Scrum – I’m lovin’ it
It’s been more than 15 years when I started my career in software industry. Most of my experience is in water fall methodology working under the umbrella of CMMI and other processes. I was very strong believer of water fall, following the step-by-step approach in a software life cycle. With my current organization we follow Scrum which was really difficult for me to get adjusted in the new setup. I started with a typical project manager mindset and failed immediately. Once I get into the Scrum and started practicing it then my life become much easier. Somehow I felt that even during my waterfall days I was doing Scrum –
1. Daily Standup – We used to do a daily status meeting in my previous organization which is now replaced by daily standup. The only difference is now the team is not reporting the status to me but to everyone in the team which is even better
2. Pigs vs. Chicken – We used to have core architect team which was responsible for defining the base architecture of any project. Once the project gets started and team needs help for adjusting any new requirement in the architecture you won’t find the core technical group. Because of this most of the project teams were against the core groups.
3. Sprint cycle – Though the previous project I was working on was running for more than five years but we were releasing the functionality in feature wise i.e. every two-three weeks which is similar to a sprint cycle.
4. Burn down - As a project manager I used to prepare a resource loading sheet depicting the work allocated to team for next two weeks which is now being done by sprint burn down chart.
5. Sprint retrospective – At every milestone we used to do a defect analysis, areas of improvement etc…which is not being replaced by the sprint retrospective meeting.
6. Status Reporting – I used to prepare a monthly/weekly status report for my senior management which is now being replaced by even better sprint review. All stakeholders can review what team has accomplished and how much is remaining.
7. There may be more……….
This is just my perception and people may have some different opinion so let’s share those.
SCRUM is more about short, controlled iterations; so that even if it fails RISK can be consumed. So project work doing for months/weeks would not really be SCRUM-like. time box needs be shortened to reduce/nullify the risk of not meeting the very objective.
I agree and I can relate to it as I see that people/teams coming with past waterfall experience struggle to adjust to Agile-Scrum and thats the reason it's said that "scrum is difficult to master" and probably same applies to implementing it in any organization. Its the mindset of management (first) and then is has to be supported with coaching to be able to adapt and gain from it.
No doubt it can do wonders.... :)