Tuesday, November 04, 2008

SCRUM ... Issues.. ?


I had an interesting SCRUM discussion lately.. With one of the visitors who came to office. We had some point to discuss the PM frameworks and then we were discussing SCRUM in detail. He came up with some interesting point …
Will SCRUM kill the creativity of the development teams… ?
Developers produce piece of code.. in SCRUM we go up to the atomic level planning..so this specific task can be done in X number of hours.. true.. But if there is no such time boxes can they be much more creative…….I mean if we don’t look at the daily velocity of the graph… what would it be?
HmmmmmHmmmm….. Hm…. I was stuck…. Yeah there is a point..
While going home I was thinking about this...
I think its like this .. In SCRUM we discuss what the customer wants in detail and in more detail at the Product backlog meeting as well as in Sprint planning meetings.. So we understand what our customers expectations are to a greater extend. So what we all do is producing what customer wants.
No matter what the methodology or framework we use, we design the architecture and we develop the code..With long planned frameworks what I see is that the developers have more time for creativity.. true.. But it enables more risk of over engineering.. Which result much more risk of sacrificing quality or delivery times at the latter stage of the project which results the project failures. May be soem most important part of the project ... who knows...Especially those long planed methodologies commit on specific strict deadlines.
In this case I think by using SCRUM one can eliminate those over engineering and risk of schedule overruns at the latter stage..In the same time it enables the “Defined creativity” :-)

if somebody needs to be much creative about a features or a piece of code, they can even discuss this at the daily scrum meeting.. making it transparent.. adjusting the calories of the sprint backlog. “Yeah I hear you techies.. That’s not the tech thingies work right ...LOL...!!! But unfortunately that’s the way the “bottom line” works :-) there are tradeoffs
Now that I wrote about this, I need to explain few problems I see in SCRUM.. I see some of the practitioners believe scrum like a religion.. But thats not right.,.. As I say in my own words. SCRUM is not god given.. Its still evolving as a framework and still we see many issues.. Following are some of the issues I saw when practicing scrum.
Agile doesn’t fit for everybody . we have few left alone people when we introduce Agile Practice to corporate
The customer needs to be well educated.. Yeah .. they say “Think Agile” but never works that way.. need proper discussions and the understanding with the product owner before providing that much of transparency. Otherwise this will make your project and life miserable.
In the same time it’s a stress to commit to 8 hour work tasks everyday.. I know few guys who plan their sprints with 6, 7 hour tasks. May be that’s a solution.. but teams need to mature a bit to work with that.
Sometimes introducing gaps between sprints also helps and teams needs to be cared more when practicing scrum.

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