Sunday, June 28, 2009

When can Scrum take credit for Success

I have seen many contexts in software development that are not congenial for IID and that higher value can be generated faster, cheaper and better, by doing it right the first time, in such contexts. Retrofitting Scrum in such contexts, with BUFD, in an incremental but non iterative mode, sometimes did improve the way teams did things right the first
time, though they implemented Scrum upside down.

I am not trying to be antithetical to Scrum, but am trying to identify and discover new options to generate value that are clearly outside the contexts of Scrum, based on patterns in value generated by Teams implementing Scrum upside down in traditional waterfall environments.

I have no where said that it is a pattern of Scrum, but have clearly debated that this is a useful pattern of anti-Scrum. FScrum, is and will be an anti-Scrum pattern, so everyone knows that this is NOT Scrum, but still has a potential to enhance Value in contexts outside of Scrum identified contexts.

How do we know whether Scrum is working or an upside down implementation of Scrum is working ?

We could easily verify and validate if improvements in an organization can be credited to Scrum.

Here is a simple way of doing it. In any organization that claims improvement with using Scrum, we can verify and validate if the following had occurred in the way they did their work:

1. There were small teams ( 5-9 members) who were fully empowered, self-organzing and cross-functional (SO-CF). The Teams were supported by the Management through Servant Leadership.

2. The SO-CF Teams demonstrated that through iterative "inspect and adapt" practices, they accomplished empirical learning with feedback and demonstrated improvements in their iteration deliverables, successively improving with each iteration.

3. Customers provided regular feedback on the deliverables made by the team at the end of each iteration and found that with successive iterations, the teams had developed a capability to anticipate, understand, meet and exceed their expectations, and improved their capability do so, with each successive iteration.

4. The Product Owner and the Team together, co-created mutual Value and harnessed change to enahance Value. There was a high degree of collaboration, communications, interactions and a high degree of mutual trust between the Product Owner and the Team.

5. That there was complete mutual trust and transparancey between the vendor organization and the customer organization, between the vendor management and the SO-CF Teams, and within the team members. All activities, practices and policies which the three stakeholders adopted in their mutual relationships and transactions, through the duration of the project till the end, confirms this.

5. Teams ability to deliver Value to Customers improved successively with each iteration due to the ability of the teams to continuously learn and improve through "inspecting and adapting" their way of doing things based on empirical feedback and learning

6. That the work started when requirements was not fully clear and without a BDUF, the cutomers and developers worked together evolving and changing scope over successive iterations, based on their learning and feedback, in a manner that both the teams and customers were learning new things, adding and modifying scope all the way that reflected their learnings and got a product in the end that fully met their expectations.

7. At the end of the Scrum project, The Customers were delighted, The Team was delighted and the Mangement was delighted since they made good profits too.

8. And that in this whole project start to finish, Scrum Roles, Artefacts and Ceremonies were practiced exactly as in the book, without any ScrumButs, and in the right spirit of Scrum Principles and Practices as published.

If this evidence can be found, I will surely agree that the credit of its success should go to Scrum. If even one of these were not true in the context, I would surely not pass the credit to Scrum and will investigate to find out what else contributed to their success.

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