Hughes Blog
Thoughts on Software Development, Project Management, Parenting, and Running.
Monday, June 05, 2006
Agile Teams
My team has been leading the charge with Agile Software Development. When I came to BMC, our group was using a Feature Driven Waterfall methodology. Since August I have been attempting get folks on board with an Agile-Scrum methodology. While management is basically supportive, sometimes they don't really "get it".

Scrum is based on empowering people to excel as part of a team. Many times in a waterfall driven development organization one finds that the oranganizational silo own part of the process. For example, the QA team or the Doc team has their role, which they define and execute against. They define the API's, if you will, between their silos and the other organizational silos like engineering. Scrum is about working as a single team with a single missions and getting team members to commit to thier mission and the overall goal regardless of their specialty. Instead of defining an API layer for the interface to their group, its more like subclassing thier skill into the project team.

In a scrum environment teams commit to a sprint which is a short fixed duration effort. During a sprint the team defines goals and works to complete those goals.

Today I discover that our QA silo had decided to "redeploy" some of the team members who had been working on our sprint. One of the nice things about scrum is that sprints are SHORT. The current sprint will end in two weeks. If the management of the QA silo desires to screw with the team assignments, please wait until the end of the sprint!

It's especially difficult when unseasoned users and managers use this sprint as an excuse to get in additional requirements beyond the original scope...
Indeed! I am lucky to have not yet had that problem. I have had managers add scope to our product backlog and then prioritize that work for the very next sprint. That makes sense to me though. Requirements change - so embracing the change makes sense for the project - just not in the middle of a sprint!
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All views expressed in this post and on this blog are my own. None of my comments should be construed to represent the views of others including and not limited to: BMC Software Inc., Corel Corporation, Dun and Bradstreet and AC Nielsen. Copyright Chris Hughes 2004-2012