11

The CEO of our small company (14) asked me to introduce some elements of Scrum into the working process of our development team.

Problem is: the piece he would like to see introduced is not really the main part. It mainly the daily scrum meeting.

The problem is that to introduce Scrum completly would force him to change his own work (constitue backlog, define content of sprints, and so on), and he obviously doesn't want that...

I can see the benefits of introducing these small bits of Scrum. Better communication of the team, mainly, as we have no CTO, it's rather a self-organizing team anyway.

I have also some hopes that ones we have begun with Scrum, we could further integrate the method.

Do you have seen something like this yet? How does it turn out?

8

Contrary to Bartosz, I believe that short, daily meetings are something which actually can perfectly work in many different environments, even when it is virtually the only practice taken from Scrum.

What more I know teams, and quite a few of them, which tried Scrum, then abandoned it, and the only practice they still exercise is daily meetings. And they even point it as the best thing from Scrum -- no surprise since they dropped every other.

Anyway, daily meetings are all about exchanging information within the team and they aim to make it in a very light-weight way. This means chances are good people will actually see the value. So I'd definitely try this one out.

However I don't have much hope it is a good starting point to introduce Scrum as a whole. Starting with Scrum is a revolution for vast majority of teams. Different team model, different process and a bunch of new practices to follow. It's often hard to make transition to Scrum sustainable as people naturally oppose revolutions and that will be the force which would be hard to overcome with step-by-step Scrum implementation.

If you think about incremental changes of the team Kanban seems as if it's a better tool to support such ongoing change. Actually Kanban is often dubbed change management approach and, if I understand correctly, that's what you want to do. Kanban also assumes nothing really changes on the day 1, but then unveils issues and incentivize people to improve the way they work.

  • Somehow good point except they taken such practice on their own contrary to being given by CEO (probably without discussion). If it would be the team's choice I would say it could work. – Bartosz Rakowski Apr 28 '11 at 21:07
  • Actually I don't really consider it as a problem. Traroth see the value and was able to convince me to that. It shouldn't be so hard to convince the team either. Perception of introducing the practice pretty much depends on how it is sold to the team, but that wasn't really a part of the question. – Pawel Brodzinski Apr 28 '11 at 21:15
  • +1 this is a great way to start introducing Scrum; and this is one of the more crucial features. – ashes999 May 1 '11 at 22:42
9

Yes. Been there, seen that.

Scrum daily meeting makes sense in Scrum because:

  • all the team members are interested in making taks done so they track progress and impediments
  • there is often a possibility of switching (one person finishes what other started) so they need to track progress and impediments
  • they need to use "resources" wisely, so they usually meet more than once a day to switch around tasks and help each other and share knowledge, so they need to know what is going on in team

Without Scrum it sucked (in case I've seen) because:

  • each developer was working on his own tasks and could live without knowing what others do (I will do my part)
  • they had no reason to speak about impediments as others wasn't interested in helping (they did THEIR tasks), so all the stories was succesfull ones
  • they saw no reason in doing daily standups (nobody consulted the situation with them) so most of the time they was saying "I am doing the same I was doing yesterday and I will do it probably for the next two weeks, thank you".

I am not saying standups will not work for you. But have you (I mean managers) asked yourself a questions:

  • why do we want to do it?
  • what do we expect to get?
  • is it the right choice to get what we want?
  • did we spoke with the team about it?
  • what are the team's suggestions?

It is probably wise to know the patient's illness before administering drug-which-should-work.

  • 1
    And I wouldn't call it "scrum daily meeting". If it fails and you will ever try to introduce Scrum, such negative bias will await. – Bartosz Rakowski Apr 28 '11 at 20:14
3

Seems like he's really missing the point of Scrum. Just the Daily Scrum is like having just the foam of a cappuccino. Granted it is an integral part of Scrum and it is a great litmus test for how well the team is working together but on it's own it just doesn't make sense. Maybe a communication problem. I wonder if you could go back to your CEO and ask him some open-ended questions about what it is about Scrum that he finds appealing.

  • Actually, I proposed to use Scrum in the first place. He immediatly saw the advantage of this part, which can be introduced without changing the whole working process of the company, which I can understand. But on the other hand, I think our processes would need an improvment, so I try to push to introduce more of Scrum in our working habits. So I will make a general presentation of Scrum next week, in order to make sure everybody knows what we are talking about and what could be the advantages, at least. – Alexis Dufrenoy Apr 30 '11 at 9:16
  • Best of luck Traroth. I don't know anyone that can't benefit from leaner/more agile practices however there are some that are not a great fit for Scrum. I trust that it is for you. Also, as Ken Schwaber says, Scrum exposes a mess so be prepared for some problems early in adoption. – Ken Clyne May 1 '11 at 21:02
2

As they say, every journey begins with a single step.

Look at this as a start and make it a successful proof of concept.

  • Yeah, I will try to start by a complete presentation of Scrum, so everybody in the company will at least know what we are talking about and what benefits we could await from introducing more of Scrum in our processes... – Alexis Dufrenoy Apr 29 '11 at 7:44
  • And make sure that there are good results, re having a positive impact on the project, company and team. – Mark Phillips Apr 29 '11 at 12:22
  • I understand your concern. In the technical team, everybody seems very motivated by this change, so I'm not really worried... – Alexis Dufrenoy Apr 30 '11 at 9:18

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.