Tom Peruzzi's thoughts on digital, innovation, IT and operations

the scrum story – I’m back

Posted in development by opstakes on December 6, 2012

dear all

It’s quite along ago writing my last article but now I’m back. The reason why? I had so much to do and I really struggled whether to continue or not. I will change slightly and bring in more stories related to IT in general not only IT ops any longer.

I currently do work a lot with scrum and with the all time discussion which and how and scrum, scrumban, kanban or whatever rules. For me the most important is the aspect D. Pink brought up in his wonderful book Drive (I would strongly recommend reading it before implementing any sort of agility!)

What he tells us is that the main 3 drivers for motivation and drive are autonomy, mastery and purpose where autonomy is meant in time, task, team and technology. Scrum takes care on that on a certain level but not that explicit and even so the more enterprise scrum you have and the more silo oriented (aka component driven) the harder it is to establish that sort of autonomy. There are plenty of good examples out there how really big hip organisations organized their scrum-teams. What we did as a way in between traditional oriented teams (the more enterprise ones thinking in know-how silos) and hippy cool stuff was the introduction of some infrastructure driven (silo oriented) teams providing APIs where the feature-driven teams can rely on. The trick is, and future will show whether we are true or not, that the API teams must run 2 sprints ahead and have a pretty good unterstanding of what is needed on API level in future.

Why did we do so? Well if you have component driven teams from the past which started already to work, a lot of missing competence in new core parts of a new platform and only the chance to fill that gap with external companies (not contractors) being able to provide that sort of knowledge as part of shared license and times&material .. well, then you have to act the way we did or you thing in raw silos only and try to manage the dependencies between those story per story.

I assume that there are pretty more ideas out there but velocity, engagement and teaming-level shows us that we are on a pretty good road right now. If you have any other or better experience feel free to share, would be happy to get more info!

Tom

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