Posts Tagged ‘Group Dynamic’

Scrum Gathering Lectures Part II

2009-05-22

   It was particularly interested to see Danilo’s presentation. Having some inside information because Concrete is one of the IT suppliers of globo.com, it was with curious eyes that I saw it.

   I was particularly interested in how much detailing there would be.

   I think that Concrete was luckily to take part in some of what he was talking about. And the process of adoption in globo.com definitely was decisive for our adoption of Scrum. As soon as we heard about their adoption and started learning what it was all about, we were sure; we had to do it to!

   I particularly liked when he mentioned “Kaisen Mind”. I must confess to be a sucker for some of the Japanese way of thinking. 

   This was a strange lecture. Not because the idea isn’t seductive, using Scrum as tool for strategic decision is sexy. The reason I think it was strange is because it never looks like Scrum at a higher level in companies. Directors are usually out to get each other, there are a lot of politics going on, and the whole team looks like chickens.

   In most places, at the executive level, what really drives people are the bonuses and how these are achieved. It is very, very hard to get them to think like a team. At the end of the day, it feels like you have a backlog and a few meetings to see how things are going. Getting them to work together without a change on how you reward an executive is imho wasting time.

   Unless you are in Japan or some other special condition is found in a company, such as weak executives vs. strong CEO, it looks like Scrum can only surface by doing a deeper change.

   This change would require “team work” to be rewarded and that transparency could be a rewarded in some manner.

   I think it is a very good initiative to try (applying Scrum at the exec level). But at this point impossible to achieve as a model.

   It was a very good presentation and certainly brings to the table a lot to ponder.

   This presentation was the one I liked the most and lighted up some starts in my mind. First of all, we consider them competition, and they do many things similar to us.

   As us, to them the PO is a client (as I think it should always be). And there was a good discussion on what kinds of problems they have to deal with because of that. Also, there was talk on how to deal with the old management and how they collaborate to spread the knowledge of Scrum within the client.

   A very hot subject was the possible recertification as CMMi 5 while using Scrum and their fear that the evaluator might influence too much the result. Traditionally, to prove reaching certain criteria, the evaluator requires documents, and some of the kpi are addressed in Scrum with meetings.

   If you have the time, check out this presentation.

   This lecture was a mystery to me. Every time I talk about distributed version control, the discussion always gets down to backups and making the programmer more prone to committing the source often.

   Distributed source control gets the programmer in a mindset to synchronize with the server less often because he doesn’t have too. He only has to synchronize to get into an integration test or a specific build.

   I was wondering how did they embrace it and live with this? And the answer was: they do not. The distributed versions all reside in a central server, so the commits are all done in the server as well.

   They also demand that the stories are shorter in terms of time so the programmers have to synchronize more often.

   What I got out of this presentation is that GIT (or Mercurial) have better features to deal with merges, diff , etc, nothing more.

   I liked very much to finally meet Boris Gloger. I have heard a lot about him from the guys at globo.com since the time they started Scrum adoption there and I was curious.

   The presentation was very good, I think I know little about retrospectives and I think the presentation brought us very valuable tips. I used some of it on the very next day when we had a Retrospective here in Concrete.

   I was somewhat disappointed with one of the side discussions during the presentation. When talking about quality items on the making of the product, using refactoring as an example, he said that the team should just do it and there was no need to tell the PO about it.

   I asked him directly about transparency, and what he said was that the PO cares about “Done” and this does not concern him (or something in this line of thought). There was also a quick suggestion about telling the PO you’re working on some of the items of the Backlog.

   I understand that sometimes the team can do some tasks underneath the PO’s radar and that it can be easier than having to explain to the PO what is going on, but, imho, a lie is a lie, and even those tasks should be discussed with the PO openly.

   I think nothing should be hidden whenever possible. And if the PO, having the ability to choose, chooses wrong, it’s our job to live with it. To try to help him make better decisions and not deciding it all for him in the shadows is our role.

   I would rather tell the PO that the refactoring is necessary, why it is necessary, and let him know we are doing it.

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Scrum Gathering Lectures Part I

2009-05-20

In this post I continue my comments on the lectures I attended to at the “Scrum Gathering 2009 Brazil”.

  • Scrum e a crise mundial: Por que Scrum é a melhor opção para projetos em tempos de crise  – Rafael Sabbagh PUC Rio and Marcos Garrido – Palm I (Morning Session of the 12th)
       The presentation seemed closely related to the future dissertation of Rafael Sabbagh and Marcos Garrido, both doing their Masters in PUC Rio. The main line was that Scrum is easier to sell to clients in times of crisis, and this is a particular good time to do that.   On the good side, it was one of the few presentations with low demand on the knowledge of Scrum from the people watching. The bad, in my opinion, was that the presentation did not really define itself as being directed to clients or as being directed to the sales force. I also missed the traditional graphic with the ROI over time.

 

The early delivery of value by using Scrum.   

The early delivery of value by using Scrum.

   I also think that the theme itself is very relevant but kind of bold because the presenters are not from the sales department. As a personal, very personal choice, I would not dare do this without most of the slides coming from the commercial department.
   After the presentation the discussion was very good, and kept going and going, no one wanted to leave the room.

  • Keynote Address – Ken Schwaber, co-founder Scrum & President Scrum Alliance – Grand I & II (Virtual Presentation)
     
       It was one of the usual presentations from Ken Schwaber. Usual to him, awesome to the rest of us! The crowd went wild when in a question (pinning Ken versus the PMI presentation earlier) where Ken answered that the project was done by the ProductOwner, ScrumMaster and the Team, so, there was no place for a Project Manager. 
       Of course the ScrumMaster is a Project Manager, but it was a great stunt that few are capable of pulling out. There was lots of cheering in the audience here.
    We also did the command & control exercise following Ken’s instructions. It was done to illustrate the power of self-management, and this often gets me thinking that at the end of the day Ken is all about being ethical in the workplace. The exercise itself was kind of awkward because most of the audience had done it already. 
    Bottom line, if you get the chance to see him speaking, don’t miss it. It’s simple, not pretentious, very valuable and, to some extent entertaining.
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  • Usando DoD (Definition of Done) para amadurecer a qualidade do produto  – Gustavo Coutinho, Provider, e Luciano Felix, CSP Especializa Treinamentos – Palm II
       This presentation was about the Definition of Done and it’s correlation to the technological deficit created during the execution of most projects. The approach of the presentation seemed to follow the actual thinking process the guys at Provider Sistemas went through it respect to the DoD.
       It makes it look tough, like the Definition of Done became a major item for them as can be seen on slide 31 with DoD at the center of the Scrum Activities. My view is that they like this part of Scrum best and it really works for them.
       In the presentation there is a suggestion of DoD multi-levels where there are requirements for the tasks, the Sprint and the Release. My view is that the DoD levels referring to the Sprint and the Release should be tasks, and enforced by the ScrumMaster because it relates to the company culture. Generally speaking, these are technological deficits that they think make sense grouping by each Sprint or Release. This is the case of a full integration of the software where they might do it only once in a Sprint.
       In any case, my observation does not mean any change in the actual tasks, only on how to call them because they “made up” a new taxonomy where as in my view there was no need to (If it works, that’s what matters).
       On the second part of their presentation, they introduce one group dynamics exercise designed to find out good items for the DoD for a project or as standards for a company. It’s really worth a look. Check out their presentation on the link above.