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Re: [scrumdevelopment] Can you form a Scrum team with just one person?

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  • Tobias Mayer
    Having a single-person team is not a concern, providing the single person is cross-functional, i.e. has all the skills and willingness to do all the work
    Message 1 of 13 , Aug 2, 2009
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      Having a single-person "team" is not a concern, providing the single person is cross-functional, i.e. has all the skills and willingness to do all the work required to go from user story to working software.  However, I do agree with Mayank that to be Agile you must collaborate and use feedback to steer.  In the one-person team scenario clearly the collaboration must be between developer and customer.  But it must be there, for without it you are just working with plans and hand-offs.  And that is distinctly not Agile.

      More worrying about the original post was the description of manager as Scrum Master and Product Owner.  That breaks at least three rules before even starting.  But even before tackling that tangled problem I'd advise
      you, Hiren Doshi, to address the 60% commitment problem.  Once you have the one developer full-time, then real learning about impediments can begin.  Without commitment, you are probably on a non-starter.

      Tobias

      --
      Tobias Mayer
      website | blog | linkedin | twitter



      Roy Morien wrote:

       

      So what you are saying is that it is pointless trying to develop in an agile manner, emulating Scrum to a great extent, if you are doing it alone, because you have nobody to collaborate with, and you must talk out loud to yourself when you review your day's work?
       
      Why would quality necessarilly 'go for a toss'? I don't understand why this is inevitable?
       
      You seem to be takng that definition of agile development as being the gospel, the canonical definition of Agile development, and if you can't collaborate (because you are alone) and you have nobody to give feedback to, then you CANNOT be Agile.
       
      Sorry, I think that is quite wrong.
       
      Regards,
      Roy Morien
       


      To: scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com
      From: mayank.gupta1@ globallogic. com
      Date: Sun, 2 Aug 2009 22:32:49 +0530
      Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] Can you form a Scrum team with just one person?

       

      It might work in the sense that the work can be planned in an iterative and incremental order and you can even organize, plan and follow up by having the daily standup (by saying things loud to yourself) and by using a burn down chart but the only glitch would be with the quality of the output.

       

      If we look back at Agility it would be clear

      “Agile development uses feedback to make constant adjustments in a highly collaborative environment

       

      No collaboration means no feedback and quality might go for a toss!

       

      Regards,

      Mayank

       


      From: scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:scrumdevelo pment@yahoogroup s.com] On Behalf Of hirendoshi73
      Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 10:31 AM
      To: scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com
      Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Can you form a Scrum team with just one person?

       

       

      Recently, one manager approached me for advice on scrum practices which I was happy to assist with. This manager had a request to build some new features and integrate the same with the existing product. She was also looking to develop these new features using Agile software development with Scrum. All was good with me so far. What I found a bit unusual was this manager only had one person @ 60%capacity to work on the scrum. The manager herself would play role of a scrum master as well as a product owner.

       

      My first thought was does she even have a Scrum team, a team of just one? However, talking further with this person and understanding what she was looking for, I thought one person scrum might make perfect sense too. She was looking for predictability on how long it will take to get this project done with one person working at 60%. Secondly, she also wanted to make a case to management that this project might not be one person effort and would need multiple folks to pull this release off. So, scrum made perfect sense for both her concerns. For now, I have asked her to do capacity planning, list sprint goal, conduct planning meeting, and finally demo at end of the sprint to demonstrate what was achieved to management. Only time will tell how successful or not so successful she was. However, I am inclined towards saying one person Scrum team is a real scrum team and a lot can be accomplished by this one person army.

       

      What are your thoughts on this?

       

      Thanks,

       

      -Hiren Doshi, CSP, PMP

      Blog: http://www.practice agile.com




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    • Juan Gabardini
      Hi Hiren Some time ago somebody asked about the minimum team size... http://groups.yahoo.com/group/scrumdevelopment/message/28562 I had a mixed experience.
      Message 2 of 13 , Aug 3, 2009
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        Hi Hiren

        Some time ago somebody asked about the minimum team size...
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/scrumdevelopment/message/28562

        I had a mixed experience. Scrum could help (the dynamic PO-Team). But... the team is much more sensible to the individual characteristics. I think that a bigger team is more resilient, could learn faster.
        For instance, improving the 'team' is more a shrink job that a coach job.

        Juan

        --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "hirendoshi73" <hirendoshi73@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > Recently, one manager approached me for advice on scrum practices which
        > I was happy to assist with. This manager had a request to build some new
        > features and integrate the same with the existing product. She was also
        > looking to develop these new features using Agile software development
        > with Scrum. All was good with me so far. What I found a bit unusual was
        > this manager only had one person @ 60%capacity to work on the scrum. The
        > manager herself would play role of a scrum master as well as a product
        > owner.
        >
        >
        >
        > My first thought was does she even have a Scrum team, a team of just
        > one? However, talking further with this person and understanding what
        > she was looking for, I thought one person scrum might make perfect sense
        > too. She was looking for predictability on how long it will take to get
        > this project done with one person working at 60%. Secondly, she also
        > wanted to make a case to management that this project might not be one
        > person effort and would need multiple folks to pull this release off.
        > So, scrum made perfect sense for both her concerns. For now, I have
        > asked her to do capacity planning, list sprint goal, conduct planning
        > meeting, and finally demo at end of the sprint to demonstrate what was
        > achieved to management. Only time will tell how successful or not so
        > successful she was. However, I am inclined towards saying one person
        > Scrum team is a real scrum team and a lot can be accomplished by this
        > one person army.
        >
        >
        >
        > What are your thoughts on this?
        >
        >
        >
        > Thanks,
        >
        >
        >
        > -Hiren Doshi, CSP, PMP
        >
        > Blog: http://www.practiceagile.com <http://www.practiceagile.com/>
        >
      • Amanda Abelove
        Aha! My critical value proposition for my little community awareness program. Yes you can. Think about it this way... Projects are like snowballs. You make
        Message 3 of 13 , Aug 3, 2009
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          Aha! My critical value proposition for my little community awareness
          program. Yes you can.

          Think about it this way... Projects are like snowballs. You make one,
          roll it downhill and it gets bigger along the way. If you start with
          one or two people, all your stuff will be set up when your project is
          ready for more people. Plus you can do cool things like trial tasks
          (to see if they are as good as the say they are and oboard them
          faster).

          This is why I am doing just the most basic explanation of stuff in
          Scrum Club. The whole Scrum thing gets hung up on the vocabulary and
          knowing what to do. My focus is to get everyone in a community
          familiar with basic concepts so that when I hire them I don't have to
          spend as much time training them and they don't slow me down.


          -Amanda

          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          310-237-6370
          Skype: amanda.abelove

          Scrum Club - A Scrum methodology user group
          @scrumclub, #scrumclub
          http://scrumclub.org

          Corporate Espionage - A tradable card game on entrepreneurship
          @corpespionage, #corpespionage
          http://masterofespionage.com
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



          On Sat, Aug 1, 2009 at 10:01 PM, hirendoshi73<hirendoshi73@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > Recently, one manager approached me for advice on scrum practices which I
          > was happy to assist with. This manager had a request to build some new
          > features and integrate the same with the existing product. She was also
          > looking to develop these new features using Agile software development with
          > Scrum. All was good with me so far. What I found a bit unusual was this
          > manager only had one person @ 60%capacity to work on the scrum. The manager
          > herself would play role of a scrum master as well as a product owner.
          >
          >
          >
          > My first thought was does she even have a Scrum team, a team of just one?
          > However, talking further with this person and understanding what she was
          > looking for, I thought one person scrum might make perfect sense too. She
          > was looking for predictability on how long it will take to get this project
          > done with one person working at 60%. Secondly, she also wanted to make a
          > case to management that this project might not be one person effort and
          > would need multiple folks to pull this release off. So, scrum made perfect
          > sense for both her concerns. For now, I have asked her to do capacity
          > planning, list sprint goal, conduct planning meeting, and finally demo at
          > end of the sprint to demonstrate what was achieved to management. Only time
          > will tell how successful or not so successful she was. However, I am
          > inclined towards saying one person Scrum team is a real scrum team and a lot
          > can be accomplished by this one person army.
          >
          >
          >
          > What are your thoughts on this?
          >
          >
          >
          > Thanks,
          >
          >
          >
          > -Hiren Doshi, CSP, PMP
          >
          > Blog: http://www.practiceagile.com
          >
          >
        • hirendoshi73
          Thank you everone for your feedback. For now, we are planning to go ahead and use scrum practices as it will definetly highlight the concerns mentioned in the
          Message 4 of 13 , Aug 4, 2009
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            Thank you everone for your feedback. For now, we are planning to go ahead and use scrum practices as it will definetly highlight the concerns mentioned in the original post. As mentioned in one of the comments we might pass on daily scrums as it might seem micro mangement. However, we have decided to list out granular tasks i.e. Dev, Unit Test, Integration Test, update of Wiki, Code Review, etc and also account actual time spent in xPlanner.

            -Hiren Doshi, CSP, PMP

            Blog: http://www.practiceagile.com
          • Mark Levison
            Late to the game - I was on vacation. Two thoughts: 1) A team of one is an echo chamber, you need someone else to pair with (or at least review your code).
            Message 5 of 13 , Aug 11, 2009
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              Late to the game - I was on vacation.
               
              Two thoughts:
              1) A team of one is an echo chamber, you need someone else to pair with (or at least review your code). This person has to ask you difficult questions... This doesn't happen on a team of one, so your progress and learning curve is slower.
              2) In this case it doesn't sound like the organization is really committed to the project. I recommend waiting until the org is prepared to commit the people and the budget to actually take the project on. My miminum team size these days: 3 people. It helps reduce the tensions of two people working togther for a long time.
               
              Cheers
              Mark

              On Tue, Aug 4, 2009 at 9:29 PM, hirendoshi73 <hirendoshi73@...> wrote:
               

              Thank you everone for your feedback. For now, we are planning to go ahead and use scrum practices as it will definetly highlight the concerns mentioned in the original post. As mentioned in one of the comments we might pass on daily scrums as it might seem micro mangement. However, we have decided to list out granular tasks i.e. Dev, Unit Test, Integration Test, update of Wiki, Code Review, etc and also account actual time spent in xPlanner.


              -Hiren Doshi, CSP, PMP

              Blog: http://www.practiceagile.com


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