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Re: [scrumdevelopment] Scrum for Haiti

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  • Heitor Roriz Filho
    ... That is the point. The environment has a strong influence on a team s perspective and behavior. Therefore, on the team development on the way to higher
    Message 1 of 15 , Jan 30, 2010
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      On Fri, Jan 29, 2010 at 10:38 AM, Braz Brandt <braz.brandt@...> wrote:

      On Jan 28, 2010, at 10:03 AM, Heitor Roriz Filho wrote:

      > I developed a piece of software for one NGO once. They were really small and
      > had very limited resources. The development environment was quite different.
      > I believe the corporate culture/ecology is different.
      > Maybe the non-profit, charity atmosphere of the NGO may influence on a Scrum
      > Team's spirit. Was there any competition amongst team members?

      Competition among the team members?  No, hardly any.

      Yes, without a doubt, non-profits have a very different mentality.  I've had the opportunity to work within this non-profit for five years as we've tried to grow from your traditional "scrape by on the largesse of Foundation grants" model to our current model, where the overwhelming majority of our operating budget comes from products and services.  We've shifted to almost becoming a for-profit with charitable products...

      ...but the non-profit "mindset" is still pervasive throughout the organization.

      That is the point. The environment has a strong influence on a team's perspective and behavior. Therefore, on the team development on the way to higher maturity.

      As I've also worked, consulted with, and had several other (large) non-profits as customers, I think one of the biggest barriers to Agile adoption - and not necessarily Agile either, but /software development/ concepts - is the non-profit definition of value.

      Traditional software developers, engineers, project managers, Product Owners and the like all define value, I've felt, in some terms of return on investment; this software development project will earn $X, which is Z times more than the $Y we'll spend developing that bit of functionality.

      When value isn't defined in terms of ROI, but instead becomes value "to the community" or "for the mission", it's very hard to understand and get buy-in for traditional measures of costs, and then consequently, difficult to explain why Agile methodologies are "better".

      ROI is one way to derive value, beliefs. I think the definition of value is very client-dependent. If the client is the community and things are being done for the mission, this must be clear to the team. I would focus on the ScrumMaster to make this transparent to the team.
      For me, working with my current employer as an internal coach/advocate and working with customers, "selling Agile" has been much more about explaining and presenting the benefits of close collaboration with the customer, and quick, incremental releases with rapid feedback.  That's been the best way I've been able to get buy-in, both internally and externally.

      Thanks for sharing your experience!
      braz brandt
      general purpose computer geek

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