Saturday, June 07, 2008

Scrum Day [Subscript out of range] – Time for a minor reset, I’m pushing back the Sprint Planning Meeting by a week…

I just finished reading Agile Project Management with Scrum (Microsoft Professional) and am now starting on The Enterprise and Scrum.

At this point I’m feeling better than I did yesterday. It’s interesting how having a little bit more of a complete picture helps dispel the fear, uncertainty and doubt. Still I’m going to push back the “official” start of our Scrum’ing. I’m going to push back what I thought was to be our Sprint Planning meeting by a week.


a) I only scheduled an hour long meeting for the “Sprint Planning Meeting”. Doh! (These are supposed to be time-boxed at 8 hours, 4 for Product Backlog selection, 4 for prep’ing the Sprint Backlog). So yeah, this scope of a meeting needs to be communicated and agreed to.

b) For the project/product I’m starting to Scrum with, I have some ideas for a Product Owner, but I’ll need to talk to them first (obviously).

c) I want to work with the Product Owner (if they are will to accept the position) and flesh out the Product Backlog a little more. Also I want to brief him on Scrum, his role and responsibility, etc.

d) I want to chat with the Team and talk about Scrum some more. Discuss the three roles (Product Owner, ScrumMaster and Team), how we can work together to succeed and what’s in it for them, for our department and our company.

e) I need to learn to let go… I’m very much a Type-A, directive manager (I should have, “Lead, follow or get out of the way” or “Make a decision! Right one, wrong one, but MAKE one!” tattooed on my… err… um… body… somewhere… ;) I don’t, well try not to, micro-manage, but I have been very directive in the tasks, features, dates, etc. Now I have to learn to let go and to empower my Team to self-organize. They are some outstanding people, so I have little doubt that they will be able to do this, but it IS different and a pretty big change…

f) Chat about my ScrumMaster’ing rules (i.e. Don’t be late the the Daily Scrums… MAN I hate when people are late to meetings! That they value their time more than they do the people who make the effort to arrive on time… It’s just fricken rude… But that’s just me… LOL ;)  Also as to work out how we’re going to do our Daily Scrum’s when I’m, or we’re, working remotely.

g) Work with the Dev Leadership to ensure we have a cross functional team (i.e. that QA is part of the team… this is what I want, but our QA is a “shared resource” so may require some horse trading, discussion, and so on).

h) And finally decide if the product I picked for our first Scrum project is the right one… Based on my understanding of intent of Scrum, I’m thinking I may could picked the wrong project. It’s one that needs to be done, that’s important to our users and will provide a good return on investment, but is also not the highest priority, nor the highest ROI.

I picked it because it DOES need to get done, but is also a lower risk project if it fails. Also the team is still new, both to our company and to .Net as well. While they are getting up to speed very quickly, I also thought to use this project as a further tool to help get them up to speed, get us used to working together on the same project, provide a spring board for getting QA integrated into the team, get used to Continuous Integration AND up to speed with Scrum and the new TFS Template.

sigh… I’ll discuss it with the Team and Product Owner(s as the two may have different Owners… maybe) and see where we are.


So I think next week will be “interesting”…  lol…


Related Past Post XRef:
Scrum Day 0 – The Search for ScrumMaster
Scrum Day –1 – Infrastructure Day
Scrum Day -2 - The Decision is Made


abby fichtner said...

Hey, cool - sounds like you're on the right track and have a great project to start with (new team, low risk). Very funny on the Type A "right, wrong" bit.

Have you also looked into doing a Release Planning where the product owner decides what the next "release" is and which stories he wants to go into it? I'm not sure if that's official Scrum or not but Mike Cohn teaches it (see his Agile Estimating and Planning book). He also talks about Story Writing Workshops where the entire team sits down with the product owner to write out the stories for the backlog that you're going to start from. I haven't done this before but I like the idea as it seems like a great way to get the entire team on the same page with what is trying to be done - especially with a brand new team. Also, if they already understand the stories, the planning meetings don't have to take the entire day.

Oops, not to give you more to do - but maybe a way to split it up a little more - not sure how you'd just jump right into sprint planning without the backlog created and the stories selected out for this release? Or would you be doing all of this as part of that 8 hour sprint planning meeting...?

The Hacker Chick Blog

Greg said...

Yep, we're going to be doing most of the Product Backlog/Stories at the Sprint Planning Meeting.

The product we're going to work on is one that I created and sponsored (and wrote the working prototype for) and it also mimics already existing functionality in two other app's (that are old and will be retired).

So the Product Backlog is pretty much under control (so I like to believe).

As of yesterday afternoon I have an official PO, and he's seen the prototype and has some idea's for it.

My first suggestion (during the SPM) for the Team and PO will be that the first Sprint be to flesh out the prototype and prepare it for 1.0 (clean it, polish it, test it, doc it, etc). Then in following sprints add additional functionality.

BUT I am going to let the PO drive the features for the Sprint (with help as the ScrumMaster of course). If he wants new features, then so be it, we'll do it (based on the 2nd half of SPM decide on how much of course) and hide/remove what isn't "done."

Thanks for the User Stories suggestion. I think I'm going to look much more into that once I get more comfortable with Scrum (i.e. get a sprint or two under our belts... ;)

abby fichtner said...

Awesome, it will be interesting to hear how that goes (phew, 8 hours!).

I think I'm going to have to live vicariously through you for a bit as I just got moved off my Scrum project onto a, um, well, let's just call it not-so-Scrum project.

Good luck!
The Hacker Chick Blog