I had the pleasure of attending an inspiring Professional Scrum Master course, delivered by none other than David Starr himself.
Just a joke or mistype by the staff at the Old Redmond Schoolhouse, which was a phenomenal venue for the workshop. We all felt like going “back to the future” and even had the rare opportunity of using an original chalk board
Here are a few pictures to give you a feel of the vibe.
When we had to deliver an off-the-cuff 2-5min training session, video recorded to rattle everyone’s cage, I decided to continue where Ross left off.
As shown in the following diagram below, he presented the scrum framework, introducing the Scrum personas, Scrum artefacts and Scrum events.
I continued to add the time-boxes, as recommended in the Scrum guide, for the events. These are maximum time boxes, guidelines and NOT detailed durations. I focused on them to make a point that we never spoke about them during the workshop and to lay the foundation for my hypothetical team.
Start with something, reflect and evolve as needed. In other words start with less (my preference) or the maximum and adapt!
- Sprint … one month or less.
- Scrum … 15min daily
- Planning … maximum 8 hours for one month sprint
- Review … maximum 4 hours for one month sprint
- Retrospective … maximum 3 hours for one month sprint
What I really liked is that the workshop was focused more on discussing and resolving real-world scenarios, less on time box constraints. I never saw or heard any detailed information of how events should be structured … based on the biker frowns from David and feedback from colleagues during my short video taped nightmare, I did not miss anything during my usual day-dreams. I do have memories of scrum master training, many moons ago, which focused heavily on you spend x time on y during review meetings, introducing painstaking structure and process which made the scrum framework feel anything, but adaptive. Unfortunately I was most likely unable to convey this message during my video recorded session … which by the way, I *never* want to see
are we dysfunctional?
I continued to present a “hypothetical” team, which adapted their framework through continuous reflection and improvements.
The variation between the normal scrum framework and the hypothetical team is summarised as follows. Average estimation differences are shown in red:
|Product Owner||Works with Development Team and Scrum Master to maximize the value of the product. Owns the backlog.||Ditto|
|Scrum Master||Servant leader of the scrum team, removes impediments and strives to maximize the value created by the scrum team.||Ditto|
|Program Manager||-||Works with 2-3 Teams, removes impediments and works with multiple POs to order and manage the product backlogs.|
|Development Team||Self organizing, cross functional team of 6+-3 dedicated and typically co-located developers.||Self organizing, cross functional team of 7+-2 part-time, geographically distributed and volunteer engineers. Each engineer commits an average of 0.25h/day to the project during family time. See Radio TFS and the GREAT curve ball question about (ex-nightmare) shorter delivery cycles for details.|
|Planning||8-hour max for 1-month sprint||1-3x 30-45-min video conference.|
|Sprint||1-month or less||3-weeks|
|Scrum||15-min daily||15-min weekly + 15-min Q&A video conference|
|Review||4-hours max for 1-month sprint||Monthly 5min demo during a review of review video conference, sprint report by email and demo videos.|
|Retrospective||3-hours max for 1-month sprint||Online poll and 15min video conference.|
I sent David (our instructor) and the class into the Seattle traffic, their flights and bus rides home with one question: Is this hypothetical team dysfunctional or has it adapted scrum effectively?