Tobias Mayer | 1 Jun 01:22 2008
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Re: Quick Poll: Take the Nokia Test

I don't like all the recent focus on the Nokia Test.  Any Scrum test
that has absolutely no mention of empiricism (inspect/adapt) is utterly
missing the point.  How could keeping a burndown chart possibly be more
important than holding reviews and retrospectives?

Does anyone actually know if Nokia are really doing Scrum?  My guess is
that if Nokia see so little value in the empirical nature of Scrum as to
exclude it from their survey then they are probably not.

Personally I'd prefer the Little Test, at least it would have come from
someone with some known experience and reputation in this field.

Tobias

--- In scrumdevelopment <at> yahoogroups.com, "Joseph Little" <jhlittle <at> ...>
wrote:
>
> Peter,
>
> Thanks!  I think it is good if people think about the Nokia Test more.
>
> The Nokia Test does not address every issue.  It is a blunt
> instrument.  It is the thinking that we want most.
>
> When you don't get a perfect score (and very many won't), ask
> yourself: Why did we think we could live without that?  And why would
> Nokia think it was essential?
>
> If it were my test, I would ask if the team has an Impediments List
> and knocks down one impediment per week.  As one small example.  But
(Continue reading)

Don Gray | 1 Jun 02:08 2008

Re: Re: Challenge of increasing velocity - what level

Cory,

> I think I'd be hesitant to give concrete figures, since that tends to
> sharpen managements vision towards that metric (IME). 

In Secrets of Consulting Jerry Weinberg advises not to offer
improvement figures > 10%. I'm at the Agile Coach Camp so I don't have
my book so read why ...

I've been told to never give management a number, but a range. Since
managers remember the first number they hear (gross generalization but
pretty true in my experience) I also give the "worst" number first. In
this case ... "oh, I think with proper coaching the teams could
improve their velocity 7.8 - 9.2%". If I was pressured for a date
range, I'd say something like, "Well, I'm not sure. I think we can
deliver somewhere in the 6 - 5 month range." If they're paying
attention it can start a conversation.

--

-- 
Don (336)374-7591

We do not rise to the level of our expectations.
We fall to the level of our training.
Author Unknown
Raise your training level at the AYE Conference Nov 2 - 5, 2008
www.AYEconference.com

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(Continue reading)

Peter Stevens | 1 Jun 08:56 2008
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Re: Re: Quick Poll: Take the Nokia Test

Hi Joe,

I agree with you, the Nokia test is an excellent place to start. Yes, it's a blunt instrument and it's not perfect. Personally, I would change point two from "Is software tested and working" to "Is there a definition of done which is consistently applied?" Still, as first test, it is simple and easy to apply.

If a team scores 7 or 8, they have probably thought about Scrum and made a serious effort to implement it. If they only scored 7, there is probably a reason. (I speak from experience - I have been involved in two major projects, one scored a 7, the other an 8. Why was one project a seven? Because the customer ordered HTML templates from us, not working code, so there was nothing to test. We did have a definition of done though. So in my opinion, we were doing Scrum.).

So if the team scores 6 or less, then they probably need to work on the basics and may need some remedial Scrum training. The team that scores 7 or 8 may need some coaching, but they are surely on the right track.

In public health, there is a distinction between screening tests and diagnostic tests. Screening tests are potentially given to large numbers of people. Ideally, they should be cheap and produce few false negatives, so infected persons don't slip through, but they may produce false positives.

So the Nokia test is our screening test. A basic check of the health of the team and the Scrum process. The "Stevens Cut": 6 or less and you're not doing Scrum. A 7 or 8 doesn't guarrantee that the team is doing Scrum, but that a closer look is merited to see how the team is doing.

Diagnostic tests are given to a much smaller number of people: only those who turned up positive on the screening test, in our case, those who pass the Stevens Cut. So they can be much more expensive and/or require specialized training and equipment to perform. However this test should produce few if any false negatives.

What then is the diagnostic test for Scrum teams?

I think this is where the"Little" test comes in. It should complement, not replace the Nokia test. It would ask more questions and probe deeper (which will prevent it from being used as quick poll on my blog though ;-) ). In short, the Little test should not assess whether the team is doing Scrum, but how well the team is doing Scrum.

My candidate topics for the Little test:
  • Scrummaster/servant leadership
  • Daily Scrum
  • Retrospectives
  • Impediment handling
  • Interfaces outside of team, e.g. customer and organization
  • Protection of Team from Management and Customer
Cheers,

Peter



Joseph Little schrieb:
>
> Peter,
>
> Thanks! I think it is good if people think about the Nokia Test more.
>
> The Nokia Test does not address every issue. It is a blunt
> instrument. It is the thinking that we want most.
>
> When you don't get a perfect score (and very many won't), ask
> yourself: Why did we think we could live without that? And why would
> Nokia think it was essential?
>
> If it were my test, I would ask if the team has an Impediments List
> and knocks down one impediment per week. As one small example. But
> then, I think people rightly might pay more attention to a Nokia Test
> than a Little Test.
>
> Thanks, Joe
>
> CST --
> Blog: Agile & Business
> leanagiletraining.com

-- Peter Stevens, CSM http://scrum-breakfast.blogspot.com http://fingerspell.sierra-charlie.com tel: +41 44 586 6450 __._,_.___

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Nina Niskanen | 1 Jun 11:26 2008
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Re: Re: Quick Poll: Take the Nokia Test

2008/6/1, Tobias Mayer <tobias.mayer <at> yahoo.com>:
>
>  Does anyone actually know if Nokia are really doing Scrum?  My guess is
>  that if Nokia see so little value in the empirical nature of Scrum as to
>  exclude it from their survey then they are probably not.

Yes, they are doing Scrum.

And a +1 to Peter. According to what info has been published and
talked about in miniseminars here in Finland (the birthplace of
Nokia), the Nokia test is hardly even the tip of the iceberg regarding
Nokias agile adoption. To me at least the Nokia test is very
indicative of whether or not a team is at all agile. They might get
top scores with the test and still not do agile very well, but they
are still agile/IID. That's the other thing; if memory serves me
correct, the test is not to indicate, whether the team is doing Scrum,
but whether the team is doing agile/IID.

Nina
-- 
I reject your reality and substitute my own.

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Joseph Little | 1 Jun 16:13 2008
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Re: Quick Poll: Take the Nokia Test

I think Nina gets the idea.  

It is NOT a test of whether a team is doing Scrum well.  It is whether
one team is possibly doing something like Scrum (ie, a fair chance
that they are not doing Waterfall and calling it Scrum, and a fair
chance that they are not doing Cowboy Agile and calling it Scrum).

It is to keep away from the worst smells.

If you don't have a pitcher, if you don't call an out after 3 strikes,
 you are NOT playing baseball.  Those questions don't say whether you
are playing baseball.  And certainly not whether you are playing at a
major league level.

Little Test: I will of course in my head use a Little Test to judge
whether the teams I am working with a doing it "well enough for now".
 But I would never publicly declare a Little Test.  I think it has to
come from user firms.  I welcome additional tests, such as the Exxon
Mobil test or the IBM Test or the Sam's Web Design Test, etc. And one
hopes they will listen to smart folks like you all in constructing
their version.

I think that Tobias and Peter and Nina raised some good issues. No
test would be perfect (in my opinion), and certainly the Nokia Test is
not perfect. Imperfection does not void its usefulness in some
contexts.  If you wait for perfection, you will wait too long.

Regards, Joe

--- In scrumdevelopment <at> yahoogroups.com, "Nina Niskanen"
<nina.niskanen <at> ...> wrote:
>
> 2008/6/1, Tobias Mayer <tobias.mayer <at> ...>:
> >
> >  Does anyone actually know if Nokia are really doing Scrum?  My
guess is
> >  that if Nokia see so little value in the empirical nature of
Scrum as to
> >  exclude it from their survey then they are probably not.
> 
> Yes, they are doing Scrum.
> 
> And a +1 to Peter. According to what info has been published and
> talked about in miniseminars here in Finland (the birthplace of
> Nokia), the Nokia test is hardly even the tip of the iceberg regarding
> Nokias agile adoption. To me at least the Nokia test is very
> indicative of whether or not a team is at all agile. They might get
> top scores with the test and still not do agile very well, but they
> are still agile/IID. That's the other thing; if memory serves me
> correct, the test is not to indicate, whether the team is doing Scrum,
> but whether the team is doing agile/IID.
> 
> Nina
> -- 
> I reject your reality and substitute my own.
>

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Joseph Little | 1 Jun 17:08 2008
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Re: Challenge of increasing velocity - what level

Jeff Sutherland says that Scrum was built to increase productivity 5x
to 10x.  I thought I backed off enough already.

Lean would say: Don't bother with small changes, which include so many
accommodations to the current, bad ways of doing things.  If you see a
big change, go after it.  Aiming for 50% and getting only 25% is way
better than aiming for 8% and getting only 7%.

Remember: This is baselined at the 3rd iteration.  They can barely
spell Scrum at that point. (OK, you told me a million times not to
exaggerate.)

We need to (figuratively) grab management by the collar and say: We
ain't doing business as usual any more!  We're serious. You have to
help us knock down the impediments.  

Regards, Joe

--- In scrumdevelopment <at> yahoogroups.com, Don Gray <don <at> ...> wrote:
>
> Cory,
> 
> > I think I'd be hesitant to give concrete figures, since that tends to
> > sharpen managements vision towards that metric (IME). 
> 
> In Secrets of Consulting Jerry Weinberg advises not to offer
> improvement figures > 10%. I'm at the Agile Coach Camp so I don't have
> my book so read why ...
> 
> I've been told to never give management a number, but a range. Since
> managers remember the first number they hear (gross generalization but
> pretty true in my experience) I also give the "worst" number first. In
> this case ... "oh, I think with proper coaching the teams could
> improve their velocity 7.8 - 9.2%". If I was pressured for a date
> range, I'd say something like, "Well, I'm not sure. I think we can
> deliver somewhere in the 6 - 5 month range." If they're paying
> attention it can start a conversation.
> 
> -- 
> Don (336)374-7591
> 
> We do not rise to the level of our expectations.
> We fall to the level of our training.
> Author Unknown
> Raise your training level at the AYE Conference Nov 2 - 5, 2008
> www.AYEconference.com
>

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Joseph Little | 1 Jun 17:15 2008
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Re: Challenge of increasing velocity - what level

If you have an uninvolved manager, yeah, tell him 10% or 5%.  Whatever.

If you have a busy manager whom you want to actively help with the
impediments, you have to give him a reason to play.  He's got bigger
fish to fry than 5% on Team X over there.

Check out Takeuchi and Nonaka's article: The New New Product
Development Game.  See hbr.com ($6).  This is where Scrum started. The
managers came in with a real challenge.  And then the Team responded.
(The managers did not micro-manage at all.)

Regards, Joe

--- In scrumdevelopment <at> yahoogroups.com, Don Gray <don <at> ...> wrote:
>
> Cory,
> 
> > I think I'd be hesitant to give concrete figures, since that tends to
> > sharpen managements vision towards that metric (IME). 
> 
> In Secrets of Consulting Jerry Weinberg advises not to offer
> improvement figures > 10%. I'm at the Agile Coach Camp so I don't have
> my book so read why ...
> 
> I've been told to never give management a number, but a range. Since
> managers remember the first number they hear (gross generalization but
> pretty true in my experience) I also give the "worst" number first. In
> this case ... "oh, I think with proper coaching the teams could
> improve their velocity 7.8 - 9.2%". If I was pressured for a date
> range, I'd say something like, "Well, I'm not sure. I think we can
> deliver somewhere in the 6 - 5 month range." If they're paying
> attention it can start a conversation.
> 
> -- 
> Don (336)374-7591
> 
> We do not rise to the level of our expectations.
> We fall to the level of our training.
> Author Unknown
> Raise your training level at the AYE Conference Nov 2 - 5, 2008
> www.AYEconference.com
>

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David H. | 1 Jun 17:39 2008
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A leap of faith and how to convince people to jump...

Dear practitioners.

I am in a somewhat awkward position. While the company I am working
for is very successful and recently has one a rather awesome new
customer, capable of literally transforming the future of said
company, I am still left with an environment which seems to be unsure
of itself. Without going into to much detail I will explain the
situation in its utter simplicity.

a) New customer, trusts us, very happy to work with us, but an utterly
tight deadline end of August. Customer has an existing (very simple)
web-site which needs to be "cloned" on our platform.
b) Customer is willing to negotiate on what can be done, they much
rather have "a business" at the end of August than not having any
business at all.
c) The middle ware platform we would ideally like to port this to is
not fully there yet, however many think it is achievable.

There have been many discussions around risk reduction, a plan B is in
effect and there is no reason to believe whatsoever that the people
needing to deliver this were not involved. The teams have been
repeatedly asked about scope, they esitimated, they raised concerned
etc etc.

I strongly believe that everything has been done to consult the people
that need to commit to the work and I believe that the business side
of things has always said "tell us what is doable and we will
negotiate with them".

However to me this is a matter of belief now. This is more about
conviction that we can achieve this and it is something that is not
quantifiable. When General Meng Tian was tasked to build a wall "8
foot high and 3000 miles long" around China he must have somehow
developed that faith and made some of his helpers see, when President
Kennedy asked to put a man on the moon within 7 years, some NASA
engineers must have developed that faith.

While I know a lot about human psychology and the motivational tools
we can utilise to make those around us feel at ease with a task at
hand, I know little about faith. I do not believe in a God, I do not
have ea religion, most of the things I believe in are driven by cold
hard facts. However, in this very case, to rise above and beyond
themselves I believe the people on the floor need to have "faith". My
question is a simple one. How can I help foster an environment which
allows room for believing and taking the risk to believe.

Thank you

-d

-- 
Sent from gmail so do not trust this communication.
Do not send me sensitive information here, ask for my none-gmail accounts.

"Therefore the considerations of the intelligent always include both
benefit and harm." - Sun Tzu

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Matt Jelliman | 1 Jun 17:52 2008
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Re: Sprint whiteboard and issue tracking tools?

Interesting thread.

A good discussion of this area can be found in "Ship It!" from the
"The Pragmatic Programmers" series, which considers issue tracking
software in the context of complimentary tools like version control
systems, continuous integration frameworks etc. When used in
conjunction with those tools they can really add value.

To echo what Austin says, having recently worked in an environment
which was generating a lot of new feature requests and bug reports
from different international offices, using an issue/defect tracking
system proved invaluable to capture and manage those requests.

Most of them allow communication with the requester / business owner
using email and/or a wiki-type interface, and can be used to share
information across the business. An added advantage is that several of
them can be extended via plugins to interface directly with
Subversion, generate virtual whiteboards, burn-down charts etc.

I fully accept the point that maintaining the tool shouldn't become
the focus rather than the process, but when used appropriately there
is a place for good issue tracking software.

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Rob Park | 1 Jun 19:25 2008
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Re: Tips for hiring a Product Owner

Why do you feel that you have to have a person/team for product owner?  Could you challenge that thinking and get the "whole team" to discover the stories and priorities from the right people, but as a team?
 
.rob.

On Fri, May 30, 2008 at 10:21 AM, Markus Silpala <msilpala <at> gmail.com> wrote:

Greetings all. I wonder whether anyone here has tips on how to hire a
Scrum Product Owner from outside the company.

Background: a client of mine is implementing Scrum for their software
development. One clearly missing ingredient is a person or even
appropriate group of people to play the role of Product Owner.
Different sub-products have champions, but the job of prioritizing
work often falls to or is driven through the CIO and the rest of the
executive management team. That group doesn't often produce a clear
vision and never has enough time to properly steer the team building
the software.

Bringing Scrum to the IT side has made the issue visible to the execs,
so now they're looking to fill that role. Because there is no clear
internal candidate, they may want to hire from outside. Any tips,
pointers to content, or anecdotes would be appreciated. Thanks in
advance!

-Markus Silpala
Coach/CSM/Developer in Minneapolis, MN


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