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.