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Re: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Size of team a barrier to SCRUM and Agile

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  • Abhilash
    Mike I have few suggestions. Scrum doesn t ask or prescribes a very detailed requirement document. There should be sufficient knowledge within the team
    Message 1 of 24 , Jan 22, 2012
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      Mike I have few suggestions.
      Scrum doesn't ask or prescribes a very detailed requirement document. There should be sufficient knowledge within the team to start the work. The backlog creation and adding the just sufficient details in the PBI's is the job of Product Owner; PO can create a rough  draft and then team can comment on it. Any doubts/queries will be redirected back to customers.  A scrummaster or agile PM should ensure this interactions should happen between PO, feature team & end customers. Scrum is all about agility and discussion so please dont prevent this flow. I used to be in the same boat, creating everything for the team but it didnt help the ultimate goal of self organizing team; now i have stepped back & team is doing a great job.

      I agree stopping a task in between and jumping to new is very bad & such multitasking should be avoided. If there are couple of projects tasks from all projects can be added to sprint. They just have to be prioritized. We know the teams velocity and any task more than the velocity wouldnt be done. if the team is handling 5 projects then there may be a case that the sprint will be full with the tasks of first two projects. If the tasks of other projects are to be done then we need more resources or team will have to drop task from project 1 or 2 from the sprint :) ( before or during sprint planning & not during the actual execution of the sprint).
      Regards
      Abhilash



      From: JackM <jack@...>
      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Saturday, 21 January 2012 4:53 AM
      Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Size of team a barrier to SCRUM and Agile

      What many managers don't understand is that one of the most wasteful things is multi-tasking. In lean thinking they call this a transportation cost or a switching cost. Every time the developer drops what he or she is doing and picks up on something new, he has to relearn what he did and takes time to pick up where he left off. It's not a very efficient way to work. All of the experts will agree on this.

      Now it's not always possible in companies to have dedicated focused teams, I understand that. Never the less Scrum Masters should strive to get to this point. There are charts in Mary Popendiecks book that indicated the effects of multi-tasking as well as sheduling teams to capacity.

      Now how to deliver this message to your manager is a different story. Perhaps get him to read Mary Poppendiek's book on Lean and in particular the 7 wastes in software development.

      Hope this helps
      Jack
      www.agilebuddy.com

      --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Mike Frymyer <mfrymyer@...> wrote:
      >
      > I am a project manager and I work for an IT department that has 5
      > developers. Those 5 developers are working on 4 - 5 projects at any given
      > time. They are also responsible for support and maintenance.
      >
      > My CIO is very frustrated with the fact that they are unable to provide goo
      > levels of efforts for their work. This leads to late deliverables. He is
      > also pushing us very hard toward Agile methods thinking that will fix all
      > of our problems.
      >
      > A typical development timeframe for the vast majority of our products is
      > between 40 and 400 hours. This is for .NET and Business Objects reporting.
      >
      > I have taken the SCRUMMaster classes and from all that I see you need to
      > have
      dedicated teams to a specific work effort. This is due in large part
      > that a developer needs to be present at all times; such as during the User
      > Story definition and then decomposing the User Stories into more
      > detailed requirements during the development or SPRINT.
      >
      > I have been trying to capture the detailed requirements for the backlog to
      > eliminate the need tp have a developer spend time with the customer, but my
      > boss says I am taking too long on the requirements (usually about 30 hours
      > in as coompressed a time span as schedules will allow).
      >
      > I am looking for suggestions on what I may be doing wrong and how I might
      > be able to utilize Agile without a dedicated development team to each
      > effort.
      >
      > Mike
      >




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    • Ram Srinivasan
      ... Because it is much easier to *not* prioritize projects and features based on value, and still justify to their bosses that they are doing the right thing.
      Message 2 of 24 , Jan 26, 2012
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        Why on earth is this so difficult for people to comprehend?  

        Because it is much easier to *not* prioritize projects and features based on value, and still justify to their bosses that they are doing the right thing. 

        Because it is much easier to say that the resources ( Yes, I don't like being called a resource ) are 100% utilized (or almost near 100%)  than to look into cycle times, ROI and other factors to justify only working on one project at a time. 

        Ram


        On Thu, Jan 26, 2012 at 10:16 AM, woynam <woyna@...> wrote:
         


        Even if you *could* multitask without any overhead cost, it would *still* wind up costing the business in lost value.

        Ron and several others have posted examples *numerous* times that demonstrate that implementing multiple projects in parallel *guarantees* that all but one project will be delivered later than if the projects had been addressed serially.

        A project delivered later is *lost value*. Are businesses aware of this? If not, why? You need to have a conversation with the business that clearly explains that they can have Project A in 2 weeks, or they can have it in 12 weeks. In possible world can they have 6 projects in 2 weeks, but we can certainly give them 6 projects in 12 weeks, with the corresponding loss in value.

        Why on earth is this so difficult for people to comprehend?

        Mark



        --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Seyit Caglar Abbasoglu <scabbasoglu@...> wrote:
        >
        > Some interesting stuff about multi-tasking
        >
        > http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2006/09/the-multi-tasking-myth.html
        >
        > It seems Human can not multi-task complex jobs. She can only context
        > switch, and it's really costly.
        >
        > The last statement is pretty effective :
        >
        > " Whenever possible, avoid interruptions and avoid working on more than one
        > project at the same time. If it's unavoidable, *be brutally honest with

        > yourself-- and your stakeholders-- about how much you can actually get done
        > under multi-tasking conditions.* It's probably less than you think."

        >
        > Perhaps your CIO should know about this.
        >


      • devesh.kumar@thomsonreuters.com
        Hi All I am looking for Webinars for which I can claim PDU for PMI-ACP. Let me know if you such webinars. Best Regards Devesh
        Message 3 of 24 , Jan 26, 2012
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          Hi All

           

          I am looking for Webinars for which I can claim PDU for PMI-ACP.

          Let me know if you such webinars.

           

          Best Regards

          Devesh

           

        • Joshua Partogi
          Go ask in the PMI mailing list. You will get a better answer. This is a Scrum mailing list. ... -- @jpartogi
          Message 4 of 24 , Feb 1, 2012
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            Go ask in the PMI mailing list. You will get a better answer. This is a Scrum mailing list.

            On Fri, Jan 27, 2012 at 6:00 AM, <devesh.kumar@...> wrote:
             

            Hi All

             

            I am looking for Webinars for which I can claim PDU for PMI-ACP.

            Let me know if you such webinars.

             

            Best Regards

            Devesh

             


            --
            @jpartogi
          • Ram Srinivasan
            You can join the agile community of practice, and look under webinar, we have a few ones there Ram
            Message 5 of 24 , Feb 1, 2012
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              You can join the agile community of practice, and look under webinar, we have a few ones there

              Ram

              On Feb 1, 2012 7:46 PM, "Joshua Partogi" <joshua.java@...> wrote:
               

              Go ask in the PMI mailing list. You will get a better answer. This is a Scrum mailing list.

              On Fri, Jan 27, 2012 at 6:00 AM, <devesh.kumar@...> wrote:
               

              Hi All

               

              I am looking for Webinars for which I can claim PDU for PMI-ACP.

              Let me know if you such webinars.

               

              Best Regards

              Devesh

               


              --
              @jpartogi
            • Wouter Lagerweij
              Hi Ram, I ve used the Batman (we ironically called it Developer of the week ) approach. It worked well in a situation where there was a limited influx of
              Message 6 of 24 , Feb 1, 2012
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                Hi Ram, 

                I've used the 'Batman' (we ironically called it 'Developer of the week') approach. It worked well in a situation where there was a limited influx of emergencies. 
                For a situation where there were a lot of emergencies (meaning the quality level was quite low) we put together a separate team that focused only on fixing those issues, and doing structural improvements to bring the quality level up. 

                'maintenance' can mean fixing defects, but to some it can also mean implementing new functionality. If there's a lot of new functionality necessary for the existing, deployed application, then even with limited defects you can still get to a situation where there's no time to work on the new product. That's OK. But as Scrum Master, in that situation it helps to make things very visible. Present a little overview of what has been worked on for different projects at each Sprint Review, for instance. Preferably with a little historical data as well. Ensure that you measure actual velocity on the 'main project', and use that for any release planning. Transparency.

                Wouter

                On Thu, Jan 19, 2012 at 6:29 AM, Ram Srinivasan <vasan.ram@...> wrote:
                 

                Ron:


                Great Answer. Lot of us (including me) are in the same boat as  Mike. 

                Question.

                How do you manage new development, along with maintaining existing application/products, especially if the team is small, given that this team has actually developed the( now deployed)  "cash cow" application. My answer is along the lines of have a batman (http://jamesshore.com/Agile-Book/iteration_planning.html ), but if there are multiple products to maintain (including hot fixes), it really becomes difficult. How do you handle such circumstances ?

                Thanks,
                Ram

                On Wed, Jan 18, 2012 at 2:28 PM, RonJeffries <ronjeffries@...> wrote:
                 

                Hello Mike,


                It is time for some tough love here ...

                On Jan 13, 2012, at 10:26 AM, Mike Frymyer wrote:

                I am a project manager and I work for an IT department that has 5 developers. Those 5 developers are working on 4 - 5 projects at any given time. They are also responsible for support and maintenance.

                How's that working for you? My guess: horribly. There's a reason:

                Suppose each project would require five weeks. Assuming perfect task switching, your delivery plans look like this:

                1234512345123451234512345SHIP

                But you won't get perfect task switching. There will be overhead and mistakes. It looks more like this:

                1.2.3.4.5.1.2.3.4.5.1.2.3.4.5.1.2.3.4.5.1.2.3.4.5.SxHxIxPx

                If you work on one thing at a time it would look like this:
                1111122222333334444455555
                 xxxxxSHIP  SHIP  SHIP  SHIP  SHIP
                 
                My CIO is very frustrated with the fact that they are unable to provide goo levels of efforts for their work. This leads to late deliverables. He is also pushing us very hard toward Agile methods thinking that will fix all of our problems.

                BULL. There are no late deliverables due to "inability to provide good levels of effort". There is only bad product management. The team should be assumed to be working as effectively as they can under the (let's face it, not very bright) conditions they've been put under. Once you learn to manage that flow, you can work to improve it. You do this by removing impediments, not by applying more pressure or adding in more work.

                The problem of MANAGEMENT is to select work in such a way as to get the best possible product by the desired delivery date. This will be a lot easier for everyone if the team only works on one thing at a time. Since it will also have lower overhead and produce fewer errors while delivering much sooner, it only has one downside: it will require some managers to make some decisions, which by the way is their job.

                 
                A typical development timeframe for the vast majority of our products is between 40 and 400 hours. This is for .NET and Business Objects reporting.

                OK ... How do you get these numbers? Are they estimated by the sales department? By the CIO? By you? By the developers? 

                 
                I have taken the SCRUMMaster classes and from all that I see you need to have dedicated teams to a specific work effort. This is due in large part that a developer needs to be present at all times; such as during the User Story definition and then decomposing the User Stories into more detailed requirements during the development or SPRINT.

                A developer present at all times? Do you perhaps mean a Product Owner? Tell me about your Product Owners, who must be business-side people, fully empowered to decide what goes into the product, and what does not. Did you notice in your ScrumMaster training that the Product Owner is solely responsible for the delivery of the best possible product by the deadline?

                 
                I have been trying to capture the detailed requirements for the backlog to eliminate the need tp have a developer spend time with the customer, but my boss says I am taking too long on the requirements (usually about 30 hours in as coompressed a time span as schedules will allow).

                You are a project manager. This is not a Scrum role as far as I am aware. Perhaps you are trying to take on the Product Owner role? If so, have you had Product Owner training?

                It also sounds to me as if no one in management is on board with doing Scrum, much less understands what it means. Am I getting the wrong impression here?

                 
                I am looking for suggestions on what I may be doing wrong and how I might be able to utilize Agile without a dedicated development team to each effort.

                If you are going to spread your teams over multiple projects, that is such a bad idea, that I implore you, as one of the authors of the Agile manifesto, to call your process anything else but not Agile.

                Ron Jeffries
                www.XProgramming.com
                There's no word for accountability in Finnish. Accountability is something that is left when responsibility has been subtracted. 
                --Pasi Sahlberg





                --
                Wouter Lagerweij         | wouter@...
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