Just sharing some of my inconsequential lunch conversations with you... RSS  

Friday, April 25, 2008

Scrum for managers

Last Thursday I've attended an excellent session titled "Scrum for managers" presented by Mitch Lacey.

For the few of you that didn't heard about scrum, here's the wikipedia definition:

Scrum is an iterative incremental process of software development commonly used with Agile software development.


Scrum is a process skeleton that includes a set of practices and predefined roles. The main roles in scrum are the ScrumMaster who maintains the processes and works similar to a project manager, the Product Owner who represents the stakeholders and the Team which includes the developers.

During each sprint, a 15-30 day period (length decided by the team), the team creates an increment of potential shippable (usable) software. The set of features that go into each sprint come from the product backlog, which is a prioritized set of high level requirements of work to be done. What backlog items go into the sprint is determined during the sprint planning meeting. During this meeting the Product Owner informs the team of the items in the product backlog that he wants completed. The team then determines how much of this they can commit to complete during the next sprint.[4] During the sprint, no one is able to change the backlog, which means that the requirements are frozen for sprint.

Mitch is a great presenter, Agile is highly sellable, so it was a fun session. Here was Mitch's agenda:

  • So, what is Agile?
  • The Agile Umbrella
  • Why Agile
  • Scrum
  • The Managers role
  • Getting started
  • Q&A

A little dry, no? Here's the presentation, from Mitch's site.

I'm always collecting arguments to sell the agile way to the traditional project managers. Mitch added a new one (no Mitch, being "fun" doesn't help us here): according to Mitch, about 20% of the team members leave their projects (or organizations?) each year. Experience tells us that the Agile approach offers more guarantees of maintaining the project information on the team than the traditional waterfall pre-development functional document intensive way. Makes you think, doesn't it?....

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