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Non-Software Scrum

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  • Bill Wake
    Have you (or do you know anybody who has) used Scrum as a general project management approach for a non-software project? I recall the discussion of Scrum used
    Message 1 of 10 , Jun 15, 2004
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      Have you (or do you know anybody who has) used Scrum as a general
      project management approach for a non-software project?

      I recall the discussion of Scrum used for family meetings, wedding
      planning, etc. from a couple months ago. This is good stuff, but I'm
      interested in something a little more restricted, ideally:

      - corporate (or near-corporate:) environment
      - timeboxed chunks
      - periodic incremental delivery
      - explicit, managed backlogs
      - periodic scrum and review meetings

      I'm aware of the original automobile examples from Nonaka et al.

      If you used it, what special challenges did you run into?

      Thanks!
      Bill Wake William.Wake@... www.xp123.com
      "Scrum on a page" - http://xp123.com/xplor/xp0401/
    • mbannen@topminds.com
      I hear it s used in rugby. Just kidding. - Michael
      Message 2 of 10 , Jun 15, 2004
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        I hear it's used in rugby.


        Just kidding.

        - Michael
      • Jim McCusker
        ... So after reading about using daily scrums for family meetings, I thought I d do the inverse, and try out backlog management for home improvement projects.
        Message 3 of 10 , Jun 15, 2004
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          Bill Wake wrote:

          >Have you (or do you know anybody who has) used Scrum as a general
          >project management approach for a non-software project?
          >
          >I recall the discussion of Scrum used for family meetings, wedding
          >planning, etc. from a couple months ago. This is good stuff, but I'm
          >interested in something a little more restricted, ideally:
          >
          >- corporate (or near-corporate:) environment
          >- timeboxed chunks
          >- periodic incremental delivery
          >- explicit, managed backlogs
          >- periodic scrum and review meetings
          >
          >I'm aware of the original automobile examples from Nonaka et al.
          >
          >If you used it, what special challenges did you run into?
          >
          >
          So after reading about using daily scrums for family meetings, I thought
          I'd do the inverse, and try out backlog management for home improvement
          projects. I'm into the second week of the first sprint, and it's pretty
          nice, because we now at least have a semi-exhaustive list of things we
          want to do to the house, along with daily and weekly chores to get done.
          It's just me and my wife, but we've bitten off a first sprint for June.
          We're using XPlanner to keep everything straight, and with the chores
          in, it's easier to see where a given day goes to. Not really corporate,
          but I thought someone might be interested.

          Jim
        • Joseph Pelrine
          ... Since I got bit fed up with the IT world a while back, I started branching out and using Scrum to help other people solve their problems. Some of the
          Message 4 of 10 , Jun 15, 2004
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            At 19:23 15.06.2004, you wrote:
            >Have you (or do you know anybody who has) used Scrum as a general
            >project management approach for a non-software project?
            >
            >I recall the discussion of Scrum used for family meetings, wedding
            >planning, etc. from a couple months ago. This is good stuff, but I'm
            >interested in something a little more restricted, ideally:
            >
            >- corporate (or near-corporate:) environment
            >- timeboxed chunks
            >- periodic incremental delivery
            >- explicit, managed backlogs
            >- periodic scrum and review meetings
            >
            >I'm aware of the original automobile examples from Nonaka et al.

            Since I got bit fed up with the IT world a while back, I started branching
            out and using Scrum to help other people solve their problems. Some of the
            groups I've helped have been:
            - a town organizing its' annnual music festival
            - a museum organizing an exhibition
            - a group of molecular biologists trying to keep track of the funding for
            their research project.

            I'm also currently preparing Scrum workshops for 2 prospective customers:
            - an international advertising agency
            - a large architectural firm


            >If you used it, what special challenges did you run into?

            Let me know which of the above interest you, and I'll fill in some details.

            Cheers

            --
            Joseph Pelrine [ | ]
            MetaProg GmbH
            Email: jpelrine@...
            Web: http://www.metaprog.com
            Blog: http://www.metaprog.com/blogs

            "If you don't live on the edge, you're taking up too much space" -
            Doug Robinson
          • William Wake
            ... Any of these would be great to hear about. I guess the biologist one would be a good start (since the other two have an inherent big-bang delivery).
            Message 5 of 10 , Jun 15, 2004
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              >From: Joseph Pelrine <jpelrine@...>

              >groups I've helped have been:
              >- a town organizing its' annnual music festival
              >- a museum organizing an exhibition
              >- a group of molecular biologists trying to keep track of the funding for
              >their research project.

              > >If you used it, what special challenges did you run into?
              >
              >Let me know which of the above interest you, and I'll fill in some details.

              Any of these would be great to hear about. I guess the biologist one would
              be a good start (since the other two have an inherent big-bang delivery).

              Thanks!
              Bill
            • scott worley (pi)
              I guess I do all of the time to great effect. Amongst other management tools and techniques. If people are interested, I could explain more here, but be
              Message 6 of 10 , Jun 15, 2004
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                I guess I do all of the time to great effect.  Amongst other management tools and techniques.

                 

                If people are interested, I could explain more here, but be warned my posts are a little sporadic due to the amount of travel I tend to do J

                 

                 

                Scott Worley

                  CIO – IT Resources, China

                  Interim GM – IT Resources, South and East China Region

                  Agile Management Evangelist

                 

                 

                 

                 


                From: Bill Wake [mailto:wwake@...]
                Sent: Wednesday, June 16, 2004 1:23 AM
                To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Non-Software Scrum

                 

                Have you (or do you know anybody who has) used Scrum as a general
                project management approach for a non-software project?

                I recall the discussion of Scrum used for family meetings, wedding
                planning, etc. from a couple months ago. This is good stuff, but I'm
                interested in something a little more restricted, ideally:

                - corporate (or near-corporate:) environment
                - timeboxed chunks
                - periodic incremental delivery
                - explicit, managed backlogs
                - periodic scrum and review meetings

                I'm aware of the original automobile examples from Nonaka et al.

                If you used it, what special challenges did you run into?

                Thanks!
                  Bill Wake  William.Wake@...  www.xp123.com
                  "Scrum on a page" - http://xp123.com/xplor/xp0401/



                To Post a message, send it to:   scrumdevelopment@...
                To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: scrumdevelopment-unsubscribe@...




              • Boris Gloger
                I do have a customer who wants to use scrum for managing his sales force. I keep you updated about my experiences. - boris ... Mag. Boris Gloger Head
                Message 7 of 10 , Jun 16, 2004
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                  I do have a customer who wants to use scrum for managing his sales
                  force. I keep you updated about my experiences. - boris

                  On 15.06.2004, at 20:08, Jim McCusker wrote:

                  > Bill Wake wrote:
                  >
                  >> Have you (or do you know anybody who has) used Scrum as a general
                  >> project management approach for a non-software project?
                  >>
                  >> I recall the discussion of Scrum used for family meetings, wedding
                  >> planning, etc. from a couple months ago. This is good stuff, but I'm
                  >> interested in something a little more restricted, ideally:
                  >>
                  >> - corporate (or near-corporate:) environment
                  >> - timeboxed chunks
                  >> - periodic incremental delivery
                  >> - explicit, managed backlogs
                  >> - periodic scrum and review meetings
                  >>
                  >> I'm aware of the original automobile examples from Nonaka et al.
                  >>
                  >> If you used it, what special challenges did you run into?
                  >>
                  >>
                  > So after reading about using daily scrums for family meetings, I
                  > thought
                  > I'd do the inverse, and try out backlog management for home improvement
                  > projects. I'm into the second week of the first sprint, and it's pretty
                  > nice, because we now at least have a semi-exhaustive list of things we
                  > want to do to the house, along with daily and weekly chores to get
                  > done.
                  > It's just me and my wife, but we've bitten off a first sprint for June.
                  > We're using XPlanner to keep everything straight, and with the chores
                  > in, it's easier to see where a given day goes to. Not really corporate,
                  > but I thought someone might be interested.
                  >
                  > Jim
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > To Post a message, send it to: scrumdevelopment@...
                  > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                  > scrumdevelopment-unsubscribe@...
                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >

                  ---------------------------------------------------
                  Mag. Boris Gloger
                  Head Production Management
                  Uptime Systemlösungen GmbH
                  Schwarzenbergplatz 8/8
                  1030 Wien

                  m.: +43.664.500.3436  
                  t.:  +43.1.713.6180-20
                  f.:   +43.1.713.6180-10

                  boris.gloger@...
                  http://www.uptime.at

                  Certified Scrum Master Practitioner



                  ---------------------------------------------------
                  Mag. Boris Gloger
                  Head Production Management
                  Uptime Systemlösungen GmbH
                  Schwarzenbergplatz 8/8
                  1030 Wien

                  m.: +43.664.500.3436  
                  t.:  +43.1.713.6180-20
                  f.:   +43.1.713.6180-10

                  boris.gloger@...
                  http://www.uptime.at

                  Certified Scrum Master Practitioner and Trainer
                • Kevin Aguanno
                  ... Bill, I use regularly use Scrum in a corporate environment for non-software development projects. When I come across a project with unstable requirements
                  Message 8 of 10 , Jun 17, 2004
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                    >From: Bill Wake [mailto:wwake@...]
                    >Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Non-Software Scrum
                    >
                    >Have you (or do you know anybody who has) used Scrum as a general
                    >project management approach for a non-software project?
                    >
                    >If you used it, what special challenges did you run into?


                    Bill, I use regularly use Scrum in a corporate environment for non-software development projects.  When I come across a project with unstable requirements or where I expect high levels of change, I adopt agile practices as a means of trying to avoid the chaos that can arise and to avoid getting stuck forever in "design churn."

                    An example would be using Scrum for traditional consulting projects where the project consists of lots of stakeholder interviews, some analysis, and preparing recommendations in a report.  On one such project, I had a team of 3 consultants performing over 50 individual or group interviews while capturing requirements for creating a complex RFP.  The deliverables were the RFP document itself, with hundreds of detailed requirements, a shortlist of vendors to which the RFP will be sent, and a complex vendor scoring/evaluation tool.   The project was divided into 9 one week sprints, with the last one used for capturing final acceptance and project close-out activities (was sort of a pseudo-sprint), and the first eight sprints were for preparing iterations on the deliverables.  

                    Sprint 1:  The Table of Contents was prepared for the RFP, along with sample content for the requirements section, along with an initial list of vendors, and a skeleton evaluation tool, plus a list of stakeholders to evaluate.

                    Sprint 2-6:  The RFP and evaluation tool were populated with content from the various interviews.   Weekly review and feedback meetings (end of Sprint reviews) were conducted to capture feedback on the works in progress and to help re-prioritize (and add to)  the list of interviewees for the following weeks.  The vendor list was expanded and detailed research was done on each to prepare a thorough  list of potential candidates.

                    Sprint 7:  The "final" version of the deliverables were reviewed for feedback from a broader base of people (the initial list of stakeholder "pigs" included over eight people), the reviewees now added some of the more important "chickens" into the review group).   Changes and areas where clarification was needed were captured and acted upon.   The first attempt at suggesting a shortlist of potential vendors to which the RFP would be sent was suggested and reviewed.

                    Sprint 8:  The "real" final version  of the RFP and vendor evaluation tool was prepared  and agreed upon/accepted.    The final vendor shortlist was prepared and agreed upon/accepted.

                    "Sprint" 9:  Documenting formal deliverable acceptance, writing a project completion report, preparing final billing, capturing lessons learned, and other  project closeout activities.

                    The only specific challenge was in helping the reviewers/stakeholders make the mental "shift" to where they were functioning more as part of the team.  They were traditionally used to reviewing polished/final materials.  In this case, they were reviewing "raw" working documents.  We told them that we were interested in early Sprints in the structure of the deliverables and the strategy behind the structure, more so than the specific wording.  In later Sprints that shifted to a focus on the wording itself -- did we phrase things clearly, did they capture the essence of what we should be saying, etc., but still not worried about spelling and punctuation.   The challenge was that some of these individuals did not "get it" and were distracted by missing commas in the early stages rather than providing the more higher-level feedback we were seeking.  In addition, at the end of the project, during customer satisfaction surveying, they indicated that they were discouraged by the "lack of quality" in the interim deliverables they were reviewing, citing specifically spelling errors.   I guess the lessons learned here would be (1) in future, at least perform a spell check and grammar check, even on iterim documents, for early reviews to avoid concerns of quality and to avoid people being distracted by such things, and (2) even more focus on education of what really mattered in each Sprint, perhaps providing some type of review checklist.

                    ---

                    I've also used Scrum for managing fitup and installation of a facility where activities included design and installation of electrical, audio, and computer facilities, as well as exhibits to fit within the facility.   Very complex, high-change and fast-paced environment.  The bi-daily meetings helped immensely, as well as bi-weekly reviews of the deliverables (designs/plans or the actual construction work).   The Sprint team consisted of project managers and technical leads from about 12 subprojects, each from a different vendor, and Scrum was used to coordinate the work of the 12 projects to flush out and resolve any intra-project dependencies.

                    Hope this all helped.  Let me know if you have any specific questions.

                    Regards,
                    ----------
                    Kevin J.J. Aguanno, PMP®, MAPM
                    IBM Certified Senior Project Manager
                    Application Innovation Services,
                    IBM Global Services,
                    IBM Canada Ltd.
                  • William Wake
                    ... Thanks, Kevin. ... Yeah - it s hard to do that. I know when I review books, it s hard to skip over the grammar stuff in the first round when the authors
                    Message 9 of 10 , Jun 21, 2004
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                      >From: Kevin Aguanno <aguanno@...>

                      Thanks, Kevin.

                      >On one such project, I had a team
                      >of 3 consultants performing over 50 individual or group interviews while
                      >capturing requirements for creating a complex RFP.

                      >The only specific challenge was in helping the reviewers/stakeholders make
                      >the mental "shift" to where they were functioning more as part of the
                      >team. They were traditionally used to reviewing polished/final materials.
                      >[...] The challenge was that some of these individuals did not
                      >"get it" and were distracted by missing commas in the early stages rather
                      >than providing the more higher-level feedback we were seeking.

                      Yeah - it's hard to do that. I know when I review books, it's hard to skip
                      over the grammar stuff in the first round when the authors are still trying
                      to figure out if they have the right topic.

                      >I guess the lessons learned here would be
                      >(1) in future, at least perform a spell check and grammar check, even on
                      >iterim documents, for early reviews to avoid concerns of quality and to
                      >avoid people being distracted by such things, and (2) even more focus on
                      >education of what really mattered in each Sprint, perhaps providing some
                      >type of review checklist.

                      These are both interesting. The first pushes what's there to be more like a
                      real deliverable - not everything you want, but what's there is ready to go.
                      The second is a nice idea too - it lets you focus attention on the more
                      important risks for the current stage of development.

                      >Hope this all helped. Let me know if you have any specific questions.
                      Great stuff, thanks!

                      --
                      Bill Wake William.Wake@... www.xp123.com
                    • Kevin Aguanno
                      ... Deliverables were reviewed by a panel of pigs. They included an operations manager, a couple of directors, and one VP (though these people were very
                      Message 10 of 10 , Jun 23, 2004
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                        >   Date: Thu, 17 Jun 2004 08:56:06 -0700
                        >   From: Eric Chamberlain <Eric.Chamberlain@...>
                        >Subject: RE: SUSPECT: Re: Non-Software Scrum
                        >
                        >Kevin,
                        >
                        >Concerning your consulting project, I had a few questions:
                        >Who was the customer representative?

                        Deliverables were reviewed by a panel of "pigs."   They included an operations manager, a couple of directors, and one VP (though these people were very deep in the technology and processes of their organizations, having worked their way up through the ranks).   One of the reviewers included was an outside (contractor) SME who used to work with one of the prospective vendors who would be responding to the RFP.  They provided good feedback on making sure that the requirements were worded clearly and as unambiguously as possible.

                        >What was the end-of-Sprint deliverable to the customer?

                        Detailed in the original note:

                        Sprint 1:  RFP shell including boilerplate content, initial vendor list, evaluation tool skeleton.
                        Sprint 2-6:  RFP and evaluation tool iteratively and incrementally populated with specific, detailed requirements.  Plus, the vendor list was incrementally expanded with detailed research on each of the key vendors.
                        Sprint 7: "Complete" RFP + Vendor shortlist (reduced after analyzing the vendor research)
                        Sprint 8:  "Final" RFP, Vendor shortlist, "final" evaluation tool.
                        Sprint 9:  Project completion report, invoices, project closeout stuff, etc.


                        >How was burn-down tracked?  With such short Sprints, did you actually
                        create
                        >and maintain a burndown chart?


                        Yes.  Since we were going to manage the contract as a fixed price situation, we wanted a clear picture of the hours remaining forecast, to forecast the gross profit at the end of the project.  Since we were doing this work as an outside consultantcy, we were responsible to our OWN organization for profit, as well as to the customer for the deliverables.  We did make some decisions about regrouping some executive interviews, and having a less-expensive team member perform a couple of the less-critical interviews in order to manage the profit forecast back into the acceptable range, given the input from the burndown chart.


                        ----------
                        Kevin J.J. Aguanno, PMP®, MAPM
                        IBM Certified Senior Project Manager
                        Portals and Content Management Practice,
                        Application Innovation Services,
                        IBM Global Services,
                        IBM Canada Ltd.

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