Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a Scrum Master training session facilitated by Mike Cohn. Because of this training, I gained insight into a number of practices that fuel our productivity at AVIO Consulting. The following three gleanings are the ones that impacted me the most.
Maybe You Can Win
We’ve all experienced a massive re-direction of team effort mid-sprint. Let’s face it, it’s more normal than any of us would like to admit. However, part of Agile methodology is being, well, agile.
Unfortunately, sprints are time-boxed (it’s kind of endemic to the whole Scrum-Agile thing), so being flexible all the time doesn’t work. How might a team meet the ever-changing needs of the client while keeping the development cycle under control and on schedule? Scrum training offers some insight.
An example of traditional thinking might be best delineated in the illustration shown below. If a product owner presents a new requirement and states that they want it “More better, more faster, and just plain more!” development teams typically parry with the qualigh-quantity-speed triangle (e.g. quality and speed of output [Agile-like], quality and quantity, or quantity and speed of output). Asking the product owner to choose two of the three prompts higher-level thinking and lays the foundation for compromise, which is a good thing. The problem with this approach, though, is that there's no mechanism for estimating development time. This has the potential to place a development team in a precarious situation.