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Scrum Gathering Oct '04

Posted by wwake on December 4, 2004 at 9:36 AM PST

The Scrum gathering was a workshop gathered for a couple days in Denver, this past October. We worked in three groups: metrics, process, and facilitation. (Scrum is an agile process. I think of it as approximately the project management part of XP, though that's of course not fair to either one:)

I participated in the facilitation group. (The others were metrics and process.) We spent a lot of our time trying out a variety of simulations and other means to help teams understand what it means to do Scrum. I contributed two exercises: Push Line/Pull Line (a demonstration of lean manufacturing), and Second Agenda (a role-play of a standup meeting).

Esther Derby shared a debriefing framework she uses: What/Gut/So What/Now What? "What" asks for objective data about what happened. "Gut" asks for your emotional reaction. "So what" asks for your interpretation. And "Now what?" asks what you'll do next. This framework helps us avoid jumping to interpretation too early.

The process group identified challenges around cross-functional teams, the role of testing, and the challenges of leading or lagging behind (e.g., the analysts want to be an iteration ahead). The metrics group identified metrics as a means of making management comfortable, and created and highlighted various means of helping with that.

I enjoyed this workshop a lot. As always, it's good to meet people and put names with faces. It really helped me feel a sense of community.

On my way out of town, I passed a quotation on a building: "Stay firmly in your own path and dare; be wild two hours a day!" - Paul Gauguin.

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