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Why Scrum Why Now


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Date: March 22, 2010

An overview of the web team at U Penn's School of Medicine Information Services adoption of scrum

Published in: Technology, Business
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Why Scrum Why Now

  1. 1. Why Scrum? Why Now? <ul><li>Michael Toppa </li></ul><ul><li>University of Pennsylvania </li></ul><ul><li>School of Medicine </li></ul><ul><li>Information Services </li></ul><ul><li>March 22, 2010 </li></ul>
  2. 2. Why Scrum? Why Now? <ul><li>Projects are born, they rarely die </li></ul><ul><li>Our staffing is not increasing </li></ul>
  3. 3. SOMIS Workflow <ul><li>Our workflow is half-agile, half-waterfall </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We don't do lengthy, detailed requirements documentation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instead, we communicate frequently with clients </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We expect and allow change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But when we code we still try to anticipate all possibilities and model perfectly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Then we feel frustrated when things shift </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When we refactor we feel like we failed to get it right the first time </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. SOMIS Workflow <ul><li>Our workflow is not transparent to us or to our clients </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hard to control scope of new work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hard to commit to schedule for delivering new work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hard to estimate our resources/availability for new work requests from ”occasional” clients </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We've struggled with finding standards for our documentation </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. SOMIS Staffing <ul><li>Our funding model has resulted in one developer only for most clients/projects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increases risk: no coverage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Removes flexibility: hard to allocate needed resources to important projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Waves of inequitable workloads </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Technical debt accumulates </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limits benefits of teamwork: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>More and better ideas for solving problems </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sharing of solutions across projects </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fewer weaknesses, reinforced strengths </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>More fun! </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. What Are Others Doing? <ul><li>Many possibilities, but most common are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Waterfall: a ”heavy”, command-and-control methodology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Any programmer over 30 will know it </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Used to be commonly viewed as the ”right” way </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>” Roll with the punches” & overtime: an opaque process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scrum: a ”light”, agile methodology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>An overview </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Now used by Google, Yahoo!, IBM, Lexis-Nexis, Fidelity, and many others </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. The Project Management Triangle
  8. 8. Why Scrum? <ul><li>Scrum complements our strengths </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Get better at what we already do: expect change </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Will help us address weaknesses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not feel frustrated when things change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reap the benefits of teamwork </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Plan for future projects and allocate resources </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mike ♥ Efficiency, Improving Workflow </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scrum provides a coherent framework for addressing goals I outlined previously </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. 6 Essentials of Scrum <ul><li>Cross-Functional Teamwork </li></ul><ul><ul><li>” An Activity-Specific Sprint is as bad an idea as it would be an acronym” - Mike Cohn </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Continuously deliver functional, useful features </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Priority features get done first </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enables continuous feedback and refinement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintains momentum </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>YAGNI – ”you ain't gonna need it” </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. 6 Essentials of Scrum <ul><li>Change happens – plan on it! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It's ” driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” - E.L. Doctorow </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But it's still ok to pull out the map when you need it </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Maximize productivity over time </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Multi-tasking reduces productivity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work on only one project at a time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No scope change within sprints, but ok between sprints </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. 6 Essentials of Scrum <ul><li>Continuous improvement: inspect and adapt </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Recommended to start with ”textbook” scrum </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use sprint retrospective meetings to guide refinement of the process </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Transparency: for us and for our clients </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides predictability, builds confidence, establishes trust </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Helps maintain sanity of workload </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improves quality </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. What's Next? <ul><li>Developers' Meetings: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>April 5: the product backlog and user stories </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>April 12: sprints and techniques for estimating </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>April 19: roles and teamwork in Scrum </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Future: technical practices </li></ul></ul><ul><li>April 7: 1 st sprint for pilot Research Billing project ends </li></ul><ul><li>Start a sprint for another pilot project with a different team soon </li></ul><ul><li>Mike will discuss with our clients </li></ul>