Archive for July, 2012

July 30, 2012

Scrum Master, a management position?

by Sampath Prahalad

Time and again in my Agile and Scrum journey, I get asked “So, is Scrum Master a management position or not?”

Here is what I think.

Scrum Master is definitely a management position, but of a different kind.

The Scrum Master does not manage people. The people are already self managed and self organized. Any attempt to manage the people in the team causes hurdles and does not help the team or their productivity.

So, what does the Scrum Master manage?

The Scrum Master manages

  • Resources: No.. No, not the human resources, but other physical and hardware resources. Ensures that the product development environment is in perfect condition. All licences and certificates taken care of, none of them expiring during the ongoing Sprint, etc.
  • Impediments and Risks: Manages the impediments effectively and keeps hacking at them to create a path forward for the team. Encourages the team to bring up any potential risks that could deter them from the Sprint goal.
  • Dependencies: Manages any dependencies with other product teams or other people external to the team.
  • Process adherence: Adherence to what process? The Scrum process framework that the team tailored to their advantage. Ensuring that the process is continuously tweaked for the benefit of the team.

So, the Scrum Master manages anything and everything that comes in the way of the product development team and threatens to deter them from focusing on their core strength: product development.

Let me know what you think.

July 6, 2012

Inspect and Adapt for Agile Product Managers

by Sampath Prahalad

As organizations make their movement from Waterfall to Agile software development, a shift in culture takes place. One discipline that is most affected in this whole change is Product Management. They have to cope up with the demand for more releases within the same time and each release has to have meaningful content.

I have tried to list the traits needed for a successful Agile Product Manager here.

  • The clarity for the near term goals along with a vision for the medium term.
  • The ability to constantly prioritize and groom the product backlog so that the most important business requirements are placed at the top.
  • The ability to split requirements into granular user stories so that they can be completed within a Sprint.
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July 4, 2012

Bye Bye AgileIndia2012, Welcome AgileIndia2013

by Sampath Prahalad

I attended Agile India 2012  in February this year. Three full days of talks and discussions about different streams within Agile (Agile Product Management, Agile Testing, Agile Coaching, etc), the different flavors of Agile (Scrum, Kanban, very little of XP, etc). Many talks were great,  tweets and related blogs were nice. There was enough food for thought and for the tummy as well. I made new friends and met up with lots of friends and like minded people. Here are my experiences from day 1, day 2 and day 3. So, Agile India 2012 was a success by any yardstick, the organizers deserve many pats on the back for organizing and pulling off an event of such a magnitude. They had done their due diligence and it showed.

Now, here comes Agile India 2013 . I don’t want the 2013 version to be a similar success, I want it to be much bigger and better. Yeh dil definitely maange more (Translates to ‘The heart yearns for more’)

For this, there are some tweaks and changes that the organizers need to make. I have tried to list some of them here.

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