Scrum Log Jeff Sutherland

Scrum is an Agile development framework that Jeff Sutherland invented at Easel Corporation in 1993. Jeff worked with Ken Schwaber to formalize Scrum at OOPSLA'95. Together, they extended and enhanced Scrum at many software companies and helped write the Agile Manifesto.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

ScrumMaster Certification in Boston

CSM Training in Boston
25-26 January 2007

PayPal signup on buttons on left side of page, or send check or purchase order to PatientKeeper at address below.

Jeff Sutherland started the first Scrum at Easel Corporation in 1993. He worked with Ken Schwaber to emerge Scrum as a formal process at OOPSLA'95. Together, they extended and enhanced Scrum at many software companies and IT organizations and helped write the Agile Manifesto.

The course will be given at Jeff's company, PatientKeeper, which is well known as a laboratory for Scrum research. He will be assisted by the PatientKeeper Product Owner who will go through Product Backlog management for a complex product portfolio and will describe how to automate and manage Sprint Backlogs for multiple teams developing a wide variety of integrated and interoperable products.

Jeff is an expert on distributed/outsourced Scrum (see his paper on the SirsiDynix project) and on implementing Scrum in a CMMI Level 5 company (see recent submission to CMMI conference). He has also done research and development on Scrum using his last five companies as laboratories. His entire current company at PatientKeeper is run by a MetaScrum, and is one of the most advance implementions of Scrum worldwide. Mary Poppendieck, in her latest book on Lean Software Development comments:

Five years ago a killer application emerged in the health care industry: Give doctors access to patient information on a PDA. Today there is no question which company won the race to dominate this exploding market; PatientKeeper has overwhelmed its competition with its capability to bring new products and features to market just about every week. The sixty or so technical people produce more software than many organizations several times larger, and they do not show any sign that the size of their code base is slowing them down.

A key strategy that has kept PatientKeeper at the front of the pack is an emphasis on unprecedented speed in delivering new features. It will not surprise anyone who understands Lean that PatientKeeper has to maintain superb quality in order to support its rapid delivery. CTO Jeff Sutherland explains it this way:

"Rapid cycle time: * Increases learning tremendously * Eliminates buggy software because you die if you don't fix this. * Fixes the install process because you die if you have to install 45 releases this year and install is not easy. * Improves the upgrade process because there is a constant flow of upgrades that are mandatory. Makes upgrades easy. * Forces quick standardization of software via new features rather than customization and one off. * Forces implementation of sustainable pace.. You die a death of attrition without it. * Allows waiting to build new functionality until there are 4-5 customers who pay for it. This is counterintuitive, and caused by the fact everything is ready within 90 days."

CSM Training is held in the PatientKeeper boardroom giving participants the unique opportunity to work for two days within a Scrum company. There is a large open space Atrium which is ideal for group exercises. Participants will learn everything necessary for getting started with Scrum. There are very few rules to Scrum so it is important to learn its fundamental principles by experiencing them.

In this course, participants gain hands-on practice with the release backlog, sprint backlog, the daily Scrum meeting, tracking progress with a burndown chart, and more. Participants experience the Scrum process through a "59-minute Scrum" and the "XP Game" which simulate Scrum projects through a non-technical group exercises.

This course is equally suited for managers, programmers, testers, analysts, product managers, and others who are interested in working on or with a Scrum team. You will leave with solid knowledge of how and why Scrum works. Through practical, hands-on exercises and small-group discussion you will be prepared to plan your first sprint immediately after this class.

The course will run from 9am-5pm each day. A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Following the course, each participant is enrolled as a Certified ScrumMaster, which includes a one-year membership in the Scrum Alliance, where additional ScrumMaster-only material and information are available.

About The Instructor:

Jeff Sutherland started the first Scrum at Easel Corporation in 1993. He worked with Ken Schwaber to emerge Scrum as a formal process at OOPSLA'95. Together, they extended and enhanced Scrum at many software companies and IT organizations and helped write the Agile Manifesto. As VP of Engineering and CTO of nine companies, he developed Scrum in four of them and implemented Scrum company-wide in five of them. In recent years, Jeff developed a center of excellence for Scrum training at his current company, PatientKeeper, working with Ken Schwaber, the Co-Creator of Scrum, Rally Development Corporation, a leading tools vendor, and other well-known Scrum consultants and trainers. Many software developers from all over the world have been trained at PatientKeeper where they learn directly from the originators of Scrum as well as from Scrum leaders managing PatientKeeper teams.

Who Should Attend

Whether you're a manager, programmer, tester, analyst, product manager, or someone interested in working on or with a Scrum team, this course is suited for you. You will leave with solid knowledge of how and why Scrum works. Through practical, hands-on exercises and small-group discussion you will be prepared to plan your first sprint immediately after this class.

PMPs: You can receive 16 Professional Development Units (PDUs) for this course.

Course Material:

Click here for course syllabus.

Participants will receive course materials for review upon registration. The CSM course was formulated to train and certify ScrumMasters and is used worldwide for ScrumMaster training. The book, Agile Project Management with Scrum, by Ken Schwaber is required reading for the course and the course is based on the primary Scrum book, Agile Development with Scrum.

Of course, there will be updated material and training exercises in the course which you cannot get from books. The entire syllabus will be made available upon registering for the course so you can look it over and bring it with you to the sessions. You may get to see our Product Backlog presented by the PatientKeeper Chief Product Owner or attend our Daily Scrum of Scrums!

Logistics Information,+Newton,+MA&ie=UTF8&z=15&om=1&iwloc=addr

Boston CSM Trainings are held in the PatientKeeper Board Room on the second floor of 275 Washington Street in Newton, MA. This is directly off the Mass. Pike and across the street from the Sheraton Hotel, only about a 10-15 minute drive from Logan Airport or from Harvard Square.

PatientKeeper, Inc.
275 Washington Street - Second Floor
Newton, MA 02458
617-812-8527 fax

The Sheraton Hotel across the street from PatientKeeper is the most convenient. However there are many good hotels in the Harvard area. Check or your favorite travel site for hotels in Cambridge, MA, and pick one that fits your price.

The fee for Certified ScrumMaster Training is $1200. You can register in three ways:

1. Fax a Purchase Order to PatientKeeper at 617-812-8527.
2. Send a check to Jeff Sutherland, PatientKeeper, Inc., 20 Guest Street, Suite 500, Brighton, MA 02135.
3. Use the ScrumMaster Training button on the upper left side of this page. This will allow you to use Paypal, or click if you do not have a Paypal account and it will provide you with a credit card screen that will accept any credit card.

Refund policy: 90% of the course fee will be refunded for cancellations more that 7 days in advance of the course. No refunds will be provided for cancellations within a week of the course.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Agile Performance Reviews

MEMO – June 1996 (updated Mar 1997 for IDX RISD, Feb 2000 for PatientKeeper, Nov 2006 for Scrum Alliance)

To: All Development Staff

From: Jeff Sutherland
VP Engineering, Individual
SVP Engineering and CTO, IDX Systems
CTO, PatientKeeper

Subject: Performance Reviews

Over the past 10 years, the attached review process was evolved during the first implementation of Scrum at Easel Corporation in 1993 and enhanced in several leading software companies. Hyper-performance teams have used this process to accelerate their effectiveness. (Hyper-performance teams deliver product in record time and computer journal editors write rave reviews and say it is the best product of its type that they have ever seen.)

This review process:

  • Allows the review to be a better means of communication with an employee.
  • Helps build mutual understanding on performance, personal goals and objectives, company goals and objective, training needed, and objectives for the next three months.
  • Makes the rating system more objective by focusing attention on the user experience of the product being developed, along with time to market. The subjective experience of the manager is deemphasized.
  • Require raters to all work closely with one another to sanity check ratings. It is not easily managable on a large, impersonal system, as currently used in the IDX peer rating system in 1997.

The Process Takes Three Meetings to Initialize

Meeting 1: Reviewer meets with employee and goes over this document. The employee is then asked to write his own individual review after the meeting by responding to the key questions (see below) and giving him/herself a rating. The employee can write a little or a lot. This review is designed to minimize the amount of writing.

Meeting 2: The second meeting occurs when the employee returns the review (along with soft copy). The reviewer discussed the employees perceptions to get a good understanding of them. After the meeting the reviewer carefully edits the review to incorporate the reviewers perception of performance.

Meeting 3: The third meeting occurs after the reviewer has finished editing the review and the ratings. The updated document is carefully discussed with the employee. Any difference in perceptions is noted. If there is any disagreement, the employee may convince the reviewer to change the review or, failing that, write a rebuttal that will be attached to the review. After changes are incorporated, the review is signed by both reviewer and employee, as well as the VP of Engineering..

The Review Ratings

It is well known that employee performance ratings in all organizations are inflated. This process is designed to produce realistic, provably accurate, ratings. Ratings tend to reflect how well the employee sucks up to the manager, rather than whether or not the employee generated a great product that led to lots of sales and happy customers. We have to get away from motivating employees to please the manager, and get them to please the customer.

The higher rating supercedes the lower. If the manager gives a 4 and the team gives a 7, it is a 7 and so forth. This review is a form of 360 degree feedback where the review process is designed to surface gross disparities between market perception, customer perception, company perception, team perception, manager perception, and individual employee perception of their performance. Gross disparities are rare and should be dealt with on an exception basis.

Ratings on the review are scaled from 1 to 10:

10 Trade journals are writing rave reviews about your work saying it is best in class

Historically, two teams scored a 10 with this system. The first was the original Scrum team at Easel Corporation for delivering Object Studio (ScrumMaster: John Scumniotales). The second was at IDX for delivering a new Enterprise Master Patient Index System (ScrumMaster: Mary Rettig).

9 Customers are writing rave reviews about you (must be documented in writing)

8 Exceeds expectation of the company senior management

7 Exceeds expectation of Product Owner and Team

6 Exceeds reviewers expectations

5 Meets reviewers expectations

4 Does not meet reviewers expectations

3 Does not meet development teams expectations

2 Does not meet Engineering group or company expectations

1 Customers are complaining about you

0 You are personally roasted in PC Week

Under this system, the manager can give a 4, 5, or 6. Any other rating requires outside input from the development team, the engineering group, senior management, customers, or the press. The employee can always write a rebuttal to any review and have it attached to the review as part of the human resources record.

Review Template

The attached document provides a template for the review.

Ongoing Reviews

One an initial review is written, it becomes the template for the next review. Subsequent reviews can be done easily and quickly with this template in place.


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Scrum in 5 Minutes

When I am in Scandinavia, I often work with Softhouse, a consultancy with clients like Sony/Ericson and IKEA. They have an excellent short paper called:

Scrum in 5 Minutes

On my laptop, I can run this PDF in full screen mode as a slide show and use it for press briefings or short overviews for those not familiar with Scrum, particularly when working on "Scrum for Everybody" for non-IT implementations.

I used it in a large press conference last week in Buenos Aires and the press feedback was very positive. They said it hit them at just the right level and that my responses to questions (working through a real time Spanish interpreter) were unusually direct and to the point every time. I told them that was a lesson in Scrum transparency. We want everything to be open, clear, and direct so that teams and companies can self-organize to improve performance.

Softhouse also has a nice graphic showing the Scrum process.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Is CMMI worth doing?

The Certified ScrumMaster Trainers list is discussing the Scrum CMMI Level 5 paper and raise good questions:

Does CMMI provide any benefits? Some have worked on CMMI projects that just generated more overhead with no benefits. What do the authors think about this?

Systematic Software Engineering finds CMMI to have strong benefits and would not do without it.

1. Strategically they want to get large contracts in the U.S. and Scandinavia that require CMMI Level 5.

2. It gives high predictability. Contract date completions are over 95%.

3. It provides a better engineered product for scalability, maintainability, adaptability, etc.

4. It eliminates 80% of rework (which includes bugs). Scrum then cut the remaining rework in half so now they have eliminated 90% of rework. The average Scrum only eliminates 40% of rework without CMMI.

Systematic would do CMMI over Scrum. However, they find Scrum to provide amazing benefits to CMMI Level 5. I think the cost of going to CMMI Level 5 starting with Scrum could be reduced by 50-80%. This would allow more companies to achieve the benefits. We believe everyone can provide better engineered products with much higher quality and very high predictability on dates. The process overhead of CMMI Level 5 with Scrum is 4%. Most Scrums have far more waste in them than 4%.

Of the Scrum's I have seen, early implementations typically average about 50% waste, the CMMI Level 1 number. However, even a bad Scrum improves productivity so total waste is less than Scrum. Yet most companies can't show metrics that demonstrate they more than doubled productivity. This is so easy to do with Scrum I'm starting to think that we should say that a company hasn't implemented Scrum yet if they cannot show real metrics that demonstrate they have doubled velocity using their burndown charts. Failure to do this means they have not been tracking their burndown so they haven't implemented Scrum. Or it means their implementation is so riddled with impediments that they have been unable to implement Scrum effectively.

A lot of companies are going through the motions while disfunctional management is so bad they can't really implement Scrum. CMMI Level 5 will require managers to remove impediments or lose CMMI Level 5 certification. We have agreed on this with the CMMI Level
5 auditor, who says the management role must be clear and must be enforced. High maturity means that management aggressively eliminates impediments surfaced by the teams. They should start doing this now even if they are going to remain at CMMI Level 1 (where most companies are). Failure to do this means management sucks.

In some companies I work with, particularly the multi-billion dollar companies, the cost of developing software is so small compared to the rest of the company budget, that they do not have the incentive to remove software impediments because it requires change, and change is hard. They have bigger problems in other parts of the company. This just means the management is doing a worse job elsewhere than they are doing in software development. At least, they should insist that the software development managers clean up their act, even if they can't provide them with much higher level management attention. Scrum metrics and Scrum transparency of data will help them clean up what is essentially a middle-management problem with very little effort.

They should then ask development managers why they can't operate at CMMI Level 5 when the process overhead is 4% or less with Scrum. Management wants firm dates they can count on. They want higher quality and more scalable and adaptable implementations. Good CMMI implementation can provide this. The only thing preventing progress is the cost of change. That cost should be carefully analyzed. A roadmap should be build for process change and resource requirements should be mapped out with a timeline. Once this is done, a clear business decision can be made and execution of a rational plan becomes much easier and more effective.

The bottom line is that most companies will never find an ROI that justifies going to CMMI Level 5 with a waterfall methodology. The cost is just too high and the benefits too remote. With Scrum, the cost is dramatically reduced, and the speed of implementation could be radically accelerated. The ROI could suddenly look pretty good for a lot of companies.

In the final analysis, some process experts say that a well implemented Scrum across a company cannot be done without being at CMMI Level 3. Essentially you get that for free by implementing Scrum well. Going to Level 5 won't cost you much more with Scrum.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Scrum supports CMMI Level 5

Level 1 - Uncertainty. Success depends on individual effort.
Level 2 - Awakening. Basic project management practices are established.
Level 3 - Enlightenment. Standard process throughout organization.
Level 4 - Wisdom. Detailed metrics are collected and evaluated.
Level 5 - Certainty. Continuous process improvement via metrics feedback.

"Possibly by coincidence, both the Crosby and Humphrey maturity models resemble a maturity model developed circa 500 BC by Buddhist scholars as a kind of map for showing the stages on the path to religious enlightenment." Capers Jones, 1997

The 12th annual European Systems and Software Engineering Process Group Conference
EUROPEAN SEPG 2007 11-14th June, Amsterdam

Scrum and CMMI Level 5: The Magic Potion for Code Warriors

(See latest version of this paper published at HICSS 2008)

High Maturity, CMMI Level 5, Agile, Scrum

Target audience
High maturity

This presentation shows how one organization working at CMMI Level 5 used lean product development as a driver for optimizing software processes as part of their continuous improvement effort. Valuable experience has been gained by combining Agile Practices from Scrum and XP with CMMI Level 5. Results show that projects combining Agile Methods with CMMI 5 are more successful in producing higher quality software that more effectively meets customer needs at a faster pace. Initial pilots show productivity on Scrum teams almost twice that of traditional teams. Other projects demonstrated that a story-based test driven approach to software development reduced defects found during final test by 38%. These results led to an ROI based decision to more widely introduce Scrum and consider other Agile practices.

In order to maintain CMMI Level 5 certification, a careful assessment of practices required in addition to Scrum was necessary. Because Scrum reduced by almost 50% every category of work (defects, rework, total work required, and process overhead), it substantially cut the ongoing cost of maintaining CMMI Level 5 certification. We assert that Scrum and CMMI together bring a more powerful combination of adaptability and predictability to the marketplace than either one alone and suggest how other companies can combine them.

This presentation contains practical information and quantitative data obtained from introducing Agile practices like Scrum and story-based test driven software development into a high maturity organization. In addition, we present the benefit of adding CMMI Institutionalization to an existing organization’s Agile Methods.

This CMMI level 5 organization used lean product development as a driver for optimizing software processes as part of their continuous improvement effort. Initial pilots show productivity on Scrum teams almost twice that of traditional teams. Other projects demonstrated a story based test driven approach to software development reduced defects found during final test by 38%. This presentation contains practical information and quantitative data obtained from introducing Agile practices into an high maturity organization. In addition, we present the benefit of integrating CMMI Institutionalization Practices into existing organization’s Agile Methods.

Experience and quantitative data from integrating Agile Methods with a world class CMMI Level 5 organization is shared with the delegates during this presentation. Delegates are shown how CMMI and Agile Methods have worked together to provide a powerful combination in one case showing a reduction of defects of 38%.

Presenter 1 profile
Kent Johnson is Chief Technical Officer for AgileDigm, Inc. a process focused consulting and training company. He is a proven leader and skilled troubleshooter with solid business and technical acumen. He has successfully worked with executives, managers, and engineering staff to improve their organizations in industries including aviation, naval, telecommunications, utilities, automotive, defense, government, software product development, and medical devices. He is co-author of Interpreting the CMMI: A Process Improvement Approach (Auerbach April 2003) and Ada 95 Quality and Style (Springer 1997). Kent is an SEI-authorized SCAMPI Lead Appraiser, an SEI-authorized CMMI® instructor, and an experienced process improvement consultant. He has helped clients move from Maturity Level 1 to level 5 using both the CMM and CMMI. Internationally, Kent has helped clients in over 20 countries to improve their systems and software processes. He is past Chairman, International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) Systems Architecture Working Group.

Presenting experience
The presenters have significant experience in client training and have conducted tutorials at many conferences. These conferences include European SEPG, SESAM Conference (Stockholm, Sweden), JAOO (Denmark and France), USA SEPG, and Software Technology Conference (USA).

Presenter 1
Mr Kent Johnson
Chief Technical Officer
AgileDigm, Inc.
11 Twelve Oaks Trail
Ormond Beach, FL 32174

Presenter 2
Mr Carsten Ruseng Ruseng Jakobsen
Lean Improvement Responsible, Project Manager, PMP
Systematic Software Engineering A/S
Søren Frichs Vej 39
DK-8000 Aarhus C

Presenter 3
Dr Jeff Sutherland
Chief Technology Officer
PatientKeeper, Inc.
One Newton Place
275 Washington Street – 2nd Floor
Newton, MA 02458
Direct telephone: +1 508 644 8298