Ken Schwaber

Agile’s broad adoption and mediocrity – the fault lies…

Sunset in Kona

I have to admit, I cringe whenever I say “agile” or “scrum” (™?) Even as I practice both every workday and care deeply for the values they represent. Successful movements take on a cloying “fill me with your knowledge” cast. A perpetual newbie state where new adherents come on faster than existing practitioners have opportunity to develop experience and wisdom. I really don’t need to have another conversation about how to phrase the first sentence of a user story. And … Read More

The Scrum Master’s Dilemma

My daughter Miya and dog friend Sophie 10/02 by kjudy

A metaphor for the Scrum Master is a vigilant sheepdog protecting their flock. At the Fall Scrum Gathering, I met practitioners facing different challenges in their agile practice. Some faced profound impediments that their organizations were unable or unwilling to address. The effect on the project and team was dire and the Scrum Master had exhausted all avenues to raise alarm. It’s human nature, unfortunately, to associate an unpleasant message with the messenger. A vocal Scrum Master can be seen … Read More

Just do it!

Just Do It by kjudy

I laughed out loud when I saw Ken Schwaber titled a passage of his book, The Enterprise and Scrum, “Just Do It”. Ken describes how a customer can sacrifice quality and sustainable pace in the short term but pay it back at a premium, “$4 to remediate every $1 drop in quality.” Clearly there are pressing bugs, misses and serendipitous opportunities. There are times to inject work into a sprint backlog. There are even times to “stop the line” and … Read More

I’m a Sideways Agilist

Fiddler Crab by denn

I’ve posted about why I need to encourage agile practices outside my department. If Scrum is isolated within one team, its very success can be used to counter further adoption. “Agile works for you but what we do is different. You do X we do Y.” This resistance is a direct result of what Andy Hargreaves calls balkanization — groups insulated from each other, with hard boundaries, loyalties and a political complexion. Creating a culture where groups work together to … Read More

Women & Agile Development

Ken Schwaber made an audacious comment today. To paraphrase: “One of my canaries in the coal mine is the number of women in the software industry. Women are smarter than men. They tend to gravitate to careers where they are compensated well and find the work rewarding. They are fleeing the our industry in droves.” He was speaking at Agile 2007 on The Enterprise and Scrum. The Stanford Daily reported that “13 percent of CS undergraduates are female this year, … Read More