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Formalizing Scrum Chronicles #1

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  • tsteele3rt
    What are the Formalizing Scrum Chronicles? The Formalizing Scrum Chronicles (FSC) will be a series of posts to the Scrum mailing list detailing my attempt at
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 5, 2005
      What are the Formalizing Scrum Chronicles?

      The Formalizing Scrum Chronicles (FSC) will be a series of posts to
      the Scrum mailing list detailing my attempt at formally introducing
      Scrum to an organization/team. My main goal for these posts is to
      share my experiences and observations. I am also interested in
      feedback and suggestions from members of this group.

      My Background

      I have been an Agile advocate for several years, primarily focusing
      on XP. A few months back, I began investigating Scrum and discovered
      I had been following more Scrum practices than XP practices. I agree
      with the conventional understanding that Scrum and XP are
      complimentary, but currently favor the lower entry barrier that Scrum
      provides.

      Project Background

      Inspired by "stealth" Scrum discussed in Chapter 5 of Ken's second
      Scrum book, we are roughly following the Scrum approach without
      anyone knowing it. We are organizing the work on our project around
      monthly releases (Sprint). Initial release work is planned as a group
      (Sprint Planning), with our manager (Product Owner) prioritizing what
      he would like to see us accomplish (Product Backlog). We conduct
      daily meetings with the project team (Daily Scrum) and demonstrate
      new features to stakeholders prior to release (Sprint Review).

      Things are going pretty well, so why try to "formalize" things? My
      reasons include:

      1) Despite my example, our Daily Scrums are far from optimal.

      2) The Product Owner continually interrupts the team during a Sprint
      with "fire drill" work.

      3) The team will be expanding in the New Year, and I think a more
      formal description of what we are trying to accomplish could help the
      transition.

      4) While the Scrum Team plans work collectively and meets daily,
      there does not seem to be commitment.

      5) I maintain a private Product Backlog based on conversations with
      the Product Owner.

      6) Only two of the team members maintain the Sprint Backlog.

      Please feel free to comment and look for the next installment of the
      Formalizing Scrum Chronicles.

      Tom
    • Boris Gloger
      Hi Tom, I like your approach of writing chronicals. Can you sent a more clear information in which way we should write our own chronicals. If we structure all
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 6, 2005
        Hi Tom, I like your approach of writing chronicals. Can you sent a
        more clear information in which way we should write our own
        chronicals. If we structure all stories in the same way, we would have
        a first story database, right?
        boris


        On Wed, 05 Jan 2005 15:18:21 -0000, tsteele3rt <tsteele@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > What are the Formalizing Scrum Chronicles?
        >
        > The Formalizing Scrum Chronicles (FSC) will be a series of posts to
        > the Scrum mailing list detailing my attempt at formally introducing
        > Scrum to an organization/team. My main goal for these posts is to
        > share my experiences and observations. I am also interested in
        > feedback and suggestions from members of this group.
        >
        > My Background
        >
        > I have been an Agile advocate for several years, primarily focusing
        > on XP. A few months back, I began investigating Scrum and discovered
        > I had been following more Scrum practices than XP practices. I agree
        > with the conventional understanding that Scrum and XP are
        > complimentary, but currently favor the lower entry barrier that Scrum
        > provides.
        >
        > Project Background
        >
        > Inspired by "stealth" Scrum discussed in Chapter 5 of Ken's second
        > Scrum book, we are roughly following the Scrum approach without
        > anyone knowing it. We are organizing the work on our project around
        > monthly releases (Sprint). Initial release work is planned as a group
        > (Sprint Planning), with our manager (Product Owner) prioritizing what
        > he would like to see us accomplish (Product Backlog). We conduct
        > daily meetings with the project team (Daily Scrum) and demonstrate
        > new features to stakeholders prior to release (Sprint Review).
        >
        > Things are going pretty well, so why try to "formalize" things? My
        > reasons include:
        >
        > 1) Despite my example, our Daily Scrums are far from optimal.
        >
        > 2) The Product Owner continually interrupts the team during a Sprint
        > with "fire drill" work.
        >
        > 3) The team will be expanding in the New Year, and I think a more
        > formal description of what we are trying to accomplish could help the
        > transition.
        >
        > 4) While the Scrum Team plans work collectively and meets daily,
        > there does not seem to be commitment.
        >
        > 5) I maintain a private Product Backlog based on conversations with
        > the Product Owner.
        >
        > 6) Only two of the team members maintain the Sprint Backlog.
        >
        > Please feel free to comment and look for the next installment of the
        > Formalizing Scrum Chronicles.
        >
        > Tom
        >
        > To Post a message, send it to: scrumdevelopment@...
        > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: scrumdevelopment-unsubscribe@...
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • Brad Grant
        ... I believe we will find that this presentation technique is very effective -good call. I have introduced Scrum in this manner before, hope my comments below
        Message 3 of 4 , Jan 7, 2005
          --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "tsteele3rt" <tsteele@3...>
          wrote:
          >
          > What are the Formalizing Scrum Chronicles?
          >
          > The Formalizing Scrum Chronicles (FSC) will be a series of posts to
          > the Scrum mailing list detailing my attempt at formally introducing
          > Scrum to an organization/team. My main goal for these posts is to
          > share my experiences and observations. I am also interested in
          > feedback and suggestions from members of this group.

          I believe we will find that this presentation technique is very
          effective -good call.
          I have introduced Scrum in this manner before, hope my comments below
          may lend some insight.

          >
          > My Background
          >
          > I have been an Agile advocate for several years, primarily focusing
          > on XP. A few months back, I began investigating Scrum and
          discovered
          > I had been following more Scrum practices than XP practices. I
          agree
          > with the conventional understanding that Scrum and XP are
          > complimentary, but currently favor the lower entry barrier that
          Scrum
          > provides.
          >
          > Project Background
          >
          > Inspired by "stealth" Scrum discussed in Chapter 5 of Ken's second
          > Scrum book, we are roughly following the Scrum approach without
          > anyone knowing it. We are organizing the work on our project around
          > monthly releases (Sprint). Initial release work is planned as a
          group
          > (Sprint Planning), with our manager (Product Owner) prioritizing
          what
          > he would like to see us accomplish (Product Backlog). We conduct
          > daily meetings with the project team (Daily Scrum) and demonstrate
          > new features to stakeholders prior to release (Sprint Review).
          >
          > Things are going pretty well, so why try to "formalize" things? My
          > reasons include:
          >
          > 1) Despite my example, our Daily Scrums are far from optimal.

          Who is present at the Daily Scrum? Who facilitates it? Who
          participates and who observes?

          My experience often is that it may take a team a couple weeks to
          implicitly realize that these are not micro-management sessions.

          If that is a similar source of resistance for you, one approach that
          works for me is sort of sacrificing myself for the team(in their
          eyes); helping them understand that above anything else, I only want
          it to be made known initially what is impeding them from our shared
          committment.

          To establish this buy-in, our initial stand-ups are no more than
          quickly probing each participant's obstacles to progress, always with
          our goal and decomposed tasks as a visible focal point(this is key).

          I immediately radiate any raised roadblocks and spend the rest of the
          day knockin' em down.

          This is different than most software teams operate, developers are not
          used to management serving them and allowing them to focus on high
          value activities that provide more instant feedback.

          Sooner than later the team understands this and we gradually build a
          synergy.


          > 2) The Product Owner continually interrupts the team during a
          Sprint
          > with "fire drill" work.

          You indicated the product owner is your manager, how does he represent
          the business needs?

          When a 'fire drill task' is imposed, ask this 'product owner' how this
          satisfies customer expectations vs. the other work that has been
          identified. Then ask him if there is someone more closely associated
          from the customer (or a novel idea, a real customer stakeholder), that
          can help clarify your priorities.

          > 3) The team will be expanding in the New Year, and I think a more
          > formal description of what we are trying to accomplish could help
          the
          > transition.

          A colloaborative cross functional team, some of which will be new, is
          great opportunity to discuss your guiding framework.
          I prefer to focus on communicating core principles, why their
          important, and only then getting into specific practices.

          > 4) While the Scrum Team plans work collectively and meets daily,
          > there does not seem to be commitment.

          What sort of feedback do the stakeholders provide at your reviews?
          How is this different from what the team has experienced before?

          Is the team 'assigned' tasks by the manager, or do they understand a
          goal expressed by a stakeholder and are empowered to creatively pursue
          solutions?

          Iterative retrospectives also are important to learn and uncover new
          opportunities that the team can co-create for improvements.

          > 5) I maintain a private Product Backlog based on conversations with
          > the Product Owner.

          You indicated the product owner is your manager, how does he represent
          the business needs?

          Consider publishing the backlog on a shared server and encouraging
          entire team maintenance.
          Bring it to planning meeting and emphasize prioritization from a
          customer perspective.

          > 6) Only two of the team members maintain the Sprint Backlog.

          I'm presuming you mean in terms of maintaining burn-down/up status.

          Ask the stakeholers and management if having awareness of work
          remaining to satisfy a goal is a priority for them.
          Probe them entire team in an iterative retrospective on their
          perceived value of this, and velocity overall. Acknowledge the two
          team members in your stand-ups.

          How different is this from what you did in the past?

          > Please feel free to comment and look for the next installment of
          the
          > Formalizing Scrum Chronicles.
          >
          > Tom
        • Michael Bannen
          We added a Scrum Experiences forum (for chronicles, experience and results) to ScrumForums.com For anyone not familiar with it, there is a similar thing on the
          Message 4 of 4 , Jan 7, 2005
            Message
            We added a Scrum Experiences forum (for chronicles, experience and results) to ScrumForums.com
            For anyone not familiar with it, there is a similar thing on the theory of constraints at Goldratt's site. See: http://toc-goldratt.com/index.php?cont=2
             
            Hope it's useful.
             
            - Michael
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