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.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Cheer: The Little Scrummer Boy

Frank Fortner, SVP of Application Development at Iatric Systems, sent me this note recently and at the request of a Scrum Trainer who I shared it with, agreed to contribute his good cheer to the larger Scrum community.
Hi Jeff,

We've recently implemented Scrum at my company and it has been going very well so far. As a small/medium company that always operated in a lesser structured agile type of process, the added structure and accountability of Scrum has been a Christmas gift in itself. At this point, we haven't been at it very long (few months) but folks are picking it up and embracing it. Maybe too much…

As the father of Scrum, I thought you of all people might appreciate what one of our product managers put together over a sleepless night with too much time on her hands. It was obviously inspired by the Christmas carols she was listening to. Is it corny? Probably, but folks have clearly picked up the basic concepts!

The Little Scrummer Boy
Written by Michelle Schneider, RN
(For the most joyous experience, you must sing this aloud)

Scrum, they told me – Scu-rumpa-pum-pum

A new release to see - Scu-rumpa-pum-pum

Our great ideas we bring - Scu-rumpa-pum-pum

Followed by programming - Scu-rumpa-pum-pum, Scrumpa-pum-pum, Scrumpa-pum-pum

So to en-hance it - Scu-rumpa-pum-pum, When we Scrum

Product Backlog's huge, Scu-rumpa-pum-pum

How will we get it done, Scu-rumpa-pum-pum

Time for our Sprint Planning, Scu-rumpa-pum-pum

Then Daily Scrum meetings, Scu-rumpa-pum-pum, Scrumpa-pum-pum, Scrumpa-pum-pum

So to en-hance it - Scu-rumpa-pum-pum, When we Scrum

Are you done QC'ing, Scu-rumpa-pum-pum

It's time for debugging, Scu-rumpa-pum-pum

Today we demo it, Scu-rumpa-pum-pum

Awesome I must admit, Scu-rumpa-pum-pum, Scrumpa-pum-pum, Scrumpa-pum-pum

So to en-hance it - Scu-rumpa-pum-pum, When we Scrum

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

ScrumButt Test: aka the Nokia Test

The "Nokia Test" for Scrum teams was developed orginally by Bas Vodde at Nokia Siemens Networks in Finland. It has been updated several times and appears in it latest incarnation in Jeff Sutherland's Scrum Certification classes where he demonstrates that attending the class yields an average return on investment of 1033% for participants.

Links to all previous versions of the Nokia Test, the current scoring of the ScrumButt test, and the 1033% ROI calculations can be found in the attached presentation, "The ScrumButt Test: aka The Nokia Test."

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Agile 2008 video: Fully Distributed Scrum

Jeff Sutherland: Reaching Hyper-Productivity with Outsourced Development Teams
Posted by Jeff Sutherland and Guido Schoonheim on Nov 07, 2008 07:14 AM


In this presentation filmed during Agile 2008, Jeff Sutherland, co-creator of Scrum, and Guido Schoonheim, CTO of Xebia, present an actual case of reaching hyper-productivity with a large distributed team using XP and Scrum. Click here for text of paper.

Jeff Sutherland is well known as the Co-Creator of the Scrum Agile Development Process which influenced the design of the other leading Agile process in the U.S., i.e. eXtreme Programming (XP). Guido Schoonheim is CTO of Xebia, and his interests are Scrum, Agile teams and offshoring.

About the conference

Agile 2008 is an exciting international industry conference that presents the latest techniques, technologies, attitudes and first-hand experience, from both a management and development perspective, for successful Agile software development.

Scrum for Research Projects

Recently, a new ScrumMaster from Atlanta pointed out the project in the photos above is a medical research project at the U.S. Center for Disease Control. The EPM Solutions blog item by Lisa Grant has a nice description of how you can cut research time in half and increase innovation and collaboration with Scrum.

I spent a lot of time this year at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory where they invented GPS and many other innovations for military projects. The Los Alamos Nuclear Weapons Laboratory uses Scrum (scary thought). The secret is to timebox a research activity with clear entry and exit conditions. Often the exit condition is an answer to a question that will determine the next step in the research.

If I had to do another Ph.D. thesis, I would definitely use Scrum. I could cut the time in half and significantly improve the quality.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Scrum Training Institute at Oredev

Gabrielle Benefield, founder of the Scrum Training Institute, talks about her role as Agile coach at Yahoo. How does Scrum scale? What productivity gains did they achieve? What where the problems?

Dave Prior from PMI creates a video podcast at the Oredev Conference in Sweden of the effectiveness of introducing Scrum for over 200 teams at Yahoo. Check it out!

Scrumming in Paris: La Cremerie

Xebia France hosted an excellent ScrumMaster Certification course at La Defense in Paris. What a great location for a CSM course! Not only the French, but Danes, Swedes, Germans, Poles, and Swiss are often there. Courses sell out quickly and the next one is in March. I expect more and more people will fly in from around Europe to enjoy the good French food and ambiance.

For example, a great French lunch is not to be rushed. We always have to take an hour and a half for three delicious courses, with wine of course. Even then, we are rushing the waiters. Definitely the best Scrum training lunch I have had worldwide.

And after work, what do you do when you have nothing in the refrigerator? Actually, I decided to pick up a couple of bottles of wine at La Cremerie as my wife had noticed it was one of the best wine shops in Paris. We stumbled down the street from our apartment on the Left Bank and into a little shop. The owner asked if we had a reservation as he has a little store with four tables and a bar. We told him we just wanted to pick up a couple of bottles of wine to take back to the apartment to have with an omelette. He said (speaking perfect English), "Sit down, I am going to serve you something better than an omelette!"

I asked him what wine he would recommend with an unbelievably huge chunk of mozzarella with tomato and greens. The best mozzarella I have tasted was in Rome after a Scrum course with IBM. This was even better! And the wine was even better than the mozzarella, a 2006 Auxey-Duresses, an organic burgundy.

It was a magic moment and we shared some laughs with the owner before picking up another bottle of Auxey-Duresses, a 2006 Maranges burgundy, and a 1984 Calvados. I drink a lot of Calvados and this was definitely the best I've had. Check out Cremerie when you are in Paris!


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Scrum Certification: Train with the Co-Creator of Scrum

The new upgraded course curriculum is scoring an average of 9 out of 10 on class evaluation forms. For Scrum Certification Course Syllabus - click here!

Scrum Certification with Jeff Sutherland and Joe Little
New York

18-19 Dec 2008

Scrum Certification
San Francisco 15-16 Jan 2009
with Jeff Sutherland and Bas Vodde

Scrum Certification
Boston 20-21 Jan 2009
with Jeff Sutherland and Bas Vodde

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 co-authored the Agile Manifesto with 15 other industry thought leaders.

Jeff is Chairman of the Scrum Training Institute and CEO of Scrum, Inc. powered by OpenView Venture Partners and Agile coach to the OpenView venture group which runs all internal operations with Scrum, as well as their portolio of software companies. As Senior Advisor to OpenView he focuses on using Scrum to transform companies as well as empower software developers. In his last position as CTO of PatientKeeper, his Scrum implementation was the key to quadrupled revenue in 2007. OpenView is using Scrum to create similar high performance portfolio companies. Jeff will share the secret sauce that helps development teams radically improve productivity and quality while providing a more rewarding and fun working environment for developers.

Jeff spends one week a month working directly with development teams in OpenView portfolio companies. This gives him continuous hands on experience in implementing Scrum and helping to improve engineering practices. The other three weeks a month he does consulting and training for companies worldwide. As Chairman of the Scrum Training Institute he leads one of the largest global Scrum training organizations.

You can learn from Dr. Sutherland's experience as consultant to the world's leading companies. Their experience can help make your Scrum implementation world class. Jeff's clients include: Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, MySpace, Adobe, GE, Siemens, BellSouth, GSI Commerce, Ulticom, Palm, St. Jude Medical, DigiChart, RosettaStone, Healthwise, Sony/Ericson, Accenture, Trifork, Systematic Software Engineering, Exigen Services, SirsiDynix, Softhouse, Philips, Barclays Global Investors, Constant Contact, Wellogic, Inova Solutions, Medco, Saxo Bank, Xebia,, SolutionsIQ, Crisp, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, Motley Fool, Planon, OpenView Venture Partners, Jyske Bank, BEC, Camp Scrum, DotWay AB, Ultimate Software, Danube, Rally Development, Version One, Scrum Training Institute, AtTask, Intronis, Version One, OpenView Labs, Central Desktop, Open-E, Zmags, eEye, Reality Digital, DST, Booz Allen Hamilton, and many other companies.

Jeff is an expert on distributed/outsourced Scrum (see Agile 2008) and on implementing Scrum in a CMMI Level 5 company. As CTO/VP of Engineering of nine software companies, he has created, scaled and distributed Scrum using his companies as laboratories for continuous process improvement. His last company, PatientKeeper is run by a MetaScrum, and is one of the most advanced implementations 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.”

"I find that the vast majority of organizations are still trying to do too much stuff, and thus find themselves thrashing. The only organization I know of which has really solved this is PatientKeeper." Mary Poppendieck

In Jeff's courses, participants learn how to stop thrashing and improve performance along with 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 directly from those who have implemented the best Scrums in the software industry. 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 non-technical group exercises.

Dr. Sutherland's training is helpful to every employee in a Scrum company. Most of his Openview portfolio companies use Scrum in sales, marketing, finance, or in the senior management team, so you will often see these people in his classes. Every developer can benefit by getting a thorough grounding in Scrum basics. Some of Jeff's companies send every employee, including adminstrative assistants to his courses. These companies always experience radical growth and profitability when everyone in on the same page with the Scrum process. In addition, many Certified ScrumMasters use his courses as a refresher as they often contain advanced material depending on who is in the class. CSMs and CSPs may attend his training at reduced rates.

See all Scrum Certification courses in the Scrum Alliance Course Listing or sign up below.

Scrum in Europe

Scrum Certification Paris 1-2 Dec 2008
Xebia, La Defense - taught in English

Scrum Certification 8-9 Dec 2008
Program Utvikling

Scrum In Practice Oslo 11-12 Dec 2008
Program Utvikling

Scrum Certification Helsinki 15-16 Dec 2008
Scrum Training Institute