Product Owner increasing software quality

A week or two ago I got the feeling of hearing product owner complaining about software quality and developers talking more and more about fixing bugs and telling the product owner in the sprint review there “are still small things to do, to finally be done”. To be sure if my feeling was right, I asked the product owner for their opinion regarding the quality of the delivered software. I didn’t have to wait very long to receive answers to my question every single one telling me the same in different wording. In short “Yes quality sucks!”

Everyone dealing with Scrum or Agile Methods stumbles sooner or later over Extreme Programming practices like pair programming, code-review, continuous integration, unit- and acceptance tests, refactoring and test-driven development(short TDD) to name the best known. There are some more like behavior-driven development(BDD) for example and all practices mentioned are intended to help developers write better code. Continue reading Product Owner increasing software quality

ScrumMaster in an advanced Team

My trip to the Scrumtisch in Hamburg really was a worthwhile trip. Thanks to Christian Dähn we had a great time with a lot of interesting discussions. Christian tried an open space for the first time and it worked great. Two topics where especially interesting, both addressing a similar issue, whereby they ended up being discussed in the same breath.

1. Is an advanced self-organizing team still in need of a Scrum Master?
2.How much pressure does a team need?(Evolved to: How do we keep the pressure on the team and whose job is it?)

The thought behind 1. is that if a team is self-organizing at the highest level, what’s the job of the Scrum Master? Is it confined to moderating meetings the team has or not even that because the team takes care of it, too?
This thought is followed by the second topic. The topic owner suggested that a team advancing in a project is simultaneous getting unchallenged and therefore lazy. Continue reading ScrumMaster in an advanced Team

Scrumtisch Hamburg

Scrumtisch Hamburg

Wow last weeks were pretty busy didn’t find the time to write anything. My job is keeping me busy. Worst thing is I wasn’t able to finish a paper I promised to finish until last weekend.  Note to myself: Get it DONE!

This week is very busy, too, but most important is the Scrumtisch in Hamburg. I am looking forward to new people, good talks and learning new things. This event will be very interesting especially, because it is so short after the Scrum Gathering in Munich. Just take a look at the count of people attending even the place had to be changed. Even a new location had to be found.

Talking about Munich I just received an invitation to the Scrumtisch in Munich, Don’t know if I am attending, because Munich is a little to far for me.

So long, see you in Hamburg

The equation(s) behind Retrospectives

Sometimes the management doesn’t understand the meaning of retrospectives. Why is the team spending time talking about problems, although there seem to be no problems, instead of heading into the next sprint? For them it’s barely comprehensible, to hear there are impediments though the team managed to deliver all backlog items they committed to do.

Show them a variety of impediments you discovered in previous retrospectives or ask them to wait for the next retrospective(if it is the first). Important: Tell your team you will show the impediments to the managements and why. Maybe they don’t feel comfortable with and would see it as a stab in the back! Also tell the management they are not allowed to join the retrospective unless the team wants it! The equation the management will understand is: Continue reading The equation(s) behind Retrospectives

Scrum.org: Ken Schwaber

As you probably all know Ken Schwaber is no longer president of the Scrum Alliance. That doesn’t mean he turned his back on Scrum – not at all. It just seems that he takes his teachings very serious. By teachings I mean the point of the ongoing change in processes.

His change is reflected by starting Scrum.org[1] surrounding himself with:

the developers of Scrum and the best Scrum practitioners in the industry

It was founded and aimed to:

  1. Help individuals assess their knowledge of Scrum and how to use it.
  2. Help organizations find the best training courses, coaching, consulting, and topical Q&A sessions to optimize their use of Scrum.
  3. Help Scrum teams and organizations learn how to optimize their Total Cost of Ownership for systems and products built using Scrum.
  4. Initiate innovative programs, such as the Scrum Developer, to accelerate the effectiveness of Scrum.

Scrum.org has only top-drawer facilities and skills aimed to help those who are dead serious about competing in the product and systems development marketplace.

Looking at the site you will find out Ken Schwaber backs away from the certifications of Scrum Masters. Instead Scrum.org is using a personal “radar map” of “competence in knowing and applying Scrum”, which is formed by taking assessments. One of the assessments is already accessible, you just have to ask for a password by writing an email to Ken.

I am very excited about how companies will react, if they still want the certification or they’ll follow Ken’s way. The happening at the Scrum Gathering in Munich will absolutely be interesting. Who would have thought the next Scrum Gathering in Germany would get so much attention?!

[1]http://www.scrum.org/

Let them do own experiences

I have a little brother and at the time he was a kid I took care of him so he wouldn’t do anything stupid. My dad always told me to let him do(as long as he wouldn’t kill himself) and added that my brother would feel the consequences of his doing and learn from it. This rule counts for a scrum team the same as for my brother.

Both Sprint Planning were set for the day, four hours each. I started the meeting by reminding everybody, what the Sprint Planning I is all about, namely figuring out WHAT exactly the team will do in the next sprint. Continue reading Let them do own experiences

ScrumMaster an Evangelist

I just finished reading “Enterprise 2.0 – The Art of letting go”. Craig Cmehil contributed a chapter to the book and describes his work as an evangelist in the SAP Developer Network(SDN). His description of the way he works reminds me of a Scrum Master.

As a Community-Evangelist, it’s my job to drive community but not necessarily lead community

The Scrum Master is not an original leader either. He is a driver and mentor like an Evangelist. A mentor leads by advises. He shows the team the way, but they are in charge taking the road. That way the Scrum Master drives the team to a better understanding of their responsibility being self-organized. Cmehil also recommends to have fun and says:

Call and chat with them: stop by desks and say hi…talk…make them feel a valuable part…use your words and experiences. Be open and encourage by leading by example.

A Scrum Master needs the best understanding of Scrum, but also needs a good understanding of leading people by not leading them in the original way of thinking, but leading by example.