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Hard work being avoided?

Last post 04:09 pm October 22, 2012 by Andrew Queisser
4 replies
05:40 pm October 19, 2012

We're fairly early in adapting Scrum for a distributed team of SW and FW developers. One thing I see happening is that hard work gets avoided since the product owner(s) and individual scrum masters prefer to see the sprint goals met than working on hard, long-term technical hurdles. It's okay for starters but I'm afraid that too much of the hard stuff gets pushed back too far.

Have others experienced the same thing?

02:18 pm October 20, 2012

Hi zwieback,

Can you please provide a concrete example of some of the long-term technical hurdles the team are avoiding?

Thank you.

12:56 pm October 22, 2012


A simple question you might ask is, "What is causing the Product Owner to seemingly focus on short-term goals, rather than long term product success?" Are their incentives in place that are reinforcing this behavior? Are there possibly things that you aren't aware of going on related to this larger technical challenges?

Whomever is responsible and accountable for the long-term success of the product likely understands the benefits that can come from surmounting large technical risks early on in a product's life-cycle. Is that person the current PO?

By the way, what is your role in this effort?


04:03 pm October 22, 2012

Unfortunately, I can't be very specific due to confidentiality restrictions. I'll have to think about a way of rephrasing to avoid giving stuff away.

The general problem is that the individual teams understand long-term technical risks, e.g. HW issues or roadmap concerns that don't deliver immediate product owner or customer stories. At the level where user stories are generated they tend to focus on multiple, immediately useful but smaller issues.

Our current solution is to guess how to split up our time between R&D and implementation tasks but that has its own set of problems around velocity estimation and resource management.

04:09 pm October 22, 2012

@Alex: I'm one of the scrum masters so I'm closer to the team than the overall product and marketing people.

"What is causing the Product Owner to seemingly focus on short-term goals, rather than long term product success?"

Good question - that's probably what I need to figure out. I think it's a mixture of being new to the program and booting up the scrum process, which is a learning experience for everyone. A real challenge in a mixed program is that scrum works well for SW development, less so for FW development and not very well for HW and mechanical design.

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