Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Scrumming at Torry Harris

We just completed training around 100 engineers from Torry Harris on 'agile project management using SCRUM'. The thrust of the program to explain the scrum framework and the cultural shifts required for getting the best out of scrum teams. First half of the program was spent in explaining the scrum values, agile manifesto and the agile principles. The second half's focus was on practising the concepts learnt in the class, by working on a mock project. Through this the participants got an opportunity to practise hands on, the concepts learnt in the first half. While the teams were busy working on their projects, I had enough time to look at their teaming patterns and here are my observations;

1) Everyone in the team was enjoying work better. Could hear lots of laughter!. It is indeed pressure with pleasure.

2) The team members were exhibiting increased energy levels

3) Everyone wanted to contribute

3) Looks are very deceptive. Some of the team members who were demonstrating 'chicken' behavior while the concepts were explained turned out to be the best 'pigs' during execution.

4) Sometimes the scrum room was filled with noise and at times it was deep silence - may be the teams were self organizing

5) Sometimes a helping hand came from across the team boundaries

6) Sometimes everyone was trying to do everything - a hang over from the antique waterfall model!

7) Teams emerged - In a very short span of time, teams started working as cohesive units focusing on the work at hand

8) Smetimes people had to wait for the dependent tasks to get over. The question raised during these instances were 'what next?'. May be it is time to relax a bit or to pick up another activity.

9) Initially participants were slightly skeptical about the existence of the right environment for agile implementation within the organization. This cynicism vanished after some time

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