Scrum thoughts & Applications

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Quite recently I have done a training about Scrum to a little development team (~6 people) in Rotterdam. They started the move to Scrum by themself a couple of months ago and think they do Scrum in a wrong way. Indeed they applied in the wrong way for several reasons :

  • Project Manager / Product Owner / Scrum Master is the same person
  • Scrum Master does not play his facilitator role
  • Scrum Master does not time boxes any ceremonies
  • Only Stand Up is done

The point of this post is not to speak about this team problems, I had a long discussion with them on how they could improve their Scrum experience but one thing really annoyed me. All the members asked questions about the development speed.

  • Is it true Scrum is about developing quick ?
  • How can we manage code quality when we have to develop quick ?
  • How can we increase speed sprint after sprint ?

They think doing scrum will speed them up. I tried to explain them the purpose of Scrum is not about speed but about maximizing the value delivered to the customer. Then, I think there is a misunderstanding about a Scrum wording : Sprint. In fact a Sprint is not a sprint from the running perspective.

I see more Scrum methodology as a marathon and not a sprint like Usain Bolt could do in Olympic games. Regarding one principle from the Agile manifesto:

Agile processes promote sustainable development.

The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.

Doing inspection during Sprint Retrospective and Sprint Review can bring some improvements items to faciliciate team working conditions but no real sprint to make ! After a sprint we cannot run anymore, and this is not we want in software engineering nor in endurance sports.

That's why I recommend to everyone using Iteration (which means step to achieve something) instead of Sprint.

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