Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Pampered Pooch

Last night I joined a crowd of 18 at the Agile RTP group, which was not a bad turnout considering it was election night. We were there to participate in a "59 Minute SCRUM" facilitated by Bob Galen of RGalen Consulting Group. After a 20 minute levelset on what SCRUM is, we divided into three teams of six and elected a Product Owner and Scrum Master. The goal of the iteration release was to deliver a compelling brouchure of high quality for a Doggy Spa called the Pampered Pooch. We had a existing product backlog of approximately 20 user stories. The timeline of our iteration was as follows:
Iteration Planning - 10 Minutes
Sprint Day 1 - 10 Minutes
Daily SCRUM Meeting - 5 Minutes
Sprint Day 2 - 10 Minutes
Sprint Review - 14 Minutes
Debrief - 10 Minutes

Our team of six members had someone with a laptop and wireless access to the printer where we were meeting. While other teams were hand lettering, cutting, and pasting. We were able to produce a polished look feel. Unfortunately, the mechanics of going from several copies of rough draft to one editor caused us to log jam and not have all the content delivered on time.

So besides the fickle nature of modern technology what lessons did I learn about Agile?
1. Achieving the right tempo of working seperately and then coming together to coordinate is critical. On a real world 2-3 week sprint the daily standup may be the right tempo but I would not preclude adhoc meetings for bringing people together for a focused purpose.
2. Having a flexible Product Owner willing to change direction based on what is being discovered is very nice to have.
3. When the team gels and works well the feeling of accomplishment is terrific and exhausting.

All in all, an enjoyable evening at aRTP.

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