Sunday, March 6, 2011

Agile Project Management with Scrum by Ken Schwaber

Rating: Intended for Scrum masters.

Quick comments:
A bit academic. Dedicated to Scrum masters, not developers. For Scrum essentials go to Appendix A: Rules.

:-) Funny bits:

"It is possible to have simple software requirements. A single customer who is the only person who will use the system can spend enough time with the developer that the two can agree exactly what to build. Assuming that this customer '''dies immediately [...]'''"

"You notice that the commissioner gets increasingly agitated during your presentation, tapping his feet, '''spitting at the floor''', and uttering muffled expletives. He appears to be very unhappy." - page 78.

empirical process control (visibility, inspection, adaptation) vs defined process control, stakeholders, complexity assessment graph, scrum skeleton, product backlog (sprint stories [0.5-n days]), Scrum
roles (product owner, the team, Scrum master), sprint, planning meeting, sprint backlog (sprint tasks [4-16 hours]), daily Scrum, sprint review meeting, sprint retrospective meeting, burn-down chart, adjustment (complexity) factor, the art of the possible, self-organizing team, time-boxing, incremental delivery, sashimi,
sprint goal, changes report, product backlog burndown report, suboptimal measurement, scaled project, daily scrum of scrums, staging.

Bottom line for us, the developers:
Scrum is about letting the team estimate the work (stories) initially, divide them into tasks, assign within the team, estimate work left to do every day, and present results every 30 calendar days (sprint). Scrum is about product owners defining, prioritizing, and providing feedback on the work. Scrum allows product owners to see in great detail how the work is progressing daily, and change course if necessary.


"The process of developing functionality includes: analysis, design, coding, testing and documentation."

"During this training, I emphasized that '''Scrum Masters have no authority over the development teams'''; they are present only to ensure that the Scrum process is adhered to and that the teams' needs are met." - page 103.

Interesting observations/Criticism:
  • testers are not part of the team at MegaBank, QA starts at the end of every sprint - page 72, however, in other cases, they are part of the team
  • there is a special, 2 week, release sprint at MegaEnergy - page 91
  • the definitions and index do not include velocity which is an important scrum concept

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