Jason Sheedy - Certified Scrum Master

Submitted by Jason on Sun, 2012-01-15 13:51

At the yow developer conference in Brisbane last month, I attended a two day workshop to learn how to do Scrum properly. I felt liberated after the coarse and realised that software project management doesn't have to be 'that' hard.

The organisation I currenly work for may not implement all of the scrum principles, but even taking some of those principles on board is really going to reduce stress and enable us to work at a consistent, sustainable pace. Now this trick is getting all the players to agree ...


No small feat

Submitted by Jason Erickson (not verified) on Tue, 2012-01-24 05:25.

Congratulations! It was great for me because we had a development team that was eager to try something different. We weren't trying to migrate from anything rigid like Waterfall - we were trying to migrate from slapdash to something that felt like some kind of control.

It's no small feat getting everyone on board, however. Change is hard. I think it's like a fat man being told about a diet. (The organization is the fat man and the diet is "change"). He's listening, thinking to himself, "Yes, yes yes!" but when it comes time to actually DO it, there are all kinds of reasons why it turns out to be difficult to really do. It's not that he discovers it's not the right thing to do. It's just hard to do it.

Some succeed, but you have to be ready.

How do you eat an elephant? One spoon full at a time.

Submitted by Jason on Thu, 2012-01-26 19:51.

Hi J,
How's life in sunny San Fran? I'm introducing some of agile the principles into our workflow to get people used to the concepts. I guess if it works people will start to warm up to the idea.

For me, I can see how scrum could empower the team to grow in a positive direction and the thing I love most about it is the way responsibilities are spread more evenly across the team. The hard part is getting management involved and participating in the process. It totally makes sense, but indeed reality is somewhat different.

Exactly so

Submitted by Jason Erickson (not verified) on Fri, 2012-01-27 03:01.

I loved Scrum for the team I was on. Without a real Product Owner, we always still had this pain point, but it was much less painful than before we were trying to do any of it. It reminds me of that Churchill quote, "Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried." I wouldn't go that far with Scrum, but if you expanded it to the whole world of 'agility' - Scrum, KanBan, Lean, XP - you could say, "Agile is the worst form of software process except for all those others that have been tried."

Yes, the mythical PO, what

Submitted by Jason on Fri, 2012-01-27 06:17.

Yes, the mythical PO, what process are you using now? When we met you were building a startup. How's that going?

Still going. I try to keep it

Submitted by Jason Erickson (not verified) on Fri, 2012-01-27 06:44.

Still going. I try to keep it agile, but I wouldn't call it Scrum anymore. My team is spread out geographically and full of specialists (iPhone guy, web guy, server side guy) and we can't even lock in on a two week fixed scope because things are so fluid. I find Kan Ban to be interesting but but it's hard to wrangle contractors into any process they aren't used to.

I think we're in the same boat.

Submitted by Jason on Fri, 2012-01-27 07:04.

We're pretty much trying things to see what works for us and cobling together a bit of a hybrid. A good bug tracking system is always a good thing ... we've been using Jira for the past few years. I couldn't live without it, although the new system from JetBrains looks pretty good too. If you're looking for contractors, I may be available later in the year. Maybe we can talk offline: skype: JasonSheedy