Isn’t it ironic how I don’t have time to update this blog when one of the keys to a good Scrum team is achieving a sustainable pace? It’s frustrating because we’re doing some interesting stuff and solving (or working towards solutions for) some issues which I suspect affect other Scrum teams that are trying to be effective in a traditional enterprise environment.
Well, given that I’m here at last, I should post at least one thing of interest. One of the things I think we’ve changed that has helped is the way in which the Project Scrum Master (that’s me for the new release) and the other Scrum Masters provide updates to the management team: it used to be a bi-weekly presentation and Q&A session, but a few months ago we changed this to a weekly stand up meeting around our whiteboard. Not only does it mean the status is more up-to-the-minute (because it only takes a moment for one of the SMs to update the white as opposed to changing the PowerPoint slides) but it’s become a much more interactive discussion and decision making session.
As for our challenges, I think one of the biggest is where we have interfaces to non-Agile teams/organisations, e.g. purchasing an item that has a lead time of 2-3 months is problematic when we’re not looking (in detail) that far ahead. We are trying to forecast our hardware requirements, for example, but it’s not easy when the User Stories in our Product Backlog could change priority (impacting when we need the equipment) or be removed from this release altogether. We’re trying some techniques and all we can do is review and adapt them accordingly … doesn’t that sound like a novel idea?