What to do when the team is not firing on all cylinders?
- Hi All. I have relatively small Scrum team that is responsible for database design, and maintenance. Unfortunately, this team is treated as an operations type team, but is still expected to run as an Agile Scrum team. Greater than 60% of their work is out of sprint tasks. I have suggested that they try incorporating Kanban as part of their development cycles. Unfortunately, neither the team, nor their P.O. sees this as a viable alternative to having constant out of sprint work given to them.
Also, each member of the team is considered a specialist in their day-to-day work by the other team members. I have suggested the team try pair-programming so that they each can pick up any task at any time. Again, the team has not seen the value in this.
Any suggestions on how I can help this highly specialized, and constantly distracted team?
- Do your management knows that you are NOT doing Scrum already?
When you say "they do not want to leave Scrum", I'd say "they want to implement Scrum". And if they want to implement Scrum, they need to really buy the idea, to play the game, and stop disrupting the process.
What I feel from what I read is that they do not want do Scrum, they just want do stick to the process you are running today, a Kanban with some Scrum practices that you can call anything but Scrum.
In this case, my discussion with them would be something like: "We do not do Scrum today. We can't do Scrum because we can't follow some of it's basic rules. We can do Kanban and put some Scrum practices in place. And we need to understand what practices would bring value to our custom process."
The division in Sprints, for example, seens to be waste. Doing retrospectives every two weeks or so might bring value. Prioritizing tickets might bring value. Planning the items that were in that 40% of the backlog might bring value. Daily Meetings might be waste. And so on.On Fri, Sep 3, 2010 at 4:15 PM, JackM <jack@...> wrote:
There was very little in the way of actual advice on how to solve this problem. I think the answer to your question is ..
1. identify the source of interruptions and track them on the burndown so everyone can see how the team is being affected.
2. as was mentioned above. bring the interrupts into the sprint, track in it's own backlog for example and budget for the interrupts in the sprint.
3. batch the delivery of solutions for interrupts. When i joined my current company it was natural for anyone in the company to go directly to the developer and ask them to fix something. They were delivering patch after patch after patch. Now we set a patch delivery cycle, everything get's batched and everything is managed within the sprint. It's amazing how when you share a patch schedule with your customers how accepting they are. This helps you to manage your resources more effectively and become more predictable.
4. Find out why so many interrupts - usually this is a code quality issue. So figure out how to pay down this debt. We invested heavily in automation and unit tests. Eventually this will pay dividends.
5. Pair program, share the knowledge then you have more flexibility to pull some folks off to deal with maintenance while the rest of the team works on the core sprint stuff. This role can be rotated assuming you have collective code ownership.
Hope this helps
--- In email@example.com, George Dinwiddie <lists@...> wrote:
> On 9/2/10 12:39 AM, David A Barrett wrote:
> > I think I'd take a different approach to this.
> > If the problem is that the team is spending too much time on "out of
> > Sprint" items, then pull those activities into the Sprints.
> > I think you'll be surprised at how little people get upset when you tell
> > them that some big job will need to wait until it can be prioritized
> > into a Sprint.
> Yes, I think that's a fine solution. And if people /can't/ wait, or say
> they can't, then consider shortening your sprints. No work is
> instantaneous, even if started right away, so the argument "I need it
> right now" holds no water.
> - George
> * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
> Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
> Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org