Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Scrum Day [Decision + 1 Week] – Passion versus Religion

So we’re a week into our decision to use Scrum to help us manage our development projects. Even after thinking on it a week, we’re STILL going with it! Yeah!

I’ve spent the week talking with my team, our users, peers and more (pretty much anyone who stood still too long… :) about Scrum  And I almost, sort of, kind of, in a vague sense, sound like I know what I’m talking about (but that’s likely because few knew about Scrum…lol )

Passionate could be used to describe my current feelings about this (“No way, Greg… we couldn’t tell!”  ;) I see it helping us solve a number of problems and its scoped in such a way that we CAN do it. Not too small where it has little effect, yet not too big where we need billions of dollars, tons of hours and Congressional approval. We, as a Management team, can just make it happen.

For me, I think part of the challenge will be to avoid becoming to passionate and step over the line to religious. Hopefully this will not happen, as in the end, I see this as really just a tool to help me deliver better products, to have a better workplace, improved and happier team, satisfied customer and users. But the good intentions and where that may lead and all that…

To keep me honest and from crossing the line, I have made a deal with one of my peers, someone who was less sure about Scrum, but is willing to go along with the Dev Leadership decision, as long as we “really do it.” Our deal is that he’s allowed to beat be about the head until I bleed if I start getting religious about Scrum. (Oh and he’ll do it too!  LOL  )

Passion is good. I want to be passionate about what I do and where I do it… Religious? Meh…

On a related note, we now have Product Owner (who’s not me!  ;) for our first product & sprint! A business user, a Manager of the people who are the primary users for the product, who is also a primary voice for the related Steering Committee, has stood up and accepted the role (after hearing me blather on about Scrum for while…lol). He was the natural person for it. He’s familiar with the Team, Product, users and stakeholders, but still I tried to be careful and give him a viable out. I really wanted him to pick himself. And pick he did. Rock on. This will help my sanity and in my desire to work this process as right as I can.

Also we have a cross-functional team on tap, domain expert, developers and QA. We have buy off that the team will be THE TEAM. The team as required by Scrum to succeed, is pretty much in place and has the okay of all the management involved. We’re ready… Our Sprint Planning Meeting is scheduled for Monday.

I think the team side may end up being one of the harder parts. I talked with my team a number of times this week, but I think they are going to wait and see. “Self empowered” “Self organizing” “Mutual responsibility” “ScrumMaster != to Project Manager” “Greg not telling us what to do…” Sounds pretty, sounds nice, but hell, I’d wait and see if I “walk the walk” too! But these are some great people and as long as I come through, I truly believe they will too.

Enough for now…

 

More Scrum reading to do tomorrow as my next book is due to arrive…

2 comments:

Will said...

How will I be able to tell when you get religious?

Greg said...

When I make everyone stand at the Daily Scrum's even though we'll be holding them in our open workspace... i.e. Stand behind or next to their chairs.

Maybe when I try to force my views on other teams... ("You're not doing it the Scrum way, you're evil...")

When I make people call me, "Greg Duncan, ScrumMaster"

Put a picture of Ken Schwaber over my work area.


All in all, since we should be open, professional and transparent, all you need to do is ask and talk about it... If you feel I'm going overboard, then you should feel empowered to talk to me about it...