I’m going to start off by saying that I know Scrum and metrics don’t necessarily get along. But I will also acknowledge that it’s a necessary evil in most cases. And in a lot of cases it doesn’t have to be evil. Metrics are simply: a method of measuring something. In Scrum, we measure a lot of things. We measure the size of our work items, we measure the effort or time it takes to complete them. We measure our accuracy. All of this is in our quest to become predictable as a team and to improve (and we need to start with a baseline measurement to know if we’ve improved). But when others start taking notice of our metrics, that’s when things get tricky.
I’ve been blogging a lot about commitment and estimating lately both on this blog and my work blog. In a discussion with a Product Owner the other day, we were talking about looking at story sizes after the sprint to determine if they were sized correctly. I think this is a great idea and I’d like to plan it into a retrospective.
I spent the beginning of this week at the Scrum Gathering – New Orleans (SGNOLA). As always, it proved to be a great time full of culture, learning, networking, and fun. I like to do recaps after conferences sometimes: first to ensure that I don’t lose what I captured, and second to share my thoughts with those who were unable to attend. The highlight of SGNOLA was my co-presentation with Leslie J. Morse: Can Definition of Ready make Scrum “The Big Easy?”
Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t like to wait. I, like many others, want (or expect) instant results. Whether it is getting that grade back the day after I turn in the assignment, getting an email response within an hour, getting an IM or text back within the minute, I’m impatient! Yes, patience is a virtue, but in some situations we can’t afford to wait. Can impatience be a virtue as well?
A friend asked me the other day about my job and what I actually did. It’s difficult to explain IT to people who are not in the industry because many think all we do is fix computers. Now try to explain project management and Scrum. Regardless as I was explaining my role as a ScrumMaster and project manager in application development he rephrased his question, “How do you make the company money?” A valid question, but one that takes some thought.