Monday, August 15, 2005

Scrum is easy, Scrum is hard

Scrum is a light weight management technique for iterative, incremental development. It produces a shippable set of functionality at the end of every iteration. Scrum is an agile process that controls the chaos of conflicting interests and needs, that improves communication and maximise co-operation, that helps in detecting and removing anything that gets in the way of developing and delivering products.

Basic concepts:
Scrum: 15 minute daily meeting. Team members respond to basics:
1. What did you do since last Scrum Meeting?
2. Do you have any obstacles?
3. What will you do before next meeting?
Product Backlog: Prioritised product features desired by the customer
Sprint: 30 day iteration at the end of which the new functionality is demonstrated
Sprint Backlog: Feature(s) assigned to sprint

Scrum can be implemented at the beginning of a project or in the middle of a project or product development effort that is in trouble.

The easy part of Scrum is to explain the benefits: achieving success every 30 days, daily status, just enough documentation and requirements to be successful.

However making the transistion can be hard: setting priorities and planning that never stops, enpower the team towards a self-directed organisation, some team members might not like Scrum, product managers might need process and documentation before starting even a daily standup scrum meeting, the sprint goal does not change during the sprint, no interruptions for 30 days.

For a 150 pages straightforward introduction to Scrum read Agile Software Development with SCRUM by Ken Schwaber, Mike Beedle.

What was your major blocking stone implementing Scrum in your organisation ?


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