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Re: Formalizing Scrum Chronicles #1

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  • 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 1 of 4 , Jan 7, 2005
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      --- 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 2 of 4 , Jan 7, 2005
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        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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