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Coaching, Coding and Learning By George Evjen
Book Notes from 'Scrum - The Art of Doing Twice the work in half the time' By Jeff Sutherland

Working Too Hard Makes More Work

  • Jon Katzenbach - head of Katzenbach Center at Booz Allen Hamilton
    • Work too long, and you get less done.
    • Work fewer hours - isnt that slacking off.
  • Scott Maxwell - founder of venture capital firm Open View Venture Partners
    • Open View discovered how people actually work instead of how they say they work.
    • The peak of productivity actually falls at a little bit less than forty hours a week.
      • Scott started to send people home early.
    • He started telling people that working late wasn’t a sign of commitment - it was a sign of failure.
      • Its not because I want you to have a balanced life - its because you'll get more done.
    • A lot of companies don’t practice work hour limits
      • You get more done, are happier and have higher quality.
  • Why is it that if you work fewer hours you get more done.
    • People that work more hours, make more mistakes.
    • Are more distracted and begin distracting others.
  • Scrum asks those who engage in it to break from the mindset of measuring merely hours.
    • Hours represent cost - instead measure output.
    • Who cares how many hours someone worked - it matters how fast it was delivered and how good it is.


Be Reasonable

  • Recognize these types of waste.
    • Absurdity
      • You don’t want your people striving for absurd or impossible goals.
    • Unreasonable Expectations.
      • Constantly moving from one crisis to the next causes burnout
      • Doesn’t allow for reasoned, continuous improvement.
    • Overburden
      • Onerous company polices that get in the way
        • Unnecessary reporting, meaningless meetings
    • Emotional Waste
      • When a company has an asshole.
      • Don’t be an asshole or accept that behavior in others.



  • Bad processes are so ingrained in our thinking - so we need the lightest weight process with the greatest impact.
  • What scrum does is focus on trying to eliminate the pointless waste that seems part and parcel of work.
  • What you want in your work - is effortless flow.



  • Multitasking Makes you Stupid : Doing more than one thing at a time makes you slower and worse at both tasks
  • Half-Done is Not Done :
  • Do It right the First Time : when you make a mistake first it right away
  • Working too hard only makes more work : working long hours doesn’t get more done - it gets less done.
  • Don’t be Unreasonable : Goals that are challenging are motivators - goals that are impossible are just depressing
  • No Heroics : if you need a hero to get things done, you have a problem.
  • Enough with Stupid Policies : Any policy that seems ridiculous likely is.
  • No Assholes : Don’t be one -and don’t allow others the behavior.
  • Strive for Flow - Choose the smoothest, most trouble free way to get things done.


Plan Reality, Not Fantasy

  • The very act of planning is so seductive, so alluring
    • Planning becomes more important that the actual plan
    • The plan become more important than reality.
  • Called into work with a Medco
    • Stacked up all the documents in the center of the room - two feet high
    • 'how many of you have actually read all this?'
    • No one actually reads all those thousand pages. - they cant
    • They've set up a system that forces them to endorse a fantasy.
    • Were going to go through these stacks of paper and cut out everything that is actually something that needs to be completed.
    • Then were going to estimate how much work each one will take - not how long but how much work.
    • Everything was on the wall broken down into manageable tasks
    • An unreadable stack of paper had become understandable pieces of work.
    • How you'd know it was 'done'
      • For something to be done it had to meet these goals
      • Everyone on the team had to meet that level of quality first before moving to the next item.
    • Prioritize the work.
    • What will bring the most value to the project and do those things first.
  • Why are we so terrible at estimating how long something will take?
    • The key is to refine the plan throughout the project rather than do it all up front.
    • Plan in just enough detail to deliver the next increment of value.
  • Figure out what is really important and work on those things first.
  • Organize by value - whatever that value is.
Posted on Sunday, July 17, 2016 9:50 AM Scrum | Back to top

Comments on this post: Scrum - Doing Twice the work in half the time - 7

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The key is coming up with a plan and the right strategy to correctly apply all these steps from the start to the end. - Bath Planet
Left by Bernadette Miles on Sep 08, 2016 2:08 AM

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