Things Scrum Does NOT Mean



  • Not to pick on any one company, but I've been on many teams that say "we use scrum" and don't seem to have the slightest clue what that means.

    Scrum in a nutshell*: at an appointed time every morning, the team (a dozen or fewer people) meets in the hallway just outside their offices to rapidly discuss what was done yesterday, what will be done today, and what they need to get those things done today. Every twenty to thirty days, an iteration of the project is produced which is working and usable, although not all features may be implemented.

    Scrum done wrong**: an hour-long meeting is scheduled every afternoon. It happens in a conference room, which may be in a different building, so you may need to drive there. Several dozen people are invited, but most will not come. Once a quorum assembles, a round-robin discussion begins of what exactly each person is (supposed to be) doing, with frequent sidetracks to brainstorm about specific issues. Once everyone has spoken, the team hangs around until the end of the meeting (after all, the room and the time are booked) before returning to work. Nobody takes notes or sends updates on who is doing what. Every couple months, the current build of the project is archived on a server somewhere, whether it works or not.

    Ultimately, this brand of "agile" process tends to produce the same results as the "waterfall" process they were generally using before, so companies doing it this way usually go on record saying "agile methods don't work". The idea of interrupting every single work day with two hours of travel and meeting doesn't seem to register with them as the Bad Idea that it is.

    * - Many important details omitted for brevity. 

    ** -  This example is a composite of several projects from several companies, producing the worst possible result, although no single project in my experience has been guilty of everything in this list. It is not difficult to imagine, however, that someone out there really is doing all of them.



  • You can't spell "scrotum" without "scrum".

     



  • @Rootbeer said:

    You can't spell "scrotum" without "scrum".

    Sure I can: "nutsack".



  • Thanks, guys.



  • It's all bollocks to me.



  •  And I always thought a scrum only occurs in a Rugby game!



  • @CDarklock said:

    Every twenty to thirty days, an iteration of the project is produced which is [b]working and usable[/b]

     

    Hahahahahahaha.  Tell us another one.



  • @Aaron said:

    @CDarklock said:

    Every twenty to thirty days, an iteration of the project is produced which is working and usable

     

    Hahahahahahaha.  Tell us another one.

    Translated into ordinary English:

    working = it compiles

    usable = it doesn't always crash on startup



  • @Aaron said:

    Hahahahahahaha.  Tell us another one.

     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrum_(development) -

    During each sprint, a 15-30 day period (length decided by the team), the team creates an increment of potential shippable (usable) software.

    If you're not doing this, it's not proper scrum. It may still be a valid process, and even a valid agile process, but it's not scrum.

    If you don't believe this is possible, please let me know - in great detail - so I can print out this thread and go have a good laugh with the rest of my team. 😉



  • @CDarklock said:

    @Aaron said:

    Hahahahahahaha.  Tell us another one.

     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrum_(development) -

    During each sprint, a 15-30 day period (length decided by the team), the team creates an increment of potential shippable (usable) software.

    If you're not doing this, it's not proper scrum. It may still be a valid process, and even a valid agile process, but it's not scrum.

    If you don't believe this is possible, please let me know - in great detail - so I can print out this thread and go have a good laugh with the rest of my team. 😉

     

    We're all Scum here, and yes it does work.

    Unfortunately, you need good developers who aren't just code monkeys but able to engage with the product owners as well...which is why most below-par/average developers will scoff at being able to produce something ready to ship/release in just 22 days' worth of effort.

    I'd like to hear how people think this isn't possible too, as we've heard it all before...mainly from the developers who were made redundant when it was introduced...



  • @Mr B said:

    @CDarklock said:

    @Aaron said:

    Hahahahahahaha.  Tell us another one.

     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrum_(development) -

    During each sprint, a 15-30 day period (length decided by the team), the team creates an increment of potential shippable (usable) software.

    If you're not doing this, it's not proper scrum. It may still be a valid process, and even a valid agile process, but it's not scrum.

    If you don't believe this is possible, please let me know - in great detail - so I can print out this thread and go have a good laugh with the rest of my team. 😉

     

    We're all Scum here, and yes it does work.

    Unfortunately, you need good developers who aren't just code monkeys but able to engage with the product owners as well...which is why most below-par/average developers will scoff at being able to produce something ready to ship/release in just 22 days' worth of effort.

    I'd like to hear how people think this isn't possible too, as we've heard it all before...mainly from the developers who were made redundant when it was introduced...

     

    22 Days? You know damn well that developers wait until the last minute to code their project up, sitting around on sites like this and /. while pretending to work.  Real world is no different than college.



  • @amischiefr said:

    Real world is no different than college.
    Well, there's less binge drinking... unless you're morbiuswilters.



  • @bstorer said:

    @amischiefr said:

    Real world is no different than college.
    Well, there's less binge drinking... unless you're morbiuswilters.

    Also, more banging of 17 year olds.  amirite? 



  • @Mr B said:

    We're all Scum here

    No doubt.



  • @Mr B said:

    I'd like to hear how people think this isn't possible too, as we've heard it all before...mainly from the developers who were made redundant when it was introduced...

    I didn't believe scrum could work when I first encountered it. I didn't believe it could work when I first experienced it. And, indeed, it didn't work. But I looked at the process, and I said "this doesn't work because of X, Y, and Z". Then I went and looked into the literature on scrum, and you're not supposed to do X, Y, and Z. You're supposed to do the exact opposite. So I scratched my head and said "well, okay, theoretically it seems sound... but in practice, it won't happen". I shuttled around to a number of teams using scrum, it being a big buzzword, and cobbled together the horror stories that led off the thread.

    But with time, and with experience, it became clear to me that scrum not only could work, but would work - inevitably - if you just followed the instructions. If everybody just did what they were supposed to do and "bought in" to the process, scrum would work. The problems all fell into two categories: developers saying "this experiment will fail anyway, so I won't bother doing my part" and managers saying "this New Thing confuses and frightens me, so I will improve it by making it more like our Old Ways".

    Now I'm on a team that does scrum right, it's just freakin' awesome. I've never been more proud of my team or my work. It's shocking what you can do in a month.



  • I'm currently working at a place that treats scrums almost exactly the same way.  It sucks.

    Previously I worked at a place implementing most of Extreme Programming and it also was freakin' awesome.  Agile methodologies done correctly are fun and effective.


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