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Book Notes from 'Scrum The art of doing twice the work in half the time' - By Jeff Sutherland

FBI - Software development story

  • After 9/11 turned into one of the biggest software debacles of all time.
  • CIO - Chad Fulgham : FBI
  • 9/11 Commission couldn’t get access to the very information they were supposed to analyze.
  • The report singled out lack of technical logical sophistication
    • The key reason failed prior to 9/11 -
    • The FBI's information systems were woefully inadequate.
    • The FBI lacked the ability to know what it knew.
    • There was no effective mechanism for capturing or sharing its institutional knowledge.
  • It wasn’t that the FBI didn’t have smart people, or the right personnel in place, or the right technology.
    • It wasn’t because of work ethic or the right competitive juices.
    • It was because of the way people were working.
  • Gantt Charts - waterfall method
    • Every single step in a project is laid out in detail
    • Every milestone, every delivery date.
    • The only problem with these charts - they are  always, always wrong.
    • There are people whose only job is to update these charts.
    • Eisenhower - planning for combat is important, but once that first shot is fired, your plans go up in smoke.


A New Way of Thinking

  • The new approach is called Scrum
  • There are two ways of doing things.
    • The old waterfall method that wastes hundreds of millions of dollars and often doesn’t deliver anything,
    • The new way - with fewer people, in less time can deliver more stuff with higher quality at lower cost.
  • Giants at Google, Amazon and this framework has shifted how people get things done.
  • Looked at how people actually work - rather than how they say they work.
  • Looked deeply at the best teams within those companies
    • What made them superior
    • What made them different
    • Why do some teams achieve greatness and other mediocrity
  • The way a team works together to move the ball down the field.
    • Careful alignment, unity of purpose, and clarity of goals
  • Management wants two things on any project.
    • Control
    • Predictability.
  • Every project involves discovery of problems and bursts of inspirations.
  • Scrum embraces uncertainty and creativity
  • It places structure around the learning process, enabling teams to assess both what they have created and what how they created it.
  • Scrum harnesses how teams actually work.
    • Give them the tools to self-organize and rapidly improve both speed of work and quality of work.
  • When you start a project
    • Why not regularly check in
    • See if what you doing is headed in the right direction.
    • And if its what people want.
  • That is whats called - "Inspect and Adapt" cycle.
    • Stop doing what youre doing
    • Review what you've done
    • See if it's still what you should be doing
    • And how you might do it better.
  • The results can be so dramatic that leading research and analysis firms now say the old style of work is obsolete.
  • Scrum offers too big a competitive advantage not to use it.
  • "The results are indisputable. Companies have two choices: change or die"


Fixing the FBI

  • The first problem the FBI faced with Sentinel was contracts
  • The first week they did what a lot of people would do - printed out requirements
  • No one actually reads all those thousand pages
  • They cant - that’s the point - they’ve set up a system that forces them to endorse a fantasy.
  • That tall stack of futility is one of the reasons Scrum can be such a powerful change for people.
  • No one should spend their lives on meaningless work.
    • Not only is it not good business, it kills the soul.
  • What will bring the most value to the project - do those things first.
  • 80% of the value of any software is in 20% of the features.
  • Making people prioritize by value forces them to produce that 20% first.
  • The FBI stated that it will employ agile to complete the development of Sentinel.
  • Agile declares the following
    • People over processes
    • Products that actually work over documents what the product is supposed to do.
    • Collaborating with customers over negotiating with them
    • Responding to change over following a plan.
    • Scrum in the framework to put these values into practice.
  • I'll know what the date will be when I see how much the team improves
    • How fast they'll get it
    • How much they will accelerate.
  • Team members figure out what would stop them from accelerating.
  • Production should flow swiftly and calmly throughout the process.
  • One of managements key tasks is to identify and remove impediments to that flow.
  • Everything that stands in the way is a waste.
  • For Scrum to really take off - management needs to understand in its bones - that impediments are nearly criminal.
  • Scrum works by setting sequential goals that must be completed in a fixed length of time.
  • Are they headed in the right direction.
  • Is what they are planning to do next really what they should be doing.
  • In Scrum we call these cycles 'Sprints'
  • At the end of each sprint. The team comes together and shows what they have accomplished.
  • They begin to learn how fast they can go.
  • After they have shown what they have done.
    • They discuss not what they did - but how they did it.
    • They ask "How can we work together better in the next sprint"
  • Measure the velocity of each team measured over a few sprints and then see how much they could improve.
  • Besides learning how fast the teams are going - they also wanted to  know what impediments were slowing them down.
  • Working better and smarter.
  • They got better at working together.
    • They figured out what was slowing them down, and after each cycle, each Sprint, they'd try to get rid of them.
  • The Most powerful part of Scrum from his point of view  - Demo's
    • A demonstrable product on a frequent basis.
  • Scrum is not about the developers - its about the customers and stakeholders.
  • Pig is committed and a chicken is interested.
    • Scrum is that the pigs are the ones who are totally committed to the project and are responsible for its outcome.
    • The chickens are the people who are informed of its progress, the stakeholders.
  • The world is constantly getting more complicated and the work we do is gaining in complexity at an ever-increasing rate.
Posted on Monday, July 11, 2016 8:34 PM Scrum | Back to top

Comments on this post: Scrum - Doing Twice the work in half the time - 1

# re: Scrum - Doing Twice the work in half the time - 1
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Is it this book? I am going to order it on Amazon
Left by Alex on Jul 13, 2016 8:32 AM

# re: Scrum - Doing Twice the work in half the time - 1
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Great tips! BY following these tips, one can have a productive working hours. - Mark Zokle
Left by Alfred Bill on Sep 12, 2016 8:43 AM

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