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Coaching, Coding and Learning By George Evjen
Book Notes From 'Scrum - Getting Twice the work done in half the time' By Jeff Sutherland

Don’t Hate the Player - Hate the Game

  • Low team morale, cohesion, and productivity are based on a fundamental misunderstanding of how humans work.
  • Have you been with a group confronting a problem and the first thing that everyone does is try to fix blame
  • When you are blaming someone - you're finding fault with them personally,
  • When you are being blamed - you're much more aware of the situational factors that led to the problem.
  • When talking about others, you're making one of the most common and destructive human errors in judging other peoples actions.
    • 'Fundamental Attribution Error'
  • We all perceive ourselves as responding to a situation - while we see others motivated by their character.
  • What Scrum is designed to do is change the system.
    • Instead of looking for blame and fault -
    • Scrum rewards positive behavior by focusing people on working together and getting things done.
  • Were all creatures of the system we find ourselves embedded in
    • Scrum does is accept this reality, and instead of seeking blame - it tried to examine the system that produced the failure and fix it.
  • People want to blame individuals not systems.
  • How does this error of blame happen in business.


Reaching 'Great'

  • When a team starts to align and synchronize, it can seem magical.
  • You feel it when you walk into a room with them.
  • It was the kind of synchronicity that is inspiring to watch.
  • That is the place I want to help people reach with Scrum.
  • Its about setting up the right framework with the right incentives
    • Giving people freedom
    • Respect
    • And authority to do things themselves.



  • Pull the Right Lever -
  • Transcendence
    • Great teams have a purpose that is greater than the individual.
  • Autonomy
    • Freedom to make decisions on how to take action
  • Cross-Functional
    • The team must have every skill needed to complete a project
  • Small Wins
    • Small teams get work done faster.
  • Blame is Stupid
    • Don’t look for bad people, look for bad systems.


  • Time is the ultimate limiter of human endeavor
  • We're lousy focusers - we spend far more hours in the office than needed -
  • We're horrible estimator of how long things will take
  • Stole and idea from MIT Media Lab
    • The core of Scrum : The Sprint



  • Think about the projects you do
    • Bet that you seldom get feedback until completion
      • That could be months or even years away
    • In business it could mean the difference between success and failure.
  • The sooner you give things to your customers - the quicker they can tell you if you are making something they need.
  • 'I told him that each month I'd show him a piece of working software.
  • Sprints - we called them because the name evoked a quality of intensity.
  • We are going to work for a short amount of time - then stop to see where we are.
  • Every Thursday sit down and look at the massive backlog of things to do.
    • Ok - given that list - what can we do this week
  • Board - divided into sections, backlog, doing, done
  • Everyone on the team can see what everyone else is working on at every moment.
  • Important: Nothing gets moved to done unless it can be used by a customer.
  • Sprints - time duration
    • Don’t do a week long sprint - followed by a three week sprint.
  • Once a team commits to the work - they are locked in to complete that work.


Daily Stand Up

  • Every day the team gathers in front of a floor to ceiling whiteboard
  • Few columns on the board - Backlog, Doing, Done
  • Listed in the columns are only the things that the team needs to get done in the sprint.
  • The Scrum master - the person in charge of running the process - asks three questions of everyone
    • What did you do yesterday to help the team finish the sprint
    • What will you do today to help the team finish the sprint.
    • What obstacles are getting the teams way.
  • If it takes more than 15 minutes you are doing it wrong.
  • Are all the tasks going to be completed on time.
  • Are there opportunities to help other team members overcome obstacles.
  • How did the best teams do it.
  • Jim Coplien - spent years looking at hundreds of software projects trying to figure out why a small minority when well, while the majority were disasters.
    • Mapped all the communication flows within the team.
      • Who was talking with whom
      • Where is information flowing - where it wasn’t.
      • This can help stop bottlenecks or information hoarders.
  • The thing that cripples communication saturation is specialization.
  • In here, where the work is done - there are only team members - no job titles.
  • The other secret sauce - everyone on the team meets every day to discuss how they are performing.
  • Three Rules to the StandUp
    • The meeting was held at the same time every day - and everyone has to be there.
    • The meeting couldn’t last more than 15 minutes.
    • Everyone had to actively participate.
  • Daily stand-up is not simply individual reporting.
  • The idea is for the team to quickly confer on how to move forward toward victory
  • Want teams to emerge from the stand-up saying things like 'let's nail this, lets do this'
Posted on Friday, July 15, 2016 4:26 PM Scrum | Back to top

Comments on this post: Scrum - Doing Twice the work in half the time - 5

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This really outlines the details of the project and will serve as an efficient guide. - Bath Planet
Left by Mike Wright on Sep 08, 2016 2:11 AM

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