This is the last post in my “experimenting with scrum” series. After our bug smash time, we went into a period of more serious product development. Recall that we were not implementing all of scrum but rather just the scrum meetings portion. This works acceptably in the development scenario, but not optimally. We didn’t break each task down into 1-2 day work items. This meant that often when we met to talk, there was very little to update. A person might come in for several days or even a week with the same status. “I’m worked on the Widget interface yesterday. I’ll still be working on it today.” That is not terribly useful status and makes the meetings less interesting for all involved. I did find that the cross-polination I had noticed in my earlier experiments continued. Often something said in the meeting would spark one team member to interject with useful ideas for another. This is conversation that often would not take place. It is easy for a software developer to get lost in their office (or cube) and shut off the outside world. While this allows for high-intensity coding, it doesn’t vet the ideas very well. Forcing people out of their offices, even if for only 15 minutes a day, encourages bouncing ideas off of each other. This has beneficial effects on all involved.
I’ve talked to most of my team members about the experience. Most liked it. Some tolerated it. No one had serious complaints about it. I think I’ll stick with something like this for a while at least. I’ll reflect on my experience and refine what we’re doing.