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Getting Started

This is a new blog about Scrum.

Scrum is a Project Management Framework, right? Well yes and no. Scrum is both a tool for managing projects, but is also a way of life. The heart of Scrum is a simple cycle: Plan, Do, Evaluate, Improve. On the one hand, Scrum empowers the team to get things done. On the other, it empowers the Scrum Master to recognize and remove impediments. This makes Scrum the tip of much larger icebergs, Lean Software Development and Lean Product Development.

The core idea of Lean is eliminating waste. This idea has already transformed manufacturing and has tremendous potential to transform service oriented businesses. A team that implements Scrum will quickly become more efficient, but also start to discover the waste, delays and inefficiencies elsewhere in the organization. Converting the first team to Scrum is potentially the first step in transforming the organization to a higher, more efficient level.

This blog will address the topics that I address professionally:
  1. Getting started with Scrum. Getting the first team working with Scrum.
  2. Crisis Project Management. The project is behind and over budget. Everyone is unhappy and no one sees the way forward. What now?
  3. Transforming IT into a Lean Organization - what would it mean to reduce the concept-to-release-time of major projects from 3 years down to 1 year, or even less? How do we do that?

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Scaling Scrum: SAFe, DAD, or LeSS?

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Recently a number of approaches have started gaining attention, including the Scaled Agile Framework ("SAFe") by Dean Leffingwell, Disciplined Agile Development (DAD), by Scott Ambler, and Large Scale Scrum (LeSS), by Craig Larman and Bas Vodde. (Follow the links for white papers or overviews of each approach).

How to compare these approaches? My starting point is Scrum in the team. Scrum has proven very effective at helping teams perform, even though it does not directly address the issues surrounding larger organizations and teams. An approach to scaling Scrum should not be inconsistent with Scrum itself.

Scrum implements a small number of principles and constraints: Inspect and Adapt. An interdisciplinary Team solves the problem. Deliver something of va…

Sample Definition of Done

Why does Scrum have a Definition of Done? Simple, everyone involved in the project needs to know and understand what Done means. Furthermore, Done should be really done, as in, 'there is nothing stopping us from earning value with this function, except maybe the go-ahead from the Product Owner. Consider the alternative:
Project Manager: Is this function done?
Developer: Yes
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The team reports to the Scrum Master at the Daily ScrumPeople wait for instructions from the Scrum MasterTeam members don't hold each other responsible [for their commitments]The same impediment comes up twice"That's the way it is" => resignation"I" instead of "We"Flip charts are lonelyCulture of conflict-avoidanceDecisions processes are unclear, nor are they discussedPersonal goals are more important than team goals
To this list I would add my a couple of my favorites:
you don't see a triangle on the task board (not working according prioritization of stories)after the daily Scrum, people return directly to their desks (no collaboration)there are a least as many stories in progress as team members (no pairing)
P.S. You can join the …