The cartoon strip above really points out one of the silliest requests I — as a Practicing ScrumMaster and Trainer — hear from both prospective and current clients.
They want a “cookbook” approach to rolling out Scrum.
Think about other processes (or frameworks or methodologies or whatever) that have attempted to go down this road. In the end, it wound up being a way for people to ultimately put up even more barriers between the goal of communication — people talking.
[related TANGENT ON]
I am not saying documentation is bad.
No no no.
One of the things when working with people is to make sure that whatever documentation is created during a project ultimately has a person who reads it.
Not a role.
Not a resource.
And not some actor on an organizational chart.
A person. Someone with a pulse would be best.
Then… and here is a mind-blowing concept for many people….
I coach people who create documentation to go an speak with the person consuming that information. You may be surprised at the results. Really. That wonderful forty page template that has been passed down from some consulting group (possibly generations ago!) may not really be what a person needs to do their job anymore. Maybe, when speaking with that person, you will find out they need a paragraph and some bullet points.
Good enough. Now move on.
Think about documentation this way — when was the last time you actually trusted some “system documentation” for something in production (even if YOU were the author!)?
Hear Yee! Hear Yee! There is NO cookbook for Scrum.
There. I said it.
Now listen to me. Really. Stop looking for the ultimate answer (did we not find out it was “42” from one of the
Douglas Adams books anyway)?
Hmmm. Maybe if you are looking for the Scrum cookbook, I could sell you a lot of pages and ultimately wind up with “42” as an answer. Wow. The possibilities are endless.
Listen. Especially you Chickens out there. Those people would include middle managers and all the way up the chain of command to the CxO level.
In the past, you may have been rewarded for acting like the Chicken in the comic strip this week. Command and control, autocratic, and fear mongering may have gotten you where you are today. (Is this your manager — or worse — you??). It’s OK… let it go. It is the past. You may have needed to do this in order to survive in the corporate culture bla bla bla.
Now, if you are serious about implementing Scrum at your location moving forward….
Forget everything you have been taught. Forget about everything you have done to teams in the past.
Welcome to 2006 [ok 2007… 2008… wow!] …. we are not in 1886 or 1996 anymore.
Scrum comes down to people talking and listening to each other.
Not rocket science.
Good enough for today? If you need specific recommendations on stuff to read — which I can promise will not be cookbooks — please feel free to contact me anytime. I am an avid reader and most of the stuff I look at has nothing to do with software development. And is applicable to what I do for a living.
December 11, 2006More:
December 13, 2006