Perfection game on Dutch Scrum Article

More and more companies are going agile. For a small company it is the best way to outperform your big competitors. For a big company it’s the cheapest way of working. (Some big companies have to much money to care about this.) Still I am happy that more and more companies ask me to teach them about the agile  way of working, or ask me to coach them on a agility.

I was happy to see that in the dutch .Net magazine there was an article about Scrum. (Thanks to Steven Ghyselbrecht I found the online version)

I will do a perfection game on the article:

I give this article a 7 out of 10.

What I like about it:

  • The explanation of an agile way or working in a Microsoft magazine.
  • The explanations of the different parts of scrum.
  • The use of a retrospective.
  • Explaination of the 3 questions of a daily scrum.
  • The explicit mention of the 15 minutes
  • Mention of the Self-steering of the scrum team.
  • The “communication, communication, communication”
  • The mentioning of testing and testers
  • It stresses the use of the visiblity of the Scrum board
  • it stresses the succes they had on their first scrum project

What needs to change to get a 10:

  • Call Scrum a philosophy  rather then a methodology. Just like a lot of people in the agile word I try to avoid the word methodology.
  • More background on where scrum comes from.
  • More examples of TimeBoxing. (The Sprint is not the only timeboxing technique used in Scrum.)
  • Explaining the importance of a retrospective.
  • The 15 minutes depend on the size of the team, small teams should do it below 15 minutes.
  • It should not look like the team becomes self steering on it’s own. See my talk “The myth of self-organizing teams”
  • The role of a scrum master is not controlling.
  • The article says the project managers talks with the customer. That is wrong. You have a product owner for that. The Scrum master is responsable for the team, the product owner for the customer. 
  • Stop calling the scrum master project leader or project manager. If you want call her a coach.
  • It should explain the importantce of the burn down chart (I think it is the best part of scrum, so it should not be optional as said in the article)
  • The article mentions that in the ideal team testing should be done by seperate testers. (I can agree with that) it continuous to say that they could not afford that and the programmers do the testing. For me in the ideal team the programmers would do testing also. + Can not afford? The things you think you can not afford are the things you need the most. I think we can not afford not to have great quality.
  • The article mentions how they are working on a particular project, instead of the basics of scrum. This makes it confusing for people who have never heard of scrum.  I agree that all scrum projects are tweaked one way or another. For people who have never heard of a way of working starting with these exceptions is difficult.

I am Yves Hanoulle, your virtual Project Coach and you can reach me @ Yves at my agile training company .net

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2 Responses

  1. Thank you for mentioning and reviewing our article in the .NET Magazine. I agree on the additions you have made. We have wrote the article a couple of months ago. It was planned for the previous issue, but it was not placed at that time.
    In the meantime we have increased our experience using Scrum. If I would have written the article today I would stress the importance of a good Product Owner. In my opinion that is the starting point of using Scrum: be sure you have a good Product Owner. This person has to have the authority and knowlegde to make descisions. A good Product Owner assures the team can stay focused and produce software fast.

  2. Yes and /or a good scrum master. A scrum mastre is responsible for taking away problems/challanges” of the team. If you don’t have a good product owner, that should becme visible to the team and the scrum master should raise this to management.
    That is why retrospectives are so important, that after each iteration/sprint the team can finetune their way of working or raise big problems.

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