Re: Scrum sucks!

Subject: Re: Scrum sucks!
From: Bill Swallow <techcommdood -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Kat Kuvinka <katkuvinka -at- hotmail -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2010 16:20:27 -0400

> Sorry, I meant the project team, not the Scrum team...if you include Product
> Owners (who are mostly in Marketing) and software development/test, we have
> about 35 folks on 7 scrum teams. The largest team has six people. Now at
> every sprint review, demo, planning session, etc each of these teams has to
> present, answer questions, figure what other teams it depends on, and each
> team has to take this all into consideration with their own planning.

Those are some pretty small teams. Do they all perform feature
development tasks or do some work on bug fixes and such? I would think
maybe 5 teams of ~7 might work better, but it depends on the goals
involved.

> So I need to follow up with six other teams, plus be a team player on mine,
> where  me and my mates are not cross-functional (Not scrummy). I am supposed
> to do my own sprint planning and not be so reactive, but when I plan I don't
> know what the other teams might have in store for me. I can't say no to
> everyone, if Doc Complete is part of the DoD.

Well... heh... There's part of the problem. If a scrum has Docs in the
DoD, then that scrum team needs a dedicated writer. If it's not you,
then it has to be another dedicated member of that scrum team.

> Of course, a Lone Writer is needed for other things in a smallish company.

I'm going to go out on a limb here, but it sounds like this has
nothing to do with scrum, and everything with your company's approach
with regard to what to do with a staff tech writer.

Your company should ask itself: must the writer be part of the scrum effort?
If yes, then only one out of every N teams can have docs in their DoD,
or someone else on the other teams needs to pick up the docs work
item.
If no, then the Docs DoD needs to be redefined or removed. I urge
redefined, and have the team produce rough documentation that you can
either clean up or that you can write from.

Are other scrum team members working on other things than what their
immediate scrum team needs from them? If yes, yikes! If not, then you
have a conflict of duties, and an opportunity to inject a change of
tactic.

Honestly, if you're expected to work with 7 teams and have additional
responsibilities outside all of them, I would propose that you not be
involved in scrums at all. They should remove *formal* docs (and you)
from the DoD (and teams) and instead include docs as something each
scrum team builds in support of the formal docs - all the info you
need to accurately document the feature(s) produced. You would then be
excused from any daily meetings, and only be expected to attend the
meta scrum meetings.

Of course, that comes with its own caveats, since technically you
aren't supposed to bother scrum teams with non-DoD things, which your
questions about their work from the previous scrum would be.

Lots to think about, to be sure. I think the first thing to think
about is whether the tech writer should be a jack of all trades or be
a dedicated resource, and then go from there.

--
Bill Swallow

Twitter: @techcommdood
Blog: http://techcommdood.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/techcommdood
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References:
Scrum sucks!: From: Kat Kuvinka
RE: Scrum sucks!: From: Robart, Kay
RE: Scrum sucks!: From: Kat Kuvinka
RE: Scrum sucks!: From: Spectrum Writing
Re: Scrum sucks!: From: Bill Swallow
RE: Scrum sucks!: From: Spectrum Writing
Re: Scrum sucks!: From: Bill Swallow
RE: Scrum sucks!: From: Kat Kuvinka
Re: Scrum sucks!: From: Bill Swallow
RE: Scrum sucks!: From: Kat Kuvinka

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