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Adventures in Scrum: Lesson 2 – For the record

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At SSW we have always done Agile. Recently we have started doing Scrum and we have nearly completed our first Sprint ever using Scrum. As you probably guessed from my previous post, it looks like it is going to be a “Failed Sprint”, but the Scrum Team (This includes the ScrumMaster and the Product Owner) has learned a huge amount about working in the Scrum Framework.

Update 16th March 2010

  • Kane Mar, suggested a fantastic quote from Kent Beck.

We have been running with a “Proxy Product Owner” for the last two weeks, but a simple mistake occurred either during the “Product Planning Meeting” or the “Sprint Planning Meeting” that could have prevented this Sprint from failing. We has a heated discussion on the vision of someone not in the room which ended with the assertion that the Product Owner would be quizzed again on their vision. This did not happen and we ran with the “Proxy Product Owner’s vision for two weeks.

Product Owner vision: Update Component A of Product A to Silverlight

Proxy Product Owner vision: Update Product A to Silverlight

Do you see the problem?

If the people who tell you what to do don’t agree with the people who evaluate what you are doing, you’re stuffed. – Kent Beck

Worse than that, as we had a lot of junior members of the Scrum Team and we are just feeling our way around how Scrum will work at SSW I missed implementing a fundamental rule.

That’s right, it was me. It does not matter that I did not know about this rule, its on the site and I should have read it. Would a police officer let you off if you did not know that a red light meant stop? I think not…

But, what is this amazing rule I hear you shout..

Its simple, as per our rule I should have sent the following email:

“ Dear Proxy Product Owner,

For the record, I disagree that the Product Owner wants us to ‘Update Product A to Silverlight’ as I still think that he wants us to ‘Update Component A of Product A to Silverlight’ and not the entire application.

Regards

Martin”
‘For the record’ – Rules to being Software Consultants – Dealing with Clients

This email should have been copied to the entire Scrum Team, which would have included the Product Owner, who would have nipped this misunderstanding in the bud and we would have had one less impediment.

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