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Re: [scrumdevelopment] Scrum works on a team with multiple projects?

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  • Charles Bradley - Professional Scrum Trai
    Anyone know of any good internet articles on why we favor the product metaphor over the project metaphor?  I found a couple via google search, but wasn t
    Message 1 of 31 , Apr 17, 2013
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      Anyone know of any good internet articles on why we favor the product metaphor over the project metaphor? 

      I found a couple via google search, but wasn't hugely impressed with them.

      I've coached a team working on multiple(about 5, mobile) products.  I showed them Ron's ABC metaphor:  http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/scrumdevelopment/message/53741 and the research on multi-tasking (Cohn's AE&P).

      Thereafter, they decided to work on one product at a time, and usually no more than 3 in a sprint (and usually 2 of the 3 were the same stories, but features being built on two different platforms -- IOS + Android)

      It can be done, but there's also possibly some larger dysfunctions at play that won't allow it to be done well.  Either way, Scrum will make all of that transparent.  :-)
       
      -------
      Charles Bradley
      Professional Scrum Trainer
      Scrum Coach-in-Chief
      ScrumCrazy.com




      From: Adam Sroka <adam.sroka@...>
      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 2:18 PM
      Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Scrum works on a team with multiple projects?






      On Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 4:40 PM, Leonardo Nunes <leonardobn@...> wrote:
       
      Does Scrum works on a team with multiple projects?


      The Scrum framework can be used to manage multiple projects, but it is difficult and unlikely to be consistent with these: http://agilemanifesto.org/principles.html 
       
      On a 1 team with 1 project we have perfect scenario.


      Actually not. The ideal scenario for Scrum is to have a team devoted to a product not a project. The notion of a project is somewhat orthogonal to Scrum (i.e. it is a way of managing time and budget, not a way of managing development.) 
       
      But in my organization we have 31 development teams. Each team has 20 to 50 projects at same time.


      What do these projects look like? What would the goals of a typical project be? How long would a typical project take from when you first start planning it until you consider it done? What sort of things get delivered at the end of a project and to whom? 
       
      This happens because each team has a big system to take care, and this big system has a set of sub-systems. A project is created to make evolutions or correct erros in each sub-system and i can not make, until now, a project to make a evolution on a several sub-systems in the same time, this is a goverment limitation.


      Sounds like you have some sort of regulatory requirement to report on what you are doing in a particular way. Consider that the need to report it doesn't have to dictate the way you work. I would let the team figure out what it needs to do to improve the "big system," which is their product, and then ask whatever questions I needed to to get the information I had to report to the government. As far as your auditors are concerned you are doing a bunch of simultaneuous projects on a bunch of subsystems, but as far as the team is concerned they are delivering features for a product. There is no reason these two views can't exist simultaneously.  
       
      So my question is - Scrum works in this scenario? How can i deal with several projects on a team? With a team who has 15 projects, i cant do 15 sprint plannings... this is a crazy!


      It could work. You couldn't pay me enough to manage it though. It sounds like a total nightmare. 




    • Mark Levison
      Mark - this discussion proves the earlier point. Project says nothing about size and so its unclear how big a thing you re describing. Leonardo s projects were
      Message 31 of 31 , Apr 30, 2013
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        Mark - this discussion proves the earlier point. Project says nothing about size and so its unclear how big a thing you're describing. Leonardo's projects were anything from hours to weeks. Yours are months to a year. Its likely they have little in common.

        I hereby declare the word "project" retired. If I see it used again I will take it out behind the barn and shoot it :-)

        Cheers
        Mark


        On Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 10:02 AM, woynam <woyna@...> wrote:
         


        I never said our teams are context switching between projects. I simply stated that a project is a large epic. As such, it needs to be broken down into smaller features/stories. Our teams usually work on one project, with an average of 4 iterations.

        Thus, projects themselves are not the problem. How you prioritize and execute them is the rub.

        Of course, if one has huge projects, then there will be pressure to work on multiple projects concurrently, as the business side generally doesn't like to hear that their project will be starting in 12 months.

        The key, as usual, is to develop the skills to reduce features down to the smallest possible size that still provides business value.

        Mark



        --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Cass Dalton <cassdalton73@...> wrote:
        >
        > It was definitely a bit harsh, and also a bit extremist. But the
        > underlying sentiment is true. It will be very difficult to gain benefits
        > of agile that are normally presented in bullet points in an executive
        > summary if your teams are multi-tasking between heterogeneous projects.
        > One of the values of agile is a focused team. The team is completely
        > focused and united towards a common goal. If the goals of a "team" or even
        > an individual are divergent in any way, it will detract from the normal
        > agile performance gains. Ignoring this means you're using Scrum as a
        > process for the value of the process itself, and not as a process that
        > facilitates cooperation and interaction.
        >
        >
        > On Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 9:51 AM, woynam <woyna@...> wrote:
        >
        > > **

        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > That's a bit harsh. To me, a project is a very large epic. It should be as
        > > big as it needs to be, but no bigger. It comprises the smallest number of
        > > features/stories that must be built and deployed together to achieve a
        > > business objective.
        > >
        > > Now, there are certainly times where specific features/stories can be
        > > considered nice to have, so one must always try to ensure that the project
        > > represents only necessary features.
        > >
        > > Mark
        > >
        > > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Steve" <steve@> wrote:
        > > >
        > > > Scrum is not about projects - it is about products!!
        > > >
        > > > You and your managers obsession with seeing everything as projects will
        > > stop you ever becoming Agile and you will probably never be able to
        > > implement properly!
        > > >
        > > > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Leonardo Nunes <leonardobn@>
        > > wrote:
        > > > >
        > > > > Does Scrum works on a team with multiple projects?
        > > > >
        > > > > On a 1 team with 1 project we have perfect scenario.
        > > > >
        > > > > But in my organization we have 31 development teams. Each team has 20
        > > to 50
        > > > > projects at same time.
        > > > >
        > > > > This happens because each team has a big system to take care, and this
        > > big
        > > > > system has a set of sub-systems. A project is created to make
        > > evolutions or
        > > > > correct erros in each sub-system and i can not make, until now, a
        > > project
        > > > > to make a evolution on a several sub-systems in the same time, this is
        > > a
        > > > > goverment limitation.
        > > > >
        > > > > So my question is - Scrum works in this scenario? How can i deal with
        > > > > several projects on a team? With a team who has 15 projects, i cant do
        > > 15
        > > > > sprint plannings... this is a crazy!
        > > > >
        > > > > Please, help me here guys.
        > > > >
        > > > > Thanks
        > > > >
        > > > > Leo
        > > > >
        > > > > --
        > > > > Leonardo Nunes
        > > > > http://about.me/leonardobn
        > > > >
        > > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >




        --
        Cheers
        Mark Levison
        Agile Pain Relief Consulting | Writing
        Proud Sponsor of Agile Tour Gatineau Ottawa Nov 28, Toronto 26 and Montreal 24
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