Both of our applications that use the Scrum development framework have now halved their iteration cycles from 4 weeks to 2 weeks.
Category Archives: Methodologies
As I’ve mentioned before, I lead a distributed, UK-based development team. We have been using this model for a number of years now and have produced and shipped a number of quality, profitable products.
I spent all of yesterday in the same room as another developer as we blue-sky-brain-stormed-out-of-the-box (!) some solutions for an ongoing problem. What I noticed most was how easily ideas started to flow when we were both just walking around the same home office, sipping coffee, tossing a rugby ball and occasionally glancing at the same screen.
Now, we are an Agile company – and I’m not just paying lip-service to this morning’s most fashionable meme. We ship regularly and often, we Scrum every morning and we hold retrospectives after every 4 week sprint. However, are we missing something? Are we missing an environment that creates those sparks of genius that turn a profitable product into a remarkable product?
Working from home has some enormous advantages:
- No daily commute.
- Perfect, individual working environment.
- Flexible hours (being home for the delivery or boiler service).
- No overtime barrier. It’s easy to stop at 6pm, put the kids to bed, walk the dog and dine with your wife then carry on with work immediately after.
- … the list goes on.
How, then, do we combine the benefits of home-working with those of being in the same room? My understanding is that teleportation is still some way off. There is also the issue of cost. Do we rent more office space that we can sporadically utilise? That would seem like an unwarranted overhead.
I apologise if you’ve now read all this way, made a temporal investment in this article and are just waiting for the payback answer… cos there isn’t one! Sorry.
In my defence I think my development team will be meeting more regularly and we’ll see what that spawns. I will update this post as and when I discover new solutions. Alternatively, contact me with your ideas and we can start building a list of suggestions.
Working remotely has massive benefits that have been lauded for eons: no commute, flexible working hours, progressive working practices yada, yada yada; but it also has some major drawbacks. The main one that’s been gnawing at me recently is the lack of Convection Currents of Information.
This is a statement I hear frequently in my company from POs and managers. Ken Schwaber recommends that, when starting out with Scrum, not to implement it on a low risk, manageable project ‘cos everyone will say “So what? It was gonna work anyway!”. Much better to pick a project that is critical and is just about to fail.
We are now halfway through our second 2 week exploratory sprint. The team consists of 4 pigs:
- Team Member, Developer, Scrum Master (myself)
- Team Member, Tester, Product Owner
- Team Member, Developer
- Team Member, Tester