- be delayed
- be preempted
- Split [deliver Sprint 1-ProductA, Sprint 1-ProductB, then Sprint 2-ProductB]
This decision is not important from the team’s perspective, as long as the sprint backlog has been loaded into the SCRUM Dashboard (which is integrated into Microsoft Team Foundation Server – our source management and overall ALM solution). Once the tasks have been entered into the Scrum Dashboard, which is integrated into the Microsoft Team Foundation Server – our source control and overall ALM solution – the task will be saved.
Chaos and SCRUM Josh asked that I write about some of our challenges and obstacles in our environment. To do this, I need to explain a bit about the environment. We have transformed ourselves over the past 36 months from a software development team in crisis into a strong team that is focused to deliver on its commitments. 2005 was the year we realized that the current way of writing software was not working. We were the poster child of “garage-band” software development. We had inherited 1,000,000+ lines of ASP code (aka 1MLOC – I’ll leave you guess what the “C” stands). Corporate management didn’t seem to recognize that there was anything wrong with the way things were done. In 2007, I was the leader of the group. I had spent countless hours trying the lead the business towards? Implementing a PMO. We are still maintaining the 1MLOC and have been working closely together with a third-party partner to replace it. We also have several other small LOB applications that have been written using accepted design patterns and best practices. This means there is a lot of chaos and churn when it comes down to deciding what will be worked on and by who. Enter SCRUM. In 2008, I approached IT leadership to explain that an iterative, incremental approach to software development was superior in our environment to the code-and fix triage approach to project management. This would be well suited for supporting the 1MLOC application, while still being agile enough to respond quickly to business needs. They were open to the idea. So, what is our environment like, how do we handle some of the obvious gotchas, and what are the advantages/disadvantages to how we do business? First, let me say that this is what we do in our environment. Although I cannot speak for your situation, I can offer some assistance if you need it. We currently have more than a dozen product backlogs. They are all in the development/grooming process. We have about half as many Product Owners (none of them have been “officially trained”, but all have gone or are awaiting admission to the school for hard knocks). The expectations of what it takes to be a Product owner are loudly communicated and often. Some people are more inclined to the role than others and may need some encouragement and coercion. We do the planning poker estimating I described here. Based on our standing team velocity, we tell the Product Owner how much of our backlog we can complete during the next sprint. There are two reasons why the Product Owner may need more functionality than can be delivered in one sprint. Or, the team needs to do some groundwork in order to deliver the key business deliverables in a second or third Sprint. The team might decide to deliver the next work in multiple concurrent sprints. In this case, the backlog of backlogs is queried and the next product owner is queried for budget and schedule requirements [we may even look at the current state of that PO’s product backlog] and a reasonable determination is made [by my boss and the IT Steering Committee] whether it’s acceptable to the business for the subsequent?development to: