History of Scrum at Bluefly, Part 1


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History of Scrum at Bluefly, Part 1

  1. 1. History of Scrum @ Bluefly, Part 1 Matt Raines Vice President of Technology Bluefly [email_address] @matthewraines
  2. 3. About Bluefly <ul><li>Pure play online retailer of high-end designer closing and accessories </li></ul><ul><li>Launched in Sept 1998 </li></ul><ul><li>~$100mm in net revenue </li></ul><ul><li>Tech team of 18 plus outsourcing team / consultants </li></ul>
  3. 4. Agenda
  4. 5. Dawn of Man (circa pre-2006) <ul><li>Unpredictable track record for project delivery </li></ul><ul><li>Poor communication and integration with business stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>Struggled to meet expectations and deadlines </li></ul><ul><li>Delivered product was not always what the business wanted and it was too late to change it </li></ul><ul><li>Big platform migration project to implement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Business users overwhelmed with requirements - at least 6 months to define requirements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of business users to define business solutions due to turnover </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No thorough understanding of the new platform – hard to design, hard to define business solutions </li></ul></ul>
  5. 7. The Old Testament (circa dec 2006) <ul><li>Tech mgmt made decision to implement Scrum </li></ul><ul><li>Limited number of people (managers) went to training </li></ul><ul><li>Engaged a Scrum Process Mentor to facilitate transition </li></ul><ul><li>Reorganized teams into Scrum teams </li></ul><ul><li>Applied this methodology to a platform migration project </li></ul>
  6. 8. The Roman Empire (2007-2008) <ul><li>Forced implementation during the largest project in the company’s history </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New eCommerce platform </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple teams w/ multiple disciplines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Augmented with consultants </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Product owner not trained to be a good product owner </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prioritization of backlog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Didn’t test the finished features </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Level of engagement ended at the Review meeting </li></ul></ul><ul><li>IT management was struggling to understand their new roles </li></ul>
  7. 9. The Spanish Inquisition (2007-2008) <ul><li>Team reorganization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Role ambiguity = F.U.D. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reorg was not voluntary, rather it was “imposed” from top down </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Loss of identity – my team doesn’t exist anymore </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Co-location </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why do I have to move from where I am. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>My communication is fine. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Who do I report to? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Feels like I report to 7 managers (team members) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Self organize, Dammit! </li></ul><ul><li>Why don’t you love Scrum? </li></ul>
  8. 10. The French Revolution (present day) <ul><li>Adapted Scrum to Bluefly </li></ul><ul><li>Integrated Sys Ops team to Scrum </li></ul><ul><li>Added outsourcing partner </li></ul><ul><li>Upgraded tools along the way </li></ul><ul><li>Design reviews </li></ul><ul><li>Project / product roadmap planning </li></ul>
  9. 12. Preview of Coming Attractions (10 lessons learned) <ul><li>Grossly overestimated our team’s tolerance for change </li></ul><ul><li>Thought people would love Scrum – they didn’t </li></ul><ul><li>Insufficient training, mentoring & coaching </li></ul><ul><li>Democratic decision making can lead to mediocre solutions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fine line between discussion and argument </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reluctance of individuals to make a decision </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not setting any boundaries for “team makes decisions” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Must have leaders – the stronger the better </li></ul><ul><li>Thought that short iterations meant we would be faster </li></ul><ul><li>Challenge of team vs. individual performance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>impacts on performance reviews </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Must plan at least 2 quarters ahead </li></ul><ul><li>It’s not about the tools you use </li></ul><ul><li>Scrum is a framework that you must adapt to your environment to be successful </li></ul>
  10. 13. Roll the Credits (Wins) <ul><li>Teamwork </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Finishing stories, carry each other through the sprint </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Confidence in what we can be achieved </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased ownership across functional boundaries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teams seek improvement in process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consistent story completion percentages </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Genuine partnership with product owners </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-stop conversation about roadmap and prioritization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Engaged at the idea phase of business planning vs implementation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Releases included all expected features </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased communication </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Improved Engineering practices </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Continuous integration, Automated Testing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Better prepared to handle the “audibles” that get called by the business – these happen a lot! </li></ul>
  11. 14. Matt Raines Vice President of Technology Bluefly [email_address] @matthewraines