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#+title: My Experience with Scrum
#+description:
#+keywords: blog static
#+author: Yann Esposito
#+email: yann@esposito.host
#+date: [2021-08-30 Mon]
#+lang: en
#+options: auto-id:t
#+startup: showeverything
#+begin_notes
My experience with Scrum in a small startup.
Mostly negative, but there are good lessons to learn.
#+end_notes
I was a new recruit in a small startup.
I started just about 6 month ago, and we did have a CTO, and 4 CEOs.
Part of the team were remote, (the CTO and another member).
The amount of work was huge and at the same time, I was really motivated
coming from a big corp full of mega-boring technology and lacking of
talent.
Here I will regain a lot of freedom regarding my developer environment.
A real computer to work with, use the latest techno using the latest trend.
But, having 4 CEOs many clients, a lot of concurrency regardings tasks to manage.
It was quite stressful and difficult to plan.
They told us about hiring someone whose responsibility would be to plan the
work, because it is a full-time work in itself.
They guy looked cool, it told us about how he envisioned the work.
It was "mostly" SCRUM, not full scrum. Mainly he will always be the scrum
master, he will be responsible of planning, priotirizing and organizing tasks.
This was indeed a lot of work.
We welcomed him as we our hope was to be able to work on longer tasks than
just quick 1-day tasks.
Now the reality:
- Every Monday morning was last for planning.
- Every Friday afternoon was lost for retrospective
- Every half morning was lost in daily standup (instead of 10min it latest
generally about 30min to 1h30)
- Every week, the 4h work on planning was changed entirely due to new
market priorities, so every week we often made an exceptional new task
planning for about 2 to 4h.
To that you needed to add a few meetings, discussion about priorities, team
spirit, etc...
So looking at this you could imagine that I have a totally negative
impression on SCRUM faced to the reality of people.
Which is mostly true.
But scum-like tasks organisation can be great for a few things.
If you really have a clear plan with everyone involved and most
difficulties have been though about in advance. This is a killer way to
go from "planned" to "reality".
What is wrong with scrum;
1. Daily standups suck, this is mostly lost time
2. Planning every week/2-week is terrible for medium to long term tasks
(see a reference between important vs urgent).
The main reason full SCRUM is terrible is because it narrow your mind to a
sprint-long time to do any tasks. It mixes urgency with importance.
And generally, really important tasks to make are left behind, most of the
time being put on urgent tasks.
Which for most product is terrible.
Quite often it is better to eat the cake, keep a lot of fixes, urgent
tasks on the side to take the time to work on the important stuff.
The one that is hard to build, the one that will make the real difference
in the market.
Manager scrum/any kind of process common misunderstandings:
1. Do your agile stuff (like work your ass off even on the week-end)
2. Yes agile to have more control about you slackers
3. Ah you have given a random number about the difficulty of the task, this
mean I can translate it in number of days, and this is a contract ;)
And all this kind of bullshit.
It is normal to understand that managers need to have some vision about the
time a task might take.
It is normal to understand that managers need to see who is performing well
or not, and how this could be enhanced.
etc...
But, Scrum looks like a magical solution. It is not.
If fact, any kind of *process* could be and will be tricked and played off by
the players.
The only thing that matter is:
- make a distinction between important vs urgent tasks
- make every player want to play in the same game as the managers, people
need to want to do something.
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