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  • Tomi Laaksonen
    Hello Community! I would like to share with you my quite challenging situation and hopefully I ll get good advices, tips and hints to survive :) We are setting
    Message 1 of 11 , Aug 26, 2010
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      Hello Community!

      I would like to share with you my quite challenging situation and hopefully I'll get good advices, tips and hints to survive :)

      We are setting up new Scrum team. The team is subcontractor team and of course in different site in different country. I'm Product Owner as said in different site. When I mentioned that the team is new, it really is: all team members are just recruited by subcontractor company and they are starting soon. ScrumMaster has worked in different team in our other project but he is new in SM role. And it is not sure if I can even visit in their site and kick off the team.

      I have some ideas how to start even though all this sounds so desperate. What do you think what are the areas to concentrate first?

      Br,
      -TT-



    • woynam
      Have you started by updating your resume? :-) Mark
      Message 2 of 11 , Aug 26, 2010
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        Have you started by updating your resume? :-)

        Mark


        --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Tomi Laaksonen <tomilaaksonen@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > Hello Community!
        >
        > I would like to share with you my quite challenging situation and hopefully I'll
        > get good advices, tips and hints to survive :)
        >
        > We are setting up new Scrum team. The team is subcontractor team and of course
        > in different site in different country. I'm Product Owner as said in different
        > site. When I mentioned that the team is new, it really is: all team members are
        > just recruited by subcontractor company and they are starting soon. ScrumMaster
        > has worked in different team in our other project but he is new in SM role. And
        > it is not sure if I can even visit in their site and kick off the team.
        >
        > I have some ideas how to start even though all this sounds so desperate. What do
        > you think what are the areas to concentrate first?
        >
        > Br,
        > -TT-
        >
      • Michael Spayd
        Hi TT, I addressed this kind of thing in my blog today: http://collectiveedgecoaching.com/2010/08/courage-convictions-neutrality/ Best, Michael -- Collective
        Message 3 of 11 , Aug 26, 2010
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          Hi TT,
          I addressed this kind of thing in my blog today:
          Best,
          Michael

          -- 
          Collective Edge Coaching, llc
          "Helping teams to perform, and organizations to transform."
          www.collective-edge.com
          Michael K. Spayd, Principal & Chief Sage, ORSCC
          (720) 300.5286  - (USA)
          michael@...



          On Thu, Aug 26, 2010 at 2:56 PM, woynam <woyna@...> wrote:
           


          Have you started by updating your resume? :-)

          Mark



          --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Tomi Laaksonen <tomilaaksonen@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > Hello Community!
          >
          > I would like to share with you my quite challenging situation and hopefully I'll
          > get good advices, tips and hints to survive :)
          >
          > We are setting up new Scrum team. The team is subcontractor team and of course
          > in different site in different country. I'm Product Owner as said in different
          > site. When I mentioned that the team is new, it really is: all team members are
          > just recruited by subcontractor company and they are starting soon. ScrumMaster
          > has worked in different team in our other project but he is new in SM role. And
          > it is not sure if I can even visit in their site and kick off the team.
          >
          > I have some ideas how to start even though all this sounds so desperate. What do
          > you think what are the areas to concentrate first?
          >
          > Br,
          > -TT-
          >





        • PeteCRuth@aol.com
          Ouch! Cold. Very cold... Regards, Pete In a message dated 8/26/2010 1:56:42 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, woyna@argonne.com writes: Have you started by updating
          Message 4 of 11 , Aug 26, 2010
          • 0 Attachment
            Ouch! Cold. Very cold...
             
            Regards,
             
            Pete
             
            In a message dated 8/26/2010 1:56:42 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, woyna@... writes:
             


            Have you started by updating your resume? :-)

            Mark

            --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Tomi Laaksonen <tomilaaksonen@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > Hello Community!
            >
            > I would like to share with you my quite challenging situation and hopefully I'll
            > get good advices, tips and hints to survive :)
            >
            > We are setting up new Scrum team. The team is subcontractor team and of course
            > in different site in different country. I'm Product Owner as said in different
            > site. When I mentioned that the team is new, it really is: all team members are
            > just recruited by subcontractor company and they are starting soon. ScrumMaster
            > has worked in different team in our other project but he is new in SM role. And
            > it is not sure if I can even visit in their site and kick off the team.
            >
            > I have some ideas how to start even though all this sounds so desperate. What do
            > you think what are the areas to concentrate first?
            >
            > Br,
            > -TT-
            >

          • Alan Dayley
            Let me repeat back the structure to be sure I understand. - You are the Product Owner residing in Country B. - The ScrumMaster and The Team reside in Country
            Message 5 of 11 , Aug 26, 2010
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              Let me repeat back the structure to be sure I understand.

              - You are the Product Owner residing in Country B.
              - The ScrumMaster and The Team reside in Country A.
              - The ScrumMaster and The Team work at the same physical location.
              - You work for Paying Company.
              - The ScrumMaster and The Team work for Serving Company.
              - The ScrumMaster has worked on a Scrum Team before now but this is their first time in the ScrumMaster role.

              Did I get the situation correctly?

              First Thing
              Be an awesome Product Owner.  This is the place where you have the most control and will have the most effect.  Make sure all the things a Product Owner does are done very well.
              - Product Backlog groomed, sorted, prioritized, communicated and otherwise maintained.
              - Always on time for meetings.
              - Clearly answering the question of "What?" is to be built.
              - Be available to answer questions and direction as much as possible.
              - Initiate conversations with developers and the ScrumMaster every day, even if you have "nothing" to talk about.
              - Talk with your customers/people paying the bills almost as much as you talk with the team.
              - etc.

              This will have a powerful effect for good on the team and the project.

              Next Things
              Communication will be your biggest hurdle.  You are supposed to be the driver to the goal and yet you are alone, separated from the rest of the team.  The rest of the team will be creating a culture, way of interacting and relationships of trust faster than you.  There is a huge danger that you will be the person on the outside, the "Them" in an "us and them" relationship.  You need to be in the "Us" with the team.
              - Insist on high-bandwidth communication.
              -- Do your best to go visit the rest of the team for a week or more, one whole sprint if you can.  Even if it takes you several sprints to get that trip, keep requesting.  The benefit to future communication is well worth the cost of the trip.
              -- Live video as often as possible.
              -- Live voice always available.
              -- Live text chat always available at a bare minimum.
              -- Use recorded video, computer desktop sharing, digital photos, etc.
              - Send them gifts.  No really, little statues or traditional cultural artifacts from your home country.  Posters, toys, something they can keep in the team room to remind them of you.  These are your proxy physical representatives when you are not talking to them.  Make such things a joke or story as part of the team.  For example, have them put the toy or small statue or whatever visibly in the team room during the daily scrum.  Be creative.
              - Ask them to send you something that they like or talk about.  Have it visible behind you in the video chat sessions or photos so you include them in your work life too.

              Mentor the ScrumMaster
              He is new to the role.  Help him help you so he catches the vision of the role.
              - I assume this ScrumMaster is also a technical contributor.  Make requests and even stories that help him take time to do the ScrumMaster role.  The role must be practiced to be good at it.  That takes time.  If he is "just" a meeting facilitator, that is a good service but is less than a ScrumMaster should do.
              - Send the ScrumMaster to training.  No, this is not optional.  No, reading books is not enough.  Get him trained.
              - Ask him to help groom the backlog regularly.
              - Ask him to mentor the team as a group and individually in good engineering practices.
              - Ask him to be completely honest about difficulties and impediments.  Especially with you.
              - Schedule a daily video chat with just you and him to talk about Scrum and Agile and how the team and project is doing.

              That's enough for starters.  Inspect and adapt.  Don't skip retrospectives or sprint reviews or other parts of the framework.  Then learn and change.

              Alan

              On Thu, Aug 26, 2010 at 1:13 PM, Tomi Laaksonen <tomilaaksonen@...> wrote:
               


              Hello Community!

              I would like to share with you my quite challenging situation and hopefully I'll get good advices, tips and hints to survive :)

              We are setting up new Scrum team. The team is subcontractor team and of course in different site in different country. I'm Product Owner as said in different site. When I mentioned that the team is new, it really is: all team members are just recruited by subcontractor company and they are starting soon. ScrumMaster has worked in different team in our other project but he is new in SM role. And it is not sure if I can even visit in their site and kick off the team.

              I have some ideas how to start even though all this sounds so desperate. What do you think what are the areas to concentrate first?

              Br,
              -TT-




            • woynam
              I got the impression that the SM is not co-located with the team, as he/she will not be able to travel to the team s site to kick off the team . So, it sounds
              Message 6 of 11 , Aug 27, 2010
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                I got the impression that the SM is not co-located with the team, as he/she will not be able to travel to the team's site to "kick off the team".

                So, it sounds like you have a PO in country A, an SM in country B (or at a different site in country A), and the team in country C.

                On top of that, the SM has no experience in the SM role, and may have little or no formal Scrum training.

                Piling on, the team is newly formed, and probably don't have any Scrum training either.

                Can this work? Perhaps. Is it likely to work? No.

                My advice would be to a) get everyone some training, b) try to get all parties together for at least one Sprint, and c) get a coach on-site at the team's location.

                I hate to be blunt, but this organization is facing incredible odds. It's hard enough to get started and succeed with Scrum when everyone is together with a coach.

                Mark


                --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Alan Dayley <alandd@...> wrote:
                >
                > Let me repeat back the structure to be sure I understand.
                >
                > - You are the Product Owner residing in Country B.
                > - The ScrumMaster and The Team reside in Country A.
                > - The ScrumMaster and The Team work at the same physical location.
                > - You work for Paying Company.
                > - The ScrumMaster and The Team work for Serving Company.
                > - The ScrumMaster has worked on a Scrum Team before now but this is their
                > first time in the ScrumMaster role.
                >
                > Did I get the situation correctly?
                >
                > First Thing
                > Be an awesome Product Owner. This is the place where you have the most
                > control and will have the most effect. Make sure all the things a Product
                > Owner does are done very well.
                > - Product Backlog groomed, sorted, prioritized, communicated and otherwise
                > maintained.
                > - Always on time for meetings.
                > - Clearly answering the question of "What?" is to be built.
                > - Be available to answer questions and direction as much as possible.
                > - Initiate conversations with developers and the ScrumMaster every day, even
                > if you have "nothing" to talk about.
                > - Talk with your customers/people paying the bills almost as much as you
                > talk with the team.
                > - etc.
                >
                > This will have a powerful effect for good on the team and the project.
                >
                > Next Things
                > Communication will be your biggest hurdle. You are supposed to be the
                > driver to the goal and yet you are alone, separated from the rest of the
                > team. The rest of the team will be creating a culture, way of interacting
                > and relationships of trust faster than you. There is a huge danger that you
                > will be the person on the outside, the "Them" in an "us and them"
                > relationship. You need to be in the "Us" with the team.
                > - Insist on high-bandwidth communication.
                > -- Do your best to go visit the rest of the team for a week or more, one
                > whole sprint if you can. Even if it takes you several sprints to get that
                > trip, keep requesting. The benefit to future communication is well worth
                > the cost of the trip.
                > -- Live video as often as possible.
                > -- Live voice always available.
                > -- Live text chat always available at a bare minimum.
                > -- Use recorded video, computer desktop sharing, digital photos, etc.
                > - Send them gifts. No really, little statues or traditional cultural
                > artifacts from your home country. Posters, toys, something they can keep in
                > the team room to remind them of you. These are your proxy physical
                > representatives when you are not talking to them. Make such things a joke
                > or story as part of the team. For example, have them put the toy or small
                > statue or whatever visibly in the team room during the daily scrum. Be
                > creative.
                > - Ask them to send you something that they like or talk about. Have it
                > visible behind you in the video chat sessions or photos so you include them
                > in your work life too.
                >
                > Mentor the ScrumMaster
                > He is new to the role. Help him help you so he catches the vision of the
                > role.
                > - I assume this ScrumMaster is also a technical contributor. Make requests
                > and even stories that help him take time to do the ScrumMaster role. The
                > role must be practiced to be good at it. That takes time. If he is "just"
                > a meeting facilitator, that is a good service but is less than a ScrumMaster
                > should do.
                > - Send the ScrumMaster to training. No, this is not optional. No, reading
                > books is not enough. Get him trained.
                > - Ask him to help groom the backlog regularly.
                > - Ask him to mentor the team as a group and individually in good engineering
                > practices.
                > - Ask him to be completely honest about difficulties and impediments.
                > Especially with you.
                > - Schedule a daily video chat with just you and him to talk about Scrum and
                > Agile and how the team and project is doing.
                >
                > That's enough for starters. Inspect and adapt. Don't skip retrospectives
                > or sprint reviews or other parts of the framework. Then learn and change.
                >
                > Alan
                >
                > On Thu, Aug 26, 2010 at 1:13 PM, Tomi Laaksonen <tomilaaksonen@...>wrote:
                >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > Hello Community!
                > >
                > > I would like to share with you my quite challenging situation and hopefully
                > > I'll get good advices, tips and hints to survive :)
                > >
                > > We are setting up new Scrum team. The team is subcontractor team and of
                > > course in different site in different country. I'm Product Owner as said in
                > > different site. When I mentioned that the team is new, it really is: all
                > > team members are just recruited by subcontractor company and they are
                > > starting soon. ScrumMaster has worked in different team in our other project
                > > but he is new in SM role. And it is not sure if I can even visit in their
                > > site and kick off the team.
                > >
                > > I have some ideas how to start even though all this sounds so desperate.
                > > What do you think what are the areas to concentrate first?
                > >
                > > Br,
                > > -TT-
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                >
              • Bachan Anand
                I do agree that success by the team and results would look different when distributed . However Scrum is more about a mindset to collaborate , be transparent
                Message 7 of 11 , Aug 27, 2010
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                  I do agree that success by the team and results would look different when distributed . However Scrum is more about a mindset to collaborate , be transparent and inspect and adapt for a better tomorrow.

                  I believe that it is possible for a distributes team to be successful using Scrum and some of the step Alan mentioned and good ways to make it happen. The way I see it , it is not about Scrum making you succeed , it is about people taking steps  when Scrum framework exposes roadblock and be successful because of courage and initiative to act on the impediments at the team or organizational level. Now if you expect a distributed team to be as successful as a co located team, I would say you may want to reconsider your expectation .

                  Looks at ways  how you can collaborate with offshore, how can you still self organize and get people engaged and consider them to be part of a bigger purpose and vision? How can you connect people well and take those small stepsfor each team member to get into a rhythm for working with each other ? . When the team realizes that we don't have a daily build or even an environment for daily build, how would you take those small steps to find a Continous Integration tool and get builds for verification often?

                  I can go on an on , all I have to say is you have better change on success when you work in a collaborative , tolerant environment where people can make small mistakes and there is a mindset of inspect and adapt so that we can do those little things better tomorrow.

                  Yes coaching and training and important as long as you are open to exploring new ways of looking at work and you are ready to have some fun working along with other folks. When you take this attitude, you and your team will find the answers , scrum will not give you the answers, Scrum will expose the questions to be answered and this is the beauty of scrum.

                  I want to make a quote from Tobias Mayer

                  Scrum is a dance
                  -- Follow the rules and discover your team's innate creativity
                  -- Break the rules and watch it all fall apart.

                  --Bachan

                  On Fri, Aug 27, 2010 at 6:55 AM, woynam <woyna@...> wrote:
                   


                  I got the impression that the SM is not co-located with the team, as he/she will not be able to travel to the team's site to "kick off the team".

                  So, it sounds like you have a PO in country A, an SM in country B (or at a different site in country A), and the team in country C.

                  On top of that, the SM has no experience in the SM role, and may have little or no formal Scrum training.

                  Piling on, the team is newly formed, and probably don't have any Scrum training either.

                  Can this work? Perhaps. Is it likely to work? No.

                  My advice would be to a) get everyone some training, b) try to get all parties together for at least one Sprint, and c) get a coach on-site at the team's location.

                  I hate to be blunt, but this organization is facing incredible odds. It's hard enough to get started and succeed with Scrum when everyone is together with a coach.

                  Mark



                  --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Alan Dayley <alandd@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Let me repeat back the structure to be sure I understand.
                  >
                  > - You are the Product Owner residing in Country B.
                  > - The ScrumMaster and The Team reside in Country A.
                  > - The ScrumMaster and The Team work at the same physical location.
                  > - You work for Paying Company.
                  > - The ScrumMaster and The Team work for Serving Company.
                  > - The ScrumMaster has worked on a Scrum Team before now but this is their
                  > first time in the ScrumMaster role.
                  >
                  > Did I get the situation correctly?
                  >
                  > First Thing
                  > Be an awesome Product Owner. This is the place where you have the most
                  > control and will have the most effect. Make sure all the things a Product
                  > Owner does are done very well.
                  > - Product Backlog groomed, sorted, prioritized, communicated and otherwise
                  > maintained.
                  > - Always on time for meetings.
                  > - Clearly answering the question of "What?" is to be built.
                  > - Be available to answer questions and direction as much as possible.
                  > - Initiate conversations with developers and the ScrumMaster every day, even
                  > if you have "nothing" to talk about.
                  > - Talk with your customers/people paying the bills almost as much as you
                  > talk with the team.
                  > - etc.
                  >
                  > This will have a powerful effect for good on the team and the project.
                  >
                  > Next Things
                  > Communication will be your biggest hurdle. You are supposed to be the
                  > driver to the goal and yet you are alone, separated from the rest of the
                  > team. The rest of the team will be creating a culture, way of interacting
                  > and relationships of trust faster than you. There is a huge danger that you
                  > will be the person on the outside, the "Them" in an "us and them"
                  > relationship. You need to be in the "Us" with the team.
                  > - Insist on high-bandwidth communication.
                  > -- Do your best to go visit the rest of the team for a week or more, one
                  > whole sprint if you can. Even if it takes you several sprints to get that
                  > trip, keep requesting. The benefit to future communication is well worth
                  > the cost of the trip.
                  > -- Live video as often as possible.
                  > -- Live voice always available.
                  > -- Live text chat always available at a bare minimum.
                  > -- Use recorded video, computer desktop sharing, digital photos, etc.
                  > - Send them gifts. No really, little statues or traditional cultural
                  > artifacts from your home country. Posters, toys, something they can keep in
                  > the team room to remind them of you. These are your proxy physical
                  > representatives when you are not talking to them. Make such things a joke
                  > or story as part of the team. For example, have them put the toy or small
                  > statue or whatever visibly in the team room during the daily scrum. Be
                  > creative.
                  > - Ask them to send you something that they like or talk about. Have it
                  > visible behind you in the video chat sessions or photos so you include them
                  > in your work life too.
                  >
                  > Mentor the ScrumMaster
                  > He is new to the role. Help him help you so he catches the vision of the
                  > role.
                  > - I assume this ScrumMaster is also a technical contributor. Make requests
                  > and even stories that help him take time to do the ScrumMaster role. The
                  > role must be practiced to be good at it. That takes time. If he is "just"
                  > a meeting facilitator, that is a good service but is less than a ScrumMaster
                  > should do.
                  > - Send the ScrumMaster to training. No, this is not optional. No, reading
                  > books is not enough. Get him trained.
                  > - Ask him to help groom the backlog regularly.
                  > - Ask him to mentor the team as a group and individually in good engineering
                  > practices.
                  > - Ask him to be completely honest about difficulties and impediments.
                  > Especially with you.
                  > - Schedule a daily video chat with just you and him to talk about Scrum and
                  > Agile and how the team and project is doing.
                  >
                  > That's enough for starters. Inspect and adapt. Don't skip retrospectives
                  > or sprint reviews or other parts of the framework. Then learn and change.
                  >
                  > Alan
                  >
                  > On Thu, Aug 26, 2010 at 1:13 PM, Tomi Laaksonen <tomilaaksonen@...>wrote:

                  >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > Hello Community!
                  > >
                  > > I would like to share with you my quite challenging situation and hopefully
                  > > I'll get good advices, tips and hints to survive :)
                  > >
                  > > We are setting up new Scrum team. The team is subcontractor team and of
                  > > course in different site in different country. I'm Product Owner as said in
                  > > different site. When I mentioned that the team is new, it really is: all
                  > > team members are just recruited by subcontractor company and they are
                  > > starting soon. ScrumMaster has worked in different team in our other project
                  > > but he is new in SM role. And it is not sure if I can even visit in their
                  > > site and kick off the team.
                  > >
                  > > I have some ideas how to start even though all this sounds so desperate.
                  > > What do you think what are the areas to concentrate first?
                  > >
                  > > Br,
                  > > -TT-
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  >


                • JackM
                  Granted this is going to be a tough and challenging project. But challenges are what make people great. There has been some good advice here especially from
                  Message 8 of 11 , Aug 27, 2010
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                    Granted this is going to be a tough and challenging project. But challenges are what make people great.

                    There has been some good advice here especially from Alan.

                    To answer your question ... where to start.

                    You need to start with the backlog. Get that nailed and ensure the entire team is part of the process so that all user stories are understood.

                    Definitely good advice to visit at least for one sprint so that you're all collocated for a short time and that you can all get to know one another.

                    COMMUNICATION is key in this scenario.

                    I'd also recommend getting a good tool with awesome collaboration capabilities - in this scenario it may help you.

                    Jack
                    www.agilebuddy.com
                    blog.agilebuddy.com

                    --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Tomi Laaksonen <tomilaaksonen@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > Hello Community!
                    >
                    > I would like to share with you my quite challenging situation and hopefully I'll
                    > get good advices, tips and hints to survive :)
                    >
                    > We are setting up new Scrum team. The team is subcontractor team and of course
                    > in different site in different country. I'm Product Owner as said in different
                    > site. When I mentioned that the team is new, it really is: all team members are
                    > just recruited by subcontractor company and they are starting soon. ScrumMaster
                    > has worked in different team in our other project but he is new in SM role. And
                    > it is not sure if I can even visit in their site and kick off the team.
                    >
                    > I have some ideas how to start even though all this sounds so desperate. What do
                    > you think what are the areas to concentrate first?
                    >
                    > Br,
                    > -TT-
                    >
                  • Don MacIntyre
                    Get the team trained ASAP. Be sure that they are familiar with the engineering practices that are required for iterative development. While visiting the team
                    Message 9 of 11 , Aug 28, 2010
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                      Get the team trained ASAP. Be sure that they are familiar with the engineering practices that are required for iterative development.

                      While visiting the team on a regular basis is the obvious best answer, a remote product owner can succeed if they are - as Alan described - 'awesome'. You can make it work.

                      Rely heavily on video. That's what many of the companies supplying remote resources to agile teams are relying on these days.

                      If you don't have someone at your company who can coach or train, then establish a relationship with a local coach or trainer to help communicate a consistent message to your company, as well as those it subcontracts to. Training the team remotely over video would be better than nothing.

                      -don

                      --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Tomi Laaksonen <tomilaaksonen@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > Hello Community!
                      >
                      > I would like to share with you my quite challenging situation and hopefully I'll
                      > get good advices, tips and hints to survive :)
                      >
                      > We are setting up new Scrum team. The team is subcontractor team and of course
                      > in different site in different country. I'm Product Owner as said in different
                      > site. When I mentioned that the team is new, it really is: all team members are
                      > just recruited by subcontractor company and they are starting soon. ScrumMaster
                      > has worked in different team in our other project but he is new in SM role. And
                      > it is not sure if I can even visit in their site and kick off the team.
                      >
                      > I have some ideas how to start even though all this sounds so desperate. What do
                      > you think what are the areas to concentrate first?
                      >
                      > Br,
                      > -TT-
                      >
                    • gareth.mercer@sungard.com
                      Without wanting to sound like a Nike ad - just do it and do it properly. ( It being scrum.) I m currently going through a similar project / process. *
                      Message 10 of 11 , Aug 29, 2010
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                        Without wanting to sound like a Nike ad – just do it and do it properly.  (‘It’ being scrum.)

                         

                        I’m currently going through a similar project / process. 

                         

                        ·         Scrum Master – me – in Sydney, Australia

                        ·         Team – Shanghai, China

                        ·         Technical adviser / architect – New Jersey, US (provided initial technical training etc)

                        ·         Product Owner – New Jersey, US

                        ·         My boss – California, US

                        ·         Input (mainly technical) from a couple of other people in the US, New Zealand, Australia and India

                         

                        One difference would be that we all work for one company – we off shore, but do not out source.  Everyone in the team in Shanghai is new to the project, all but one is new to the company, and all are new to the technical framework being used.

                         

                        At first I tried to introduce some of the scrum principles gradually.  This was because trying to combine work with recruitment and training in a team that gained at least one new person every week for a couple of months was very difficult.  This didn’t work - for instance the first ‘sprint’ turned into this vague thing that never ended.  Things only really got going when we drew a line in the sand and started proper 2 week sprints.

                         

                        Hence my initial advise of just getting on with scrum.

                         

                        Some things will be very difficult early on.  But that shouldn’t stop you – you have to start at some point.  For instance getting a new team to size epics and stories is very difficult.  But it’s only by doing it that you learn and get better. 

                         

                        I’ve been able to visit Shanghai twice so far.  It’s been invaluable.  For instance being there to do an early sprint planning, or the first sizing session made it much more succesful.

                         

                        I’d recommend short sprints.  One of the reason I went for two weeks, was that we would really struggle to define enough work for a longer period.  We didn’t know how a story was going to be delivered or how long it would take – until we got into it.  Also the priorities on the PBL where rapidly changing.  So the short sprint gave us plenty of time to learn and adapt – and for the PO to see what we were doing and prioritise accordingly.

                         

                        Having said all that I’ll possibly contradict myself by saying there needs to be some flexibility.  Maybe you want to implement some aspect of scrum with the team that they are resistant to, or that won’t stick.  Sometimes you need to push a little closer to where you want to be each sprint until the team see the wisdom in what you are trying to do.

                         

                        I’d agree with many of the practical points already mentioned – especially around communication.

                         

                        Don’t expect the first few sprints to be huge successes!  But do cling to the fact that they will rapidly improve.

                         

                        My final point is one of encouragement.  Of course it’s harder than everyone being in the same room.  But it can work.  We’re five sprints (10 weeks) in and we’ve had some form of working software at the end of each sprint.  We’re making good progress on delivering on the product backlog.  Also, when comparing the first sprint to the most recent the difference is enormous.  Things are really starting to work – for instance I don’t dread planning session quite as much as I did.  J

                         

                        Good luck.

                         

                        Gareth

                         

                        Gareth Mercer • Director of Software Development • SunGard • AvantGard Treasury

                         

                      • Alan Dayley
                        Nice contribution to the discussion, Gareth. I must admit, your location structure simply shocks me. The communication cost must be very high. The fact that
                        Message 11 of 11 , Aug 29, 2010
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Nice contribution to the discussion, Gareth.

                          I must admit, your location structure simply shocks me.  The communication cost must be very high.  The fact that you (everyone involved) is making it work is a great accomplishment!

                          Alan

                          On Sun, Aug 29, 2010 at 9:22 PM, <gareth.mercer@...> wrote:
                           

                          Without wanting to sound like a Nike ad – just do it and do it properly.  (‘It’ being scrum.)

                           

                          I’m currently going through a similar project / process. 

                           

                          ·         Scrum Master – me – in Sydney, Australia

                          ·         Team – Shanghai, China

                          ·         Technical adviser / architect – New Jersey, US (provided initial technical training etc)

                          ·         Product Owner – New Jersey, US

                          ·         My boss – California, US

                          ·         Input (mainly technical) from a couple of other people in the US, New Zealand, Australia and India

                           

                          One difference would be that we all work for one company – we off shore, but do not out source.  Everyone in the team in Shanghai is new to the project, all but one is new to the company, and all are new to the technical framework being used.

                           

                          At first I tried to introduce some of the scrum principles gradually.  This was because trying to combine work with recruitment and training in a team that gained at least one new person every week for a couple of months was very difficult.  This didn’t work - for instance the first ‘sprint’ turned into this vague thing that never ended.  Things only really got going when we drew a line in the sand and started proper 2 week sprints.

                           

                          Hence my initial advise of just getting on with scrum.

                           

                          Some things will be very difficult early on.  But that shouldn’t stop you – you have to start at some point.  For instance getting a new team to size epics and stories is very difficult.  But it’s only by doing it that you learn and get better. 

                           

                          I’ve been able to visit Shanghai twice so far.  It’s been invaluable.  For instance being there to do an early sprint planning, or the first sizing session made it much more succesful.

                           

                          I’d recommend short sprints.  One of the reason I went for two weeks, was that we would really struggle to define enough work for a longer period.  We didn’t know how a story was going to be delivered or how long it would take – until we got into it.  Also the priorities on the PBL where rapidly changing.  So the short sprint gave us plenty of time to learn and adapt – and for the PO to see what we were doing and prioritise accordingly.

                           

                          Having said all that I’ll possibly contradict myself by saying there needs to be some flexibility.  Maybe you want to implement some aspect of scrum with the team that they are resistant to, or that won’t stick.  Sometimes you need to push a little closer to where you want to be each sprint until the team see the wisdom in what you are trying to do.

                           

                          I’d agree with many of the practical points already mentioned – especially around communication.

                           

                          Don’t expect the first few sprints to be huge successes!  But do cling to the fact that they will rapidly improve.

                           

                          My final point is one of encouragement.  Of course it’s harder than everyone being in the same room.  But it can work.  We’re five sprints (10 weeks) in and we’ve had some form of working software at the end of each sprint.  We’re making good progress on delivering on the product backlog.  Also, when comparing the first sprint to the most recent the difference is enormous.  Things are really starting to work – for instance I don’t dread planning session quite as much as I did.  J

                           

                          Good luck.

                           

                          Gareth

                           

                          Gareth Mercer • Director of Software Development • SunGard • AvantGard Treasury

                           


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