Twas the night before sprint demo
February 28, 2010
When all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except for a team of software developers determined to deliver a quality product.
I’ve lost track of how many sprints we have done. I think we are on our 5th sprint. This last sprint was very long; too long in my opinion. It was also our largest group to date. What this means is that there was a very large amount of work to be done. It also means that there was plenty of room for distractions.
Group size – I think the size of the group should dictate the amount of work to do. The bigger the group, the more narrow the project should be. This might sound contrary to having a large group. What I mean by having a narrow project is that you want a team to be very focused at the tasks at hand. The bigger the variety of tasks, the more questions there will be; more distractions roadblocks failure opportunity.
- Sprint length – I work with a team of excellent programmers who work hard. This mentality manifests itself from the top down. It’s nice to see the leadership working hard and setting the bar high. This also means fatigue and the potential for burnout. I believe you can combat fatigue with comfortable workspaces (I’ll post about that some other time), and short sprints.
What we did last night was amazing.
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Most of our sprint team was up until the wee hours of the morning polishing our product and preparing it for the demo. Some programmers got less than three hours of sleep before they were back at work and ready for the demo. What is worth it? ABSOLUTLY!
Why is it worth it? I think what we do as software developers is craftsmanship. We take pride in our work and want it to sparkle in front of an audience. When things go wrong we take it personally. It’s embarrassing when you release a bug. It’s even more embarrassing when your demoing in front of your peers, colleagues, and the brass.
I hope we don’t stop with Agile and Scrum. We’ve proven that it works time and time again. I do hope that we continue to evolve and master Scrum. I also hope that we investigate alternatives to Scrum that might suite us better, such as Lean and Kanban. I’ll continue to research these concepts and push to try them all. Heck, I’ll probably try my own Personal Kanban out for size.