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Re: Outsource Scrum

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  • Joseph Little
    Hi, As others are telling you, the outsource firm has misunderstood Scrum. This is common (all the reasons why would take too long to tell). Assume positive
    Message 1 of 25 , Oct 1, 2008
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      Hi,

      As others are telling you, the outsource firm has misunderstood Scrum.
      This is common (all the reasons why would take too long to tell).

      Assume positive intent on their part. And tell 'em all those folks on
      ScrumDev said the way to play is that the PO plays with the Team.
      Show 'em the book, etc.

      Action items:
      1. Talk to your CEO. Get him/her prepared that if they don't change
      their minds, this is too stupid a situation.
      2. Get on a plane and visit them (see Mike Vizdos' suggestion
      earlier). Talk face to face.

      Then inspect and adapt.

      It is likely you will be forced to make a tough decision: do I stay
      (in this broken relationship) or do I go? It will improve
      somewhat...but how much?? Enough?? Fast enough??

      Talk to them about why they DON'T want you around. Talk to them about
      why you WANT to be around. Show some consideration for their views,
      but, if you have the time to play (and meet other criteria of a PO)
      than you basically are right.

      On their side, one underlying reason (typically) is they don't want to
      show you their imperfections. (And maybe you don't want to show
      yours?!?!) Anyway, it's a normal human feeling; give 'em a way to
      adjust into that.

      Note: Listen for the meaning beneath their words.

      On their side, it is also pretty likely that someone, somewhere in the
      past, had a relationship with a client where their "approach" seemed
      the best solution. Just because it's dumb does not mean it wasn't "the
      best of all possible worlds" at that time. Maybe 3 years ago with a
      different client...who knows.

      PO: an easy job, right? (By which I partly mean that it is
      extraordinarily normal for the Team not to know how to play with the
      PO at first, and vice versa.)

      Best regards, Joe



      --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "wfc_85283" <garvinpromo@...>
      wrote:
      >
      > I work for a small company. Prior to my arrival, the owner contracted
      > our development to a company in Mexico. I was hired to manage the
      > project. The outfit in Mexico informed me that they develop using the
      > Scrum framework. I am new to Scrum, I've spent the last 4 weeks
      > educating myself on Scrum.
      >
      > I have the responsibility to ensure that the system meets requirements
      > and that the final product is a system that is maintainable and one
      > that can grow with the changing needs of the business.
      >
      > I am the Product Owner. I have given the folks in Mexico a
      > Waterfall-ish requirements document and the Product Backlog containing
      > the user stories.
      >
      > I'm concerned because the outsourcing firm has shown little interest
      > in getting to know our business model. I have received no questions
      > or feedback on the documents that I gave them. They have indicated
      > that although I am the Product Owner, I will not be involved in the
      > Sprint Planning meeting, the Sprint Review nor will I be invited to
      > the daily Scrums.
      >
      > I thought Scrum called for more communication, not less. I thought
      > Scrum called for a Team that possessed a strong business knowledge.
      >
      > Our first Sprint is scheduled to start on Monday. I'm really at a
      > loss as to how to continue. It seems obvious to me that they are
      > clueless but being new to Scrum I'm not so sure.
      >
      > All comments are welcome. Thanks in advance for your input.
      >
      > Bill
      >
    • woynam
      Actually, it does sound like Scum(tm). :-) Scum(tm) should not be confused with Scrum, however. Scum(tm) was invented by ol PMBOK types to confuse people. You
      Message 2 of 25 , Oct 1, 2008
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        Actually, it does sound like Scum(tm). :-) Scum(tm) should not be
        confused with Scrum, however.

        Scum(tm) was invented by 'ol PMBOK types to confuse people. You really
        do need to see the contract to determine if it says the team would use
        Scum(tm) or Scrum.

        In Scum(tm), PO doesn't stand for Product Owner. It stands for P*ss Off.

        Mark

        --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Bill Campbell"
        <garvinpromo@...> wrote:
        >
        > I agree, it doesn't sound like Scum to me either. Being new to Scrum I
        > thought maybe I was missing something,
        >
        > Thanks.
        >
        > On Sat, Sep 27, 2008 at 6:38 AM, Doug McQuilken <dougmcq000@...>wrote:
        >
        > > Hmmm............. if there is no transparency how would you know
        whether
        > > they utilized scrum methodology?
        > >
        > > Regards,
        > > Doug
        > >
        > > --- On *Sat, 9/27/08, George Dinwiddie <lists@...>* wrote:
        > >
        > > From: George Dinwiddie <lists@...>
        > > Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Outsource Scrum
        > > To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
        > > Date: Saturday, September 27, 2008, 12:06 AM
        > >
        > > wfc_85283 wrote:
        > > > I work for a small company. Prior to my arrival, the owner
        contracted
        > > > our development to a company in Mexico. I was hired to manage the
        > > > project. The outfit in Mexico informed me that they develop
        using the
        > > > Scrum framework. I am new to Scrum, I've spent the last 4 weeks
        > > > educating myself on Scrum.
        > >
        > > How often are they to deliver working code to you?
        > >
        > > Do you have access to the contract to see what they are obligated
        to do?
        > > It may well be that their mention of Scrum has nothing to do with
        > > their relationship with their clients.
        > >
        > > - George
        > >
        > > --
        > > ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
        > > * George Dinwiddie * http://blog. gdinwiddie.
        com<http://blog.gdinwiddie.com>
        > > Software Development http://www.idiacomp
        uting.com<http://www.idiacomputing.com>
        > > Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemar
        yland.org<http://www.agilemaryland.org>
        > > ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >
      • davidwebb000
        Having been a consumer and a provider of nearshore agile development services I usually recommend the product owner gets in front of the development team at
        Message 3 of 25 , Oct 2, 2008
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          Having been a consumer and a provider of nearshore agile development services I
          usually recommend the product owner gets in front of the development team at least one
          week in 12. A well performing agile development team can produce a lot of code that is
          not required without the constant steering of the product owner. That is very difficult to do
          when the PO does not have a rapport with the team. I have always found in these
          circumstances that for your $2k of travel you get a great return on your investment.
          Regards
          David
          www.exigenservices.com
          --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Mike Vizdos <mvizdos@...> wrote:
          >
          > Time for you to hop on a plane?
          >
          > Thank you,
          >
          > - Mike Vizdos
          > Vizdos Enterprises, LLC
          >
          > Contact Information
          >
          > Web: www.implementingscrum.com
          > www.michaelvizdos.com
          >
          > AOL IM: MikeV Work
          > Twitter: mvizdos
          > Skype: mvizdos
          > Phone: +1 619-709-1716
          > Fax: +1 425-675-7296
          >
          > PS: Come to one of my workshops. Visit michaelvizdos.com/enroll.
          >
          > PPS: Visit implementingscrum.com/subscribe. Receive 2 FREE videos.
          >
          > On Sep 26, 2008, at 2:25 PM, wfc_85283 wrote:
          >
          > > I work for a small company. Prior to my arrival, the owner contracted
          > > our development to a company in Mexico. I was hired to manage the
          > > project. The outfit in Mexico informed me that they develop using the
          > > Scrum framework. I am new to Scrum, I've spent the last 4 weeks
          > > educating myself on Scrum.
          > >
          > > I have the responsibility to ensure that the system meets requirements
          > > and that the final product is a system that is maintainable and one
          > > that can grow with the changing needs of the business.
          > >
          > > I am the Product Owner. I have given the folks in Mexico a
          > > Waterfall-ish requirements document and the Product Backlog containing
          > > the user stories.
          > >
          > > I'm concerned because the outsourcing firm has shown little interest
          > > in getting to know our business model. I have received no questions
          > > or feedback on the documents that I gave them. They have indicated
          > > that although I am the Product Owner, I will not be involved in the
          > > Sprint Planning meeting, the Sprint Review nor will I be invited to
          > > the daily Scrums.
          > >
          > > I thought Scrum called for more communication, not less. I thought
          > > Scrum called for a Team that possessed a strong business knowledge.
          > >
          > > Our first Sprint is scheduled to start on Monday. I'm really at a
          > > loss as to how to continue. It seems obvious to me that they are
          > > clueless but being new to Scrum I'm not so sure.
          > >
          > > All comments are welcome. Thanks in advance for your input.
          > >
          > > Bill
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
        • mike.dwyer1@comcast.net
          I find this to be hard to fathom A well performing agile development team can produce a lot of code that is not required without the constant steering of the
          Message 4 of 25 , Oct 3, 2008
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            I find this to be hard to fathom
            "A well performing agile development team can produce a lot of code that is not required without the constant steering of the product owner."
            First if the product owner is not a part of the team how do they know what done is. Second any team that is good at scrum stops building and goes surfing once they have built to the PO definition of DONE.
            You might reconsider their level of skill and self discipline.

            Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


            From: "davidwebb000" <david.webb@...>
            Date: Thu, 02 Oct 2008 07:42:19 -0000
            To: <scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com>
            Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Outsource Scrum

            Having been a consumer and a provider of nearshore agile development services I
            usually recommend the product owner gets in front of the development team at least one
            week in 12. A well performing agile development team can produce a lot of code that is
            not required without the constant steering of the product owner. That is very difficult to do
            when the PO does not have a rapport with the team. I have always found in these
            circumstances that for your $2k of travel you get a great return on your investment.
            Regards
            David
            www.exigenservices. com

            --- In scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com, Mike Vizdos <mvizdos@... > wrote:
            >
            > Time for you to hop on a plane?
            >
            > Thank you,
            >
            > - Mike Vizdos
            > Vizdos Enterprises, LLC
            >
            > Contact Information
            >
            > Web: www.implementingscr um.com
            > www.michaelvizdos. com
            >
            > AOL IM: MikeV Work
            > Twitter: mvizdos
            > Skype: mvizdos
            > Phone: +1 619-709-1716
            > Fax: +1 425-675-7296
            >
            > PS: Come to one of my workshops. Visit michaelvizdos. com/enroll.
            >
            > PPS: Visit implementingscrum. com/subscribe. Receive 2 FREE videos.
            >
            > On Sep 26, 2008, at 2:25 PM, wfc_85283 wrote:
            >
            > > I work for a small company. Prior to my arrival, the owner contracted
            > > our development to a company in Mexico. I was hired to manage the
            > > project. The outfit in Mexico informed me that they develop using the
            > > Scrum framework. I am new to Scrum, I've spent the last 4 weeks
            > > educating myself on Scrum.
            > >
            > > I have the responsibility to ensure that the system meets requirements
            > > and that the final product is a system that is maintainable and one
            > > that can grow with the changing needs of the business.
            > >
            > > I am the Product Owner. I have given the folks in Mexico a
            > > Waterfall-ish requirements document and the Product Backlog containing
            > > the user stories.
            > >
            > > I'm concerned because the outsourcing firm has shown little interest
            > > in getting to know our business model. I have received no questions
            > > or feedback on the documents that I gave them. They have indicated
            > > that although I am the Product Owner, I will not be involved in the
            > > Sprint Planning meeting, the Sprint Review nor will I be invited to
            > > the daily Scrums.
            > >
            > > I thought Scrum called for more communication, not less. I thought
            > > Scrum called for a Team that possessed a strong business knowledge.
            > >
            > > Our first Sprint is scheduled to start on Monday. I'm really at a
            > > loss as to how to continue. It seems obvious to me that they are
            > > clueless but being new to Scrum I'm not so sure.
            > >
            > > All comments are welcome. Thanks in advance for your input.
            > >
            > > Bill
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >

          • andybrandt_dot_net
            Bill! Lots of good advice here already, but I feel I can contribute to the discussion as I run a company that delivers Scrum-based software development
            Message 5 of 25 , Oct 6, 2008
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              Bill!

              Lots of good advice here already, but I feel I can contribute to the
              discussion as I run a company that delivers Scrum-based software
              development services, so I see it from your Mexican partner's POV.
              Now, what they do is clearly wrong. You as a PO should be much more
              involved. You should be at least on Sprint Planning and Review, you
              should have access to the sprint and project backlogs, be able to
              inspect burndown and talk to the team whenever there is a need. Them
              not coming back with questions is especially worrying.

              It would be advisable if you would also have access to some kind of
              test system where you could follow what is being built.

              Now, all this is of course more difficult when working over a
              distance. We have the same problem with our clients - we meet with
              them sometimes, but normally we have to use technology to ensure their
              adequate engagement in the project. So we came up with a standard set
              of tools we give our clients to encourage them to be as much involved
              as possible.

              That includes:
              - access to project code repository – clients can view or download the
              repository at any moment,
              - access to project bug tracking & Wiki pages,
              - access to test system – it is the working version of the system
              under development with test data, automatically updated from the
              repository many times a day.
              - access Scrum tracking software – project backlog, sprint backlog,
              tasks, burndown are kept there, client is encourage to manage project
              backlog himself,
              - a Skype based project chat up at all times with whole team on,
              - ideally listening in to Daily Scrum + short discussion after if
              there are any points to be covered.

              All of this is implementable, especially as this project is only
              beginning. You should insist that your Mexican partner provides at
              least the level of openness and communication I'm writing about. As
              things stand now best you can do is fly there and try to get all I
              suggest above. And get to know those people - it really helps if you
              explain them face to face what you want and why you want it. I'm sure
              they want the project to be a success - their livelihood depends on it.

              Best regards,
              Andy Brandt

              Code Sprinters



              --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "wfc_85283" <garvinpromo@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > I work for a small company. Prior to my arrival, the owner contracted
              > our development to a company in Mexico. I was hired to manage the
              > project. The outfit in Mexico informed me that they develop using the
              > Scrum framework. I am new to Scrum, I've spent the last 4 weeks
              > educating myself on Scrum.
              >
              > I have the responsibility to ensure that the system meets requirements
              > and that the final product is a system that is maintainable and one
              > that can grow with the changing needs of the business.
              >
              > I am the Product Owner. I have given the folks in Mexico a
              > Waterfall-ish requirements document and the Product Backlog containing
              > the user stories.
              >
              > I'm concerned because the outsourcing firm has shown little interest
              > in getting to know our business model. I have received no questions
              > or feedback on the documents that I gave them. They have indicated
              > that although I am the Product Owner, I will not be involved in the
              > Sprint Planning meeting, the Sprint Review nor will I be invited to
              > the daily Scrums.
              >
              > I thought Scrum called for more communication, not less. I thought
              > Scrum called for a Team that possessed a strong business knowledge.
              >
              > Our first Sprint is scheduled to start on Monday. I'm really at a
              > loss as to how to continue. It seems obvious to me that they are
              > clueless but being new to Scrum I'm not so sure.
              >
              > All comments are welcome. Thanks in advance for your input.
              >
              > Bill
              >
            • chuckspublicprofile
              Bill, one more vote that you re on the right track. Get down there to Mexico and find out for yourself. Doing anything else is a disaster waiting to happen,
              Message 6 of 25 , Oct 6, 2008
              • 0 Attachment
                Bill, one more vote that you're on the right track.

                Get down there to Mexico and find out for yourself. Doing anything
                else is a disaster waiting to happen, IMO. I also like the "hire a
                coach" for a couple of days suggestion.

                Due to your recent introduction to Scrum, please feel free to use this
                list as a resource to continue to investigate your issue.

                Charles Bradley
                CSM



                --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "andybrandt_dot_net"
                <andy@...> wrote:
                >
                > Bill!
                >
                > Lots of good advice here already, but I feel I can contribute to the
                > discussion as I run a company that delivers Scrum-based software
                > development services, so I see it from your Mexican partner's POV.
                > Now, what they do is clearly wrong. You as a PO should be much more
                > involved. You should be at least on Sprint Planning and Review, you
                > should have access to the sprint and project backlogs, be able to
                > inspect burndown and talk to the team whenever there is a need. Them
                > not coming back with questions is especially worrying.
                >
                > It would be advisable if you would also have access to some kind of
                > test system where you could follow what is being built.
                >
                > Now, all this is of course more difficult when working over a
                > distance. We have the same problem with our clients - we meet with
                > them sometimes, but normally we have to use technology to ensure their
                > adequate engagement in the project. So we came up with a standard set
                > of tools we give our clients to encourage them to be as much involved
                > as possible.
                >
                > That includes:
                > - access to project code repository – clients can view or download the
                > repository at any moment,
                > - access to project bug tracking & Wiki pages,
                > - access to test system – it is the working version of the system
                > under development with test data, automatically updated from the
                > repository many times a day.
                > - access Scrum tracking software – project backlog, sprint backlog,
                > tasks, burndown are kept there, client is encourage to manage project
                > backlog himself,
                > - a Skype based project chat up at all times with whole team on,
                > - ideally listening in to Daily Scrum + short discussion after if
                > there are any points to be covered.
                >
                > All of this is implementable, especially as this project is only
                > beginning. You should insist that your Mexican partner provides at
                > least the level of openness and communication I'm writing about. As
                > things stand now best you can do is fly there and try to get all I
                > suggest above. And get to know those people - it really helps if you
                > explain them face to face what you want and why you want it. I'm sure
                > they want the project to be a success - their livelihood depends on it.
                >
                > Best regards,
                > Andy Brandt
                >
                > Code Sprinters
                >
                >
                >
                > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "wfc_85283" <garvinpromo@>
                > wrote:
                > >
                > > I work for a small company. Prior to my arrival, the owner contracted
                > > our development to a company in Mexico. I was hired to manage the
                > > project. The outfit in Mexico informed me that they develop using the
                > > Scrum framework. I am new to Scrum, I've spent the last 4 weeks
                > > educating myself on Scrum.
                > >
                > > I have the responsibility to ensure that the system meets requirements
                > > and that the final product is a system that is maintainable and one
                > > that can grow with the changing needs of the business.
                > >
                > > I am the Product Owner. I have given the folks in Mexico a
                > > Waterfall-ish requirements document and the Product Backlog containing
                > > the user stories.
                > >
                > > I'm concerned because the outsourcing firm has shown little interest
                > > in getting to know our business model. I have received no questions
                > > or feedback on the documents that I gave them. They have indicated
                > > that although I am the Product Owner, I will not be involved in the
                > > Sprint Planning meeting, the Sprint Review nor will I be invited to
                > > the daily Scrums.
                > >
                > > I thought Scrum called for more communication, not less. I thought
                > > Scrum called for a Team that possessed a strong business knowledge.
                > >
                > > Our first Sprint is scheduled to start on Monday. I'm really at a
                > > loss as to how to continue. It seems obvious to me that they are
                > > clueless but being new to Scrum I'm not so sure.
                > >
                > > All comments are welcome. Thanks in advance for your input.
                > >
                > > Bill
                > >
                >
              • Vance, Terrie
                I would like to know how Configuration Management fits into Scrum Development. I am tracking what backlog task are being worked on, what task are complete,
                Message 7 of 25 , Oct 7, 2008
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                  I would like to know how Configuration Management fits into Scrum Development.  I am tracking what backlog task are being worked on, what task are complete, what task will be worked on in future iterations.

                   

                  I would also like to know how to handle defect corrections and change request.  My team feels that these are put on the backlog so they don't need to be identified in our CM Tool.

                   

                  Please help, I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle.  Our "Scrum Master" seems to think that CM does not have a place in Scrum Development.

                   

                   

                • Mark Levison
                  Vance it might be best if you spun this question out into its own thread. Alot more people will read in that way. Cheers Mark Levison
                  Message 8 of 25 , Oct 7, 2008
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Vance it might be best if you spun this question out into its own thread. Alot more people will read in that way.

                    Cheers
                    Mark Levison

                    On Tue, Oct 7, 2008 at 10:07 AM, Vance, Terrie <terrie.vance@...> wrote:

                    I would like to know how Configuration Management fits into Scrum Development.  I am tracking what backlog task are being worked on, what task are complete, what task will be worked on in future iterations.

                     

                    I would also like to know how to handle defect corrections and change request.  My team feels that these are put on the backlog so they don't need to be identified in our CM Tool.

                     

                    Please help, I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle.  Our "Scrum Master" seems to think that CM does not have a place in Scrum Development.

                     

                     


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