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Agile Case Studies - Balancing Anarchy and Co-op with Scrum

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If everybody on a 100-person project should talk to everybody else, we'd have to work overtime just to cover the meetings. Of course, this is before we start making any progress. Less meetings mean more progress.

At the same time, everybody works towards the same goal. If we don't talk to each other, we will run in separate directions.

In this talk, recorded at Øredev 2009, Johannes Brodwall uses his experience as architect for 1/4 of a large project to address the balance between coordination and progress.


About the Presenter

Johannes Brodwall works on projects as coach, software architect and developer. He's been practicing and teaching agile software development with a particular focus on extreme programming for ten years, and has been organizing the agile user group Oslo XP meetup for around five years. He's a well known speaker in Oslo on agile software development and test-driven development. 

Published at DZone with permission of its author, Nitin Bharti.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)


Stephane Vaucher replied on Sat, 2010/06/12 - 9:37pm

I liked the presentation, but I'm not sure I understand the title. IMHO, there were no parts that were specific to scrum. If I'm wrong, please let me know (I have never used scrum).

Johannes Brodwall replied on Mon, 2010/06/14 - 2:08pm in response to: Stephane Vaucher

Hi, Stephane (I'm the presenter in the video) Thank you for you comment. You're right in that there is nothing that is unique to a Scrum project. The projects I based my observations on happened to be scrum projects, so that's the background for the talk. The team oriented organization of the projects I mention in the presentation follow a structure that is typical of Scrum projects, but not uncommon in non-Scrum projects, either.

Stephane Vaucher replied on Tue, 2010/06/15 - 12:08am

Cool. The organisation of your first project with embedded architects was actually very similar to the team structure at a previous job. We migrated towards that organisation as our project was being developed by teams in different countries. It was not a management decision. Mostly, it was the consequence of the main team's actions. It was making architectural decision without informing other teams. The other teams then wanted their say. We consequently had joint weekly meetings to discuss common vision and collaboration. This became our architectural council. To avoid having too many people on phone meetings, we landed up having one or two people from each team. Ironically, I'm not even sure we had someone with an architect title on the council. All in all, it worked out pretty well, and we produced a good system. I always thought that if you get a bunch of capable guys sharing a common goal, most things will manage themselves.

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