently acting as both
      the Scrum master and the product owner until I can find someone
      outside the dev team that will take the product owner role and manage
      priorities.

      But overall, the implementation of a well defined process (Scrum) has
      been welcomed by the client/marketing/sales side as they know what we
      are working on now and they have control on what is next.

      -
      Claude Montpetit
      http://www.montpetit.net
    • Ron Jeffries
      ... The teams I have worked with can estimate things at a rate of several hundred per day, so I would think that if all you need is an estimate, you could just
      Message 2 of 22 , Apr 6 5:03 PM
        On Tuesday, April 6, 2004, at 5:58:14 PM, Claude Montpetit wrote:

        > Implementing Scrum is very new to me and I am not sure about how to
        > deal with, for example, urgent estimates that must enter the current
        > sprint. Telling the salesman to wait for the next iteration for the
        > quote is not usually a good thing as it means that the implementation
        > would in theory start very late:

        The teams I have worked with can estimate things at a rate of several
        hundred per day, so I would think that if all you need is an estimate, you
        could just wander in and ask. But of course there's this pig / chicken rule
        in Scrum, so I don't know what the official answer should be.

        On the other hand, my experience with sales people suggests that often
        things need not be as urgent as they tend to be described ...

        Ron Jeffries
        www.XProgramming.com
        Fear is the mindkiller. --Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear
      • Mike Cohn
        If these are truly one or two at a time I handle them in the next morning s Daily Scrum. We ll do the Scrum meeting as normal then everyone will stay for a few
        Message 3 of 22 , Apr 6 7:07 PM
          If these are truly one or two at a time I handle them in the next morning's
          Daily Scrum. We'll do the Scrum meeting as normal then everyone will stay
          for a few minutes and we'll estimate a story or two from the previous day or
          that came up early in the morning.

          We routinely also slip in an occasional one-hour estimating session in each
          sprint just to look outward at future stories. That will eventually stop but
          we're working through a large backlog of unestimated stories.

          --Mike Cohn
          Author of User Stories Applied for Agile Software Development
          www.userstories.com

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Ron Jeffries [mailto:ronjeffries@...]
          Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2004 6:04 PM
          To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Scrum and requirements (was Re: SCRUM
          process with other methodologies)

          On Tuesday, April 6, 2004, at 5:58:14 PM, Claude Montpetit wrote:

          > Implementing Scrum is very new to me and I am not sure about how to
          > deal with, for example, urgent estimates that must enter the current
          > sprint. Telling the salesman to wait for the next iteration for the
          > quote is not usually a good thing as it means that the implementation
          > would in theory start very late:

          The teams I have worked with can estimate things at a rate of several
          hundred per day, so I would think that if all you need is an estimate, you
          could just wander in and ask. But of course there's this pig / chicken rule
          in Scrum, so I don't know what the official answer should be.

          On the other hand, my experience with sales people suggests that often
          things need not be as urgent as they tend to be described ...

          Ron Jeffries
          www.XProgramming.com
          Fear is the mindkiller. --Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear



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        • Claude Montpetit
          Just in case it was misunderstood, what I was referring to in my post were not the usual product backlog estimates, but estimates used to establish a fixed
          Message 4 of 22 , Apr 6 8:33 PM
            Just in case it was misunderstood, what I was referring to in my post
            were not the usual product backlog estimates, but estimates used to
            establish a fixed price bid for some requested product extensions.
            Because they are for fixed price extensions, these estimation
            requests become stories on their own as opposed to the rough estimates
            that we set on most stories that enter the backlog.

            (I have personnally never worked on a team that can produce such
            estimates at a rate of hundred per day... must be great though ;)

            Claude

            --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Ron Jeffries
            <ronjeffries@X...> wrote:
            > On Tuesday, April 6, 2004, at 5:58:14 PM, Claude Montpetit wrote:
            >
            >>Implementing Scrum is very new to me and I am not sure about how to
            >>deal with, for example, urgent estimates that must enter the current
            >>sprint. Telling the salesman to wait for the next iteration for the
            >>quote is not usually a good thing as it means that the implementation
            >>would in theory start very late:
            >
            >The teams I have worked with can estimate things at a rate of several
            >hundred per day, so I would think that if all you need is an
            estimate, you
            >could just wander in and ask. But of course there's this pig
            > / chicken rule in Scrum, so I don't know what the official answer
            should be.
            >
            >On the other hand, my experience with sales people suggests that
            >often things need not be as urgent as they tend to be described ...
            >
            > Ron Jeffries
            > www.XProgramming.com
            > Fear is the mindkiller. --Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear
          • Ron Jeffries
            ... Yes. If it s a whole product, that would take a half-day or a day. I m talking about story estimates. If the group is commonly called upon to do that, I
            Message 5 of 22 , Apr 7 3:25 AM
              On Tuesday, April 6, 2004, at 11:33:23 PM, Claude Montpetit wrote:

              > Just in case it was misunderstood, what I was referring to in my post
              > were not the usual product backlog estimates, but estimates used to
              > establish a fixed price bid for some requested product extensions.
              > Because they are for fixed price extensions, these estimation
              > requests become stories on their own as opposed to the rough estimates
              > that we set on most stories that enter the backlog.

              > (I have personnally never worked on a team that can produce such
              > estimates at a rate of hundred per day... must be great though ;)

              Yes. If it's a whole product, that would take a half-day or a day. I'm
              talking about story estimates.

              If the group is commonly called upon to do that, I guess I'd just plan for
              it in the team's velocity.

              Ron Jeffries
              www.XProgramming.com
              Accroche toi a ton reve. --ELO
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