Thursday, December 14, 2006

ScrumMaster Training

Just completed ScrumMaster training through Danube, with Tobias Mayer. First off, Tobias is incredibly gifted in bringing understanding of business drivers, software challenges, and the spectrum of people's strengths and idiosyncracies all into a blend of guidance and assurance of how to really make this work.

My biggest take-away is that Scrum is simple, but it's not easy. And it's better to jump into rough water and try it than to wait for an ideal time and circumstance. From what I could tell from those who had been praacticing it, Scrum takes some courage (absense of self for the sake of the cause) to lead through it.

It is easier to do command-and-control waterfall projects, knowing they're more likely to fail, because the structure makes blaming others for project failure to easy (and often incorrectly) because of visibility on silo'd efforts. When effort in that specific task fails, the owner is more likely blamed because it appeared that required requisite steps were 'completed' and done so correctly (or else the project wouldn't have moved on).

In a scrum, all requirements, programming, project management and QA efforts are occurring simultaneously and you know the outcome in 30 days or less. So, who would you blame in the event of a failure? The whole team was involved. So one would have to look deeper into the causes, and that is always the right thing to do. Also, how severe would the consequences be on, at worst, losing a month's worth of work on a Scrum sprint versus three, six or more months on a waterfall project?

As far as learning Scrum, here are two additional links: The Agile Toolkit podcasts and a list on Amazon called The Scrum Master's Bookshelf.

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