This week marks the annual North American Scrum Gathering in Orlando. This yearâ€™s event promises to be very dynamic, with a track dedicated to project management as well as several Pecha Kucha talks.
But before the festivities even began, Mike Vizdos and Jean Tabaka convened a pre-gathering retreat for Certified Scrum Trainers/Coaches. Thirty or so of Scrumâ€™s thought leaders spent a full day trading tips and techniques for helping people learn and do Agile Project Management with Scrum.
There was much discussion around the correlation between coaching and training. The consensus that, regardless of which certification you hold, you need to do both coaching and training for any successful Agile change initiative.
Day 1 Kickoff
Then yesterday came the big kickoff. Scrum Alliance President, Tom Mellor, welcomed 300 attendees. Like last year, he asked for a show of hands for who was a PMI member / PMP, and a solid 40%-50% responded. He also announced the Scrum Alliance board will feature member-elected slots starting in the second quarter of this year. Then Luke Hohmann briefed everyone on the process the Scrum Alliance used to prioritize the backlog of member needs and requests. The results are yet to be finalized, but it was encouraging to see the Scrum Alliance share how intentional it is being with developing its strategic plan. After these introductions, Jeff Sutherland and Kent Johnson took the stage to talk about Scrum + CMMI. And offered some juicy quotes and tidbits:
- Regarding role of managers in large scrum: learn to let go of control, motivate improvement, and lead.
- Some companies are using scrum to manage their cmmi level 3 efforts…with great results
- Root cause analysis of failures. Is a key source for Scrummaster’s impediment list
- common benefit of cmmi is rework. Systematic, a CMMI Level 5 agile company moved from 50% of efforts reworked to 6%
- scrum maps closely to cmmi level 3 when used with agile engineering
- 50% of Scrum teams do not have working software at the end of
- “pure scrum” doesn’t make sense and is useless.
- 20% improvement with scrum is a waste of time you shoul be striving for 10x improvement
- Self-organization does NOT mean you get to do what you want
- Don’t misread the agile manifesto to say process has NO value
Day 1 Deep Dive
After the intro sessions, there were several day-long deep-dive sessions to choose from:
- Dialogue Room & Scrum Clinic hosted by Michael de la Maza and Gerry Kirk
Project management, How to: Specify Critical Product Quality Requirements - Tom Gilb and Kai Gilb
- Software Craftsmanship Workshop – Micah Martin
- Artful Making Workshop – Lee Devin
- Coaching the Coaches - Lyssa Adkins
- The Kanban Exploration – Karl Scotland
- Coaching Self-Organized Teams - Joseph Pelrine
- Improv: The Mechanics of Collaboration - Matt Smith
- Innovation GamesÂ® for Scrum Teams - Luke Hohmann
I chose Innovation GamesÂ®, and was floored. After only a couple hours, I knew that I would simply have to attend the full 2-day class to get all the golden goodness Luke had to offer.
Innovation GamesÂ® are facilitation techniques for collecting, organizing, and prioritizing requirements. I continue to be amazed at how little project managers (i.e. people like me) are trained in real product management. I used to think â€œrequirements managementâ€ was about enforcing scope with change requests, but now thereâ€™s a whole new world Iâ€™ve been exposed to. For example, hereâ€™s a question every PM should be able to answer: how do you know your requirements are even correct? Yeah, it stumped me too.
It was a fantastic first day, with only more exciting stuff to come tomorrow.