Monday, July 09, 2012

Common Scrum Questions

I recently did an agile overview for a company's IT group, and was again surprised by the number of questions that could be answered by someone attending a Certified ScrumMaster class and, living out the role as educator, lets the team and others know how and why Scrum works. I'll go through the more common questions on my blog over the next few weeks.

Here's a few questions I see commonly.

1. Who should be or become a ScrumMaster? That is, which role: project manager, lead developer, functional manager, anyone but one of these roles?

2. Should the ScrumMaster be telling us how to do our work?

3. Does Scrum really work? I had a friend that worked over that Company X, and it was all messed up over there.

4. What's the right way to do Scrum? I worked at Company Y where they did Scrum, and my friend at Company Z does it a different way.

5. What about budget?

6. Our teams are distributed and remote. Can Scrum work for us?

7. How long until we start to see improvement?

8. Should we still have project managers and a PMO (project management office)?

9. I'm in QA, and this Scrum stuff stinks for me. I'd rather have it the old waterfall way.

10. Do we still need to do requirements in agile?

11. We don't have a Product Owner, but we know what needs to be done. Can we still do Scrum?

12. Management says we still have to hit deadlines that were set 15 years ago. Isn't that not really agile?

13. Is the ScrumMaster a fulltime role? What about what I used to do?

14. What if some of our work is dependent on people in other departments, like Operations (and they don't care that we're in two week sprints!)?

15. What if there are dependencies on other Scrum teams, and our commitment is dependent on them getting their stories done?

16. How do we do good architecture without doing some sort of good (or good enough) design upfront?

17. What do we do if our stories aren't complete at the end of our sprint?

I'll answer these, and more, over the next few weeks.

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