Re: How important is a ScrumMaster?
Thanks. Sounds very real to me. Interesting insights.
--- In email@example.com, "Timothy Byrd"
> It was at a previous company that I've had my closest (self-
> approach to Scrum, so far. We were doing a special round ofdevelopment
> and trying out MSF, the methodology Microsoft was touting aboutten
> years ago.development (I
> We were supposed to have a number of roles on the team:
> was the dev lead), test, documentation, product management(customer),
> and program management. This last, program management, was quitechart and
> analogous to a ScrumMaster, being a kind of expeditor, among other
> things. ("Responsibilty, but no authority. Tools are a time
> a barbecue.")only in
> Unfortunately, things started to fall apart. Our program manager
> (ScrumMaster), had to make a number of trips to Europe, and was
> the country perhaps one week in three, and even then had to spendtime
> preparing for upcoming trips. The test manager was immersed increating
> the Grand Unified Field Theory of Test, and sucked off 80% of ourtest
> person's time. The product manager (our customer), happened to bea VP
> who "got busy" and became unavailable much of the time.11:15am.
> I kind of took over the team and started daily meetings at
> (Our company culture included an incredibly strong imperative forlunch
> at 11:30, so I was guaranteed the meeting would not run over 15three. We
> minutes.) Unconsious of Scrum, we were doing the questions
> started making progress, but knew we were playing catch-up.me to
> There was an all hands meeting. The director of engineering took
> task for being behind.eleven,
> "Then give me a complete team!"
> "I don't want to hear excuses!"
> "Coach! We've got five players on the field, the other team has
> we're getting beat up, and you don't want to hear excuses?!?"golden
> At this moment, Randy, a developer/manager who was considered
> throughout the company said "If we're really going to try out MSF,we
> ought to fill all the roles. How about if I take over as theprogram
> * * *
> Later, Randy told me "I was surprised. Being a program manager
> [ScrumMaster] is a full time job."
> By the way, that release was considered one of our best ever.
> * * *
> What might I get from this?
> - Scrum isn't a magical/mystical methodology. It's something a
> person might do under pressure. (Doesn't Beck describe most ofthe XP
> practices that way? As things that people have done when theywere
> under pressure to make things work? Like pair programming - whenit's
> vital to track down a bug, setting two developers down at amachine
> makes sense. XP just says, "what if we pretended that the whole
> software development process was vital to the company?")
> - It's easy to minimise the role of the ScrumMaster.
> - Having some support from above is important.
> -- Timothy
> (still looking)