Mike is a certified PMP project manager and a certified ScrumMaster. Mike was involved with the creation of the DSDM Agile Project Leader certification, holds this certification at the Foundation, Practitioner, and Examiner levels. Mike was named an honorary member of the DSDM consortium and served on the board of APLN and the Lean Software and Systems Consortium. He currently co-leads the PMI Agile Community of Practice. Mike is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 147 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile
If you're not keeping up... you've got some homework to do. My
last post called "What
Do I Mean by a Complex Product" is required reading before
you read this post. If you've got a minute, go read that post and then
come back to this one... thanks! - Mike
let's explore our Credit Card Processing team a little more. They are
in a large organization that is delivering large, complex products.
They know that the traditional way of planning and building software
isn't really working. The big up front requirements analysis and the
the big up front design is really slowing the organization down. It
routinely takes 18 months or more to bring any new product offering to
market. This company is at risk of having smaller, faster competitors
take their market share. This team wants to do something about it.
heard quite a bit about Agile and Scrum and like the idea of getting to
hyper-productivity in just a few iterations. Let's say that this team
moves mountains and gets everything they need to be successful... they
get the team through agile bootcamp and bring in a coach... they get a
top-notch product owner, identify a scrum master, they build the ideal
cross functional team, they do all the right XP practices, they do
iteration planning, daily standup meetings, demos, and retrospectives.
is a team that would make Ken and Jeff proud. No Scrum-but here.
product owner does a great job working with all the stakeholders...
both her external customers and the other product managers in the
organization. She balances the needs of her market with the needs of
the other products that are dependent on her product to be successful.
She crafts a backlog that is full of the right features, in the right
order, to get everyone all the features they need when they need them.
The team starts building... and starts getting really good at delivering
done-done software every two weeks.
Just as it should be...
We'll... yes and no. The PO for the Credit Card
Processing team is probably doing a great job satisfying the needs of
her Credit Card Processing customers... that is a good thing. It also
sounds like she is doing a great job meeting the needs of her internal
stakeholders. But what about that new Payment Processing product that
the business is counting on for a significant part of next year's
revenue? How has Scrum impacted the overall flow of value for the
entire company? The short answer is... it hasn't.
Scrum team has done it's part. I'm not even suggesting that this is a
Scrum problem. But, if the Payment Processing initiative fails, where
does that leave our Scrum team? It leaves them in the same boat as
everyone else... downsized, outsourced, and reorganized.
you say... what else can I do? The only part of the system I own is
the Credit Card Processing engine. I'm doing the absolute best I can
with what the people and resources I have been given... I have been
successful to the best of my ability. You know what... you're right...
you have been successful to the best of your ability. That is what is
so frustrating with localized Scrum implementations, it just doesn't
matter how good you do Scrum. How well your team adopts agile doesn't
matter... how well you adopt Scrum doesn't matter... at the end of the
day, all that matters is the value the business get's from your efforts.
this case, they didn't get the ultimate benefit and the Scrum team
suffered. Here is what you have to keep in mind... if the system is
bigger that your Scrum team... if the enterprise value stream requires
more teams that just yours to deliver... you need to take that into
consideration as you adopt scrum. Getting good at team based agile is
NOT ENOUGH when it comes to adopting agile in the enterprise... it is
NOT ENOUGH when you are part of larger, more complex products. All the
pieces have to work together. We'll unpack this
more over the next few posts... for now, let me know what you think.