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Re: Scrum at Yahoo

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  • Ing. Edison Lascano, MSc
    I worked in 2008 at Yahoo. And Scrum was working really well in our team, it was a technical project where I was involved, and something additional to mention
    Message 1 of 15 , Jul 3 9:15 AM
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      I worked in 2008 at Yahoo.
      And Scrum was working really well in our team, it was a technical project where I was involved, and something additional to mention is that in the welcome meeting, they mentioned that the development teams mostly use Scrum. I agree with Silvana where she says "do not overgeneralize it". I know nothing about current projects though

      Thanks
      Edison

      --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, SilvanaWasitova <wasitova@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      >
      > In 2008 i was at Yahoo, and our team really appreciated how Scrum helped us deliver business value, as was the case in many other teams. Even today there still are teams at Yahoo that use Scrum.
      >
      > I'd refrain from overgeneralizing based on one person's off-hand comment, or one product's current state.
      >
      > On Jun 30, 2012, at 6:06 PM, Charles Bradley - Scrum Coach CSP CSM PSM I <chuck-lists2@...> wrote:
      >
      > > I remember in my CSM class in 2008 that someone in the class was saying that Yahoo had tried Scrum and thrown it out because it couldn't support their rapidly changing priorities, etc. It sounded like to me that they were a in high churn environment, which usually smacks of a dysfunction of some sort.
      > >
      > > Fast forward to present day, and I'm having all kinds of problems accessing my Yahoo Calendar. I'm one of the 3 people in the world that doesn't use the Outlook Calendar or the Outlook Mail client (though as I get more and more appointments from managers and executives I think I need to give up and just do it), and have always used the Yahoo calendar and enjoyed it.
      > >
      > > From what I've read and experienced, Yahoo has had some serious failures wrt Yahoo Groups and Yahoo Calendar.
      > >
      > > Though I have absolutely no hard evidence(other than a 3rd hand report in my CSM class) to back any of this up, I am now wondering if a) Scrum was telling Yahoo something and b) if throwing out Scrum was a successful move for them.
      > >
      > > Having said all of that, my guess is that, if they a lot of technical debt, process debt, and/or defects in their systems, that it probably has very little to do with Scrum directly, except maybe via the Definition of Done.
      > >
      > > Does anyone else have any info on Yahoo that might explain their technical or process problems? (Their business problems are a whole different animal)
      > >
      > > -------
      > > Charles Bradley
      > > http://www.ScrumCrazy.com
      > >
      > >
      >
    • Mark Levison
      Charles - in addition to all the other wise comments remember that no large organization has a single process no matter what they say. Cheers Mark Levison
      Message 2 of 15 , Jul 3 12:07 PM
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        Charles - in addition to all the other wise comments remember that no large organization has a "single process" no matter what they say.

        Cheers
        Mark Levison

      • Charles Bradley - Scrum Coach CSP CSM PSM
        Jim, ... I m curious as to why you said this.  Are you saying that Scrum would make the rapidly changing priorities more visible?   ... Charles Bradley
        Message 3 of 15 , Jul 14 3:56 AM
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          Jim,

          > It seems to me that an organisation with rapidly changing priorities would be a good candidate for Scrum, not a bad one.

          I'm curious as to why you said this.  Are you saying that Scrum would make the rapidly changing priorities more visible?
           
          -------
          Charles Bradley
          http://www.ScrumCrazy.com




          From: jamesjhawkins <jhawkins@...>
          To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Monday, July 2, 2012 3:33 AM
          Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Scrum at Yahoo

          Well, this is not what you asked but what I'm thinking is:

          1. If a business model doesn't work, Scrum won't make it work.
          In Scrum terms, if the product owner and team are prioritising the wrong user stories, their business may fail even if their Scrum practice is perfect.

          2. An organisation's failure to implement Scrum may be a symptom of a wider problem: inability to change.
          Any organisation that cannot change will fail sooner or later.

          It seems to me that an organisation with rapidly changing priorities would be a good candidate for Scrum, not a bad one.

          Cheers, Jim



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        • Charles Bradley - Scrum Coach CSP CSM PSM
          Fredrik, My only reason for asking was finding out more about Yahoo s experiences with Scrum, and I was curious if it is in any way related to the technical
          Message 4 of 15 , Jul 14 4:02 AM
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            Fredrik,

            My only reason for asking was finding out more about Yahoo's experiences with Scrum, and I was curious if it is in any way related to the technical issues they are having at the moment.  I was not looking or hoping to find any particular answer.

            I realize that Scrum may or may not ever be the root cause of any failure (technical or business), but I do believe that organizations that do Scrum well would not be having such public technical failures as Yahoo seems to be having lately.

            I have long been a huge fan of Yahoo for many reasons, so I'm very disappointed that they are having business and technical problems and are struggling.  It is sad.

            On another yahoo group I'm on, the recent announcement of YG to disable/remove a couple of features was interpreted by some of the members to mean that Yahoo Groups was going away altogether and that maybe Facebook was part of the catalyst for that.  I personally do not think as highly of Facebook as the media does, but I do have a lot of respect for any company that achieves as much "perceived" success in such a little time time frame as Facebook has.
             
            -------
            Charles Bradley
            http://www.ScrumCrazy.com




            From: frede_swe <fredrik.vestin@...>
            To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Monday, July 2, 2012 4:51 AM
            Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Scrum at Yahoo

            Charles,

            Why are you asking? Are you looking for examples of where scrum or other frameworks fail or succeed? To me waterfall, scrum or any other framework cannot fail or succeed, only the organisations trying to adopt them. You may have a higher probability of succeeding with scrum over other frameworks, but that's a different story.

            Fredrik
            --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Charles Bradley - Scrum Coach CSP CSM PSM I <chuck-lists2@...> wrote:
            >
            > I remember in my CSM class in 2008 that someone in the class was saying that Yahoo had tried Scrum and thrown it out because it couldn't support their rapidly changing priorities, etc.  It sounded like to me that they were a in high churn environment, which usually smacks of a dysfunction of some sort.
            >
            > Fast forward to present day, and I'm having all kinds of problems accessing my Yahoo Calendar.  I'm one of the 3 people in the world that doesn't use the Outlook Calendar or the Outlook Mail client (though as I get more and more appointments from managers and executives I think I need to give up and just do it), and have always used the Yahoo calendar and enjoyed it.
            >
            > From what I've read and experienced, Yahoo has had some serious failures wrt Yahoo Groups and Yahoo Calendar.
            >
            > Though I have absolutely no hard evidence(other than a 3rd hand report in my CSM class) to back any of this up, I am now wondering if a) Scrum was telling Yahoo something and b) if throwing out Scrum was a successful move for them.
            >
            > Having said all of that, my guess is that, if they a lot of technical debt, process debt, and/or defects in their systems, that it probably has very little to do with Scrum directly, except maybe via the Definition of Done.
            >
            > Does anyone else have any info on Yahoo that might explain their technical or process problems?  (Their business problems are a whole different animal)
            >
            >  
            > -------
            > Charles Bradley
            > http://www.ScrumCrazy.com
            >




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          • Charles Bradley - Scrum Coach CSP CSM PSM
            Wow Ilan, That was a great paper!  It s kind of a blue print for a Scrum rollout at a large organization, along with lessons learned as well.   It s kind
            Message 5 of 15 , Jul 14 4:24 AM
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              Wow Ilan,

              That was a great paper!  It's kind of a blue print for a Scrum rollout at a large organization, along with "lessons learned" as well.  

              It's kind of a shame that Yahoo has had some struggles in recent years as Scrum detractors will try to use that to degrade the credibility of the experience report at Yahoo. 

              As a Scrum community member, I want to see a paper like this from every successful* company that has done a successful* Scrum adoption, so that we can continue to convince people and organizations to give Scrum a try and also convince them that the hard work to implement Scrum can be a wonderful thing for their organization.

              *-successful -- as perceived by the masses -- consensus of success
               
              -------
              Charles Bradley
              http://www.ScrumCrazy.com




              From: ilangoldstein1 <igoldstein1@...>
              To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Sunday, July 1, 2012 3:54 AM
              Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Scrum at Yahoo


              Hi Charles - I was recently co-training at a CSM course in London and in attendance was a senior program manager from Yahoo's data centre ops who told us that Scrum was certainly alive and well within their product dev areas. We didn't go into detail so not sure about the calendar/groups teams specifically but I don't believe that Scrum was thrown out based on this anecdotal evidence.

              Incidentally, I was co-training with Gabrielle Benefield, who was one of the Scrum pioneers at Yahoo who wrote a paper on their adoption:
              http://assets.scrumfoundation.com/downloads/6/YahooAgileRollout.pdf?1286089611

              - Ilan

              www.scrumshortcuts.com/blog
              @ilagile


              --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Charles Bradley - Scrum Coach CSP CSM PSM I <chuck-lists2@...> wrote:
              >
              > I remember in my CSM class in 2008 that someone in the class was saying that Yahoo had tried Scrum and thrown it out because it couldn't support their rapidly changing priorities, etc.  It sounded like to me that they were a in high churn environment, which usually smacks of a dysfunction of some sort.
              >
              > Fast forward to present day, and I'm having all kinds of problems accessing my Yahoo Calendar.  I'm one of the 3 people in the world that doesn't use the Outlook Calendar or the Outlook Mail client (though as I get more and more appointments from managers and executives I think I need to give up and just do it), and have always used the Yahoo calendar and enjoyed it.
              >
              > From what I've read and experienced, Yahoo has had some serious failures wrt Yahoo Groups and Yahoo Calendar.
              >
              > Though I have absolutely no hard evidence(other than a 3rd hand report in my CSM class) to back any of this up, I am now wondering if a) Scrum was telling Yahoo something and b) if throwing out Scrum was a successful move for them.
              >
              > Having said all of that, my guess is that, if they a lot of technical debt, process debt, and/or defects in their systems, that it probably has very little to do with Scrum directly, except maybe via the Definition of Done.
              >
              > Does anyone else have any info on Yahoo that might explain their technical or process problems?  (Their business problems are a whole different animal)
              >
              >  
              > -------
              > Charles Bradley
              > http://www.ScrumCrazy.com
              >



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            • Charles Bradley - Scrum Coach CSP CSM PSM
              Silvana, Thanks for the info.  ... Agreed, which is why I was asking for more info.  ... It would be very interesting if someone did a follow up paper, maybe
              Message 6 of 15 , Jul 14 4:38 AM
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                Silvana,

                Thanks for the info. 

                > I'd refrain from overgeneralizing based on one person's off-hand comment, or one product's current state.
                Agreed, which is why I was asking for more info. 

                You also commented:
                > Even today there still are teams at Yahoo that use Scrum

                It would be very interesting if someone did a follow up paper, maybe even the original authors, on where Scrum stands today at Yahoo.  Most of the great info shared on this thread is several years old, so hearing more about modern times would be great.  I really wish there was a better way for our Scrum community to share successes and failures(maybe that's what conferences are partially for?). 

                I feel like we've been great at winning the PR war in the past, but I feel like in the last year or two, as Scrum crosses the chasm, we're not winning it any more.  I don't think we're losing either -- just sort of stalemated.  Maybe that's typical with crossing the chasm. 
                 
                -------
                Charles Bradley
                http://www.ScrumCrazy.com




                From: SilvanaWasitova <wasitova@...>
                To: "scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com" <scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com>
                Cc: "scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com" <scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Tuesday, July 3, 2012 1:34 AM
                Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Scrum at Yahoo





                In 2008 i was at Yahoo, and our team really appreciated how Scrum helped us deliver business value, as was the case in many other teams.  Even today there still are teams at Yahoo that use Scrum.

                I'd refrain from overgeneralizing based on one person's off-hand comment, or one product's current state.

                On Jun 30, 2012, at 6:06 PM, Charles Bradley - Scrum Coach CSP CSM PSM I <chuck-lists2@...> wrote:

                 
                I remember in my CSM class in 2008 that someone in the class was saying that Yahoo had tried Scrum and thrown it out because it couldn't support their rapidly changing priorities, etc.  It sounded like to me that they were a in high churn environment, which usually smacks of a dysfunction of some sort.

                Fast forward to present day, and I'm having all kinds of problems accessing my Yahoo Calendar.  I'm one of the 3 people in the world that doesn't use the Outlook Calendar or the Outlook Mail client (though as I get more and more appointments from managers and executives I think I need to give up and just do it), and have always used the Yahoo calendar and enjoyed it.

                From what I've read and experienced, Yahoo has had some serious failures wrt Yahoo Groups and Yahoo Calendar.

                Though I have absolutely no hard evidence(other than a 3rd hand report in my CSM class) to back any of this up, I am now wondering if a) Scrum was telling Yahoo something and b) if throwing out Scrum was a successful move for them.

                Having said all of that, my guess is that, if they a lot of technical debt, process debt, and/or defects in their systems, that it probably has very little to do with Scrum directly, except maybe via the Definition of Done.

                Does anyone else have any info on Yahoo that might explain their technical or process problems?  (Their business problems are a whole different animal)
                 
                -------
                Charles Bradley
                http://www.scrumcrazy.com/






              • jamesjhawkins
                ... That wasn t what I was thinking but, yes, I can see that Scrum would do that. It seems to me that the priorities of that day are communicated very clearly
                Message 7 of 15 , Jul 16 1:37 AM
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                  > > It seems to me that an organisation with rapidly changing priorities would be a good candidate for Scrum, not a bad one.
                  >
                  > I'm curious as to why you said this.  Are you saying that Scrum would make the rapidly changing priorities more visible?

                  That wasn't what I was thinking but, yes, I can see that Scrum would do that.
                  It seems to me that the priorities of that day are communicated very clearly in Scrum, by being placed at the top of the product backlog.

                  Why I originally said this is that I believe the typical Scrum team can adjust to changed priorities more quickly than the typical waterfall team.
                  In principle, a Scrum team can make this adjustment at the start of any sprint. A waterfall team can only make this adjustment at the end of a project, or use an exception like a change control process.

                  Cheers, Jim
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