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OOP-2015 - Empirical management explored (Gunther Verheyen)


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One of the core principles of the agile movement was to shift the focus of software development to creating more valuable software, sooner. It can be expected that the act of managing in an agile environment puts value at its heart; thereby preferring value over old, industrial parameters like scope, budget, time. On top of that, informed management decisions to maximize value cannot be made without collecting evidence of value. Such evidence is found in the outcome of the work. Enter the need of evidence-based decision-making. Evidence becomes the primary source for inspections, in order to adapt how the software is being produced. Hence, the introduction of the Scrum Stance in the managerial domain. Enter a new management culture, Empirical Management.

Gunther explores the idea of Empirical Management through the lens of Scrum’s history and the compelling desire of many organizations to scale Scrum.

Gunther is director of the Professional Series at and a partner of Ken Schwaber.

Extended Abstract
Scrum has been around for almost 2 decades. During the first decade of agile, the adoption of agile and Scrum have grown incredibly. But the dependence of businesses and society on software has increased even more. Software is eating the world.
The survival and prosperity of many people and organizations depend on software. Complexity and unpredictability continue to increase. Yet, many organizations are stuck with old thinking like productivity, performance and blindly pushing more requirements out to the market. The focus of managing has not shifted to optimizing the value that the software brings to the organization. The urgency to do so grows.
The agile movement has left the act of managing largely unaddressed or -at least- under-focused. The agile values and spirit are more needed than ever, but it's time to include management. This can be achieved by applying the Scrum Stance in the managerial domain, hence promote Empirical Management.

Gunther Verheyen directs the Professional Series at and is a partner of Ken Schwaber, Scrum co-creator. Gunther and Ken have developed a framework for empirical management based on the principles of Scrum, agile and Evidence-Based Management. EBM has its roots in medical practice.

In his presentation Gunther look at the state of agile through the lens of EBM, and introduce how to apply its principles in a context of software.

“If no evidence is collected on the value of software, informed management decisions to maximize it cannot be made. Software development deserves a professional way of managing, a way of managing that is more than mere intuition, opinion and position.”

Learning Objectives
Inspire by challenging some common understanding of ‘agile’
Participants will be challenged on their understanding of agile, and the purpose of agile at a business and management level.
Participants will be challenged to shift their focus from how the development work

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OOP-2015 - Empirical management explored (Gunther Verheyen)

  1. 1. by – Improving the Profession of Software Development Empirical Management Explored Evidence-Based Managing of Software Gunther Verheyen Shepherding the Professional series Munich January 29, 2015
  2. 2. 2© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved MIN 3 How would you describe your contribution to the wonderful act of software creation? Raise your hand if it is: • Coding • Testing • Architecting • Designing • Analyzing • Documenting • Coaching • Managing Short Survey About You Thank you for thinking in terms of activities and (multiple) skills, not titles and positions.
  3. 3. 3© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved Two Decades of Scrum Empirical Management Explored "If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. -Steve Jobs
  4. 4. 4© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved Scrum Resolves Complexity (1995)
  5. 5. 5© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved Scrum Expresses Agile (2001) • Empowers people • Controls risk (time-boxing) • Enables validated learning • Is goal driven • Thrives on discovery • Delivers Value • A bounded environment for action
  6. 6. 6© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved MIN 3 Who is using or works in an organization that is using: • eXtreme Programming? • Scrum? • Lean (software development)? • DevOps? • SAFe? • DAD? • LeSS? • ScALed? • A custom agile process? What Processes Do YOU Apply?
  7. 7. 7© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved A Craze During the First Decade of Agile? scrum·pede/skrʌmˈpiːd/ 1. Sudden frenzied rush of panic–stricken companies to do Scrum because they want to do agile, too. 2. To flee in a headlong rush to scaling Scrum (or something that looks like it) because they need more software, now. Inspired by © Tomasz Włodarek.
  8. 8. 8© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved Scrum. Ultimately. Embrace simplicity, rather than adding complexity.
  9. 9. 9© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved People employ empiricism to optimize the value of their work. The Scrum Stance
  10. 10. 10© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved Scaling Professional Scrum Empirical Management Explored If a problem cannot be solved, enlarge it. - Dwight D. Eisenhower
  11. 11. 11© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved MIN 2 What challenges do you and your organization encounter when ‘scaling Scrum’? A Compelling Desire to Scale?
  12. 12. 12© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved Observed Scrum Adoption Challenges • Isolated Scrum Teams • Flaccid Scrum: – A lack of engineering standards – A distant customer – The belief in magic • The difficulty to create integrated, releasable Increments • Predictive management Are you scaling Scrum? Or are you scaling dysfunctions?
  13. 13. 13© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved What if we would start with Scrum before attempting to ‘scale’ it?
  14. 14. 14© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved Start With Scrum The Scrum Framework The Scrum Stance
  15. 15. 15© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved Maximize Scrum Not Scrum Scrum High Benefits “ScrumAnd”
  16. 16. 16© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved Many Ways to Maximize Scrum • Team effectiveness through collaboration, autonomy & self- organization • Skills (training) • Engineering practices & standards • Infrastructure, tooling & automation • Quality standards & guidelines • Elimination of low value • A definition of Done that reflects releasable
  17. 17. 17© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved Grow to Professional Scrum Any Scrum instance that implements Scrum’s mechanics, and the values and principles, and technical excellence. Professional Scrum (Mechanical) Scrum Values and Principles Technical Excellence
  18. 18. 18© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved Professional Scrum is THE (only) Foundation to Scale
  19. 19. 19© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved Yes, You Can Add Teams 1. A product has one Product Backlog managed by one Product Owner. 2. Multiple Teams create integrated Increments in a Nexus.
  20. 20. 20© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved Yes, You Can Add Teams 1. A product has one Product Backlog managed by one Product Owner. 2. Multiple Teams create integrated Increments in a Nexus.
  21. 21. 21© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved Nexus –noun ˈnek-səs : a relationship or connection between people or things
  22. 22. 22© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved Yes, You Can Integrate Multiple Products Value.Dependencies.
  23. 23. 23© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved Choose wisely where to invest in: – Dysfunctional Scrum – Maximizing Scrum – Scaling Professional Scrum
  24. 24. 24© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved Scrum under the Enterprise Empirical Management Explored Scrum Teams manage themselves. You don’t manage them. You set goals. -Ken Schwaber
  25. 25. 25© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved How IT Is Typically Managed • IT is a cost center. • Software development is an expense, some of which may be capitalized. • Expenditures are ‘managed’ through projects. Success = f { Planned_Time, Predicted_Scope, Allocated_Budget }
  26. 26. 26© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved How Scrum Is Typically Managed • Scrum is the new methodological flavor for delivery from IT to business. • Delivery is done through projects. But we now measure and compare at the team level, no longer the individual’s level. • The goal is more Scrum, more scope. Success = f { Process adherence, Practices, Velocity }
  27. 27. 27© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved Whether you start, scale, or transform… Are you looking to increase output, or optimize the value of your output? Delighting Customers?
  28. 28. 28© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved Remember? “Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.” How is that for a purpose?
  29. 29. 29© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved Measure one level up. Measure outcomes. 1. Direct Value 3. Ability to innovate 2. Time to Market Measure the value your software brings. Not teams, not process. Key Value Areas
  30. 30. 30© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved Manage through the Scrum Stance • Inspect the value of your software – Use the indicators to create transparency • To adapt how the work is done – By facilitating change to the organization, the environment, the teams
  31. 31. 31© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved Use Scrum To Grow Scrum Measure Facilitate Change • Skills, Knowledge, Understanding  Product managers  Managers  Developers • Practices, Tools, Standards Secondary Indicators Primary Indicators
  32. 32. 32© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved When rolling out agile, remember: – Agility can’t be planned – Agility can’t be dictated – Agility has no end state
  33. 33. 33© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved Concurrent Development of Change
  34. 34. 34© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved Empirical Management – Implements the Scrum Stance – Optimizes Software Value – Employs Primary Evidence A Lasting Transformation
  35. 35. 35© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved Or Keep Trying The Alternative of Predictive Management
  36. 36. 36© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved Closing Empirical Management Explored
  37. 37. 37© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved “The future state of Scrum will no longer be called ‘Scrum’. What we now call Scrum will have become the norm, and organizations have re-invented themselves around it.” Source: Gunther Verheyen, “Scrum – A Pocket Guide (A Smart Travel Companion)”, 2013
  38. 38. 38© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved About Gunther Verheyen • eXtreme Programming and Scrum since 2003 • Professional Scrum Trainer • Directing the Professional series at • Co-developing the Scaled Professional Scrum framework at • Author of “Scrum – A Pocket Guide (A Smart Travel Companion)” (2013) Mail Twitter @Ullizee Blog
  39. 39. 39© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved is a community. Connect. Twitter @scrumdotorg LinkedIn /company/Scrum.or g Facebook / Forums /Community RSS
  40. 40. 40© 1993-2015, All Rights Reserved Thank you