Agile, People, Project Management, Scrum

Dear #Scrum Letter

Dear Scrum, I am sorry I have to write this in a letter, but I just found you to be distant and inflexible lately. I must admit when I first met you I was charmed by your processes and procedures. The form was liberating, I never felt so alive and everything seemed so clear and concise. But slowly I must admit the rigidity of the process has not allowed for the freedom that I and my projects need.  I really did need a process where I could add requirements during a sprint when it made sense. I didn’t want to be limited in the duration of retrospectives if I thought there was more to discuss.

I guess I just need space.

And to be brutally honest, I was feeling really bad about referring to my team and clients as chickens and pigs. Although the metaphor was cute, it ended up being more divisive than anything. And I hated being referred to as a Scrum Master. The actual role seemed to diminish my value as a Project Manager and made me just a coach of the process instead of a valued team member. I felt that I wasn’t actually part of the team anymore.

I guess I have changed. It is not you, it is me.

More and more we just talked about Scrum and how we had to follow the process very diligently. Our discussions were only focused on Scrum topics. “What makes a good Product Owner?” and “How to be a better Scrum Master” were the main topics. It seemed all we ever did was talk about you. We never talked about my feelings on User Story Mapping, Paper Prototyping, or other new methods that made me feel alive. In short, we were in a rut and not exploring anymore. We were just using a process for the sake of process and it felt like, well, waterfall.

I know those words hurt and I know the process is better than waterfall, but I felt we weren’t growing.

No, I haven’t met anyone new. But there is a whole world out there and maybe I need to date for a while until I discover someone I can truly be happy with. I just know I need someone who wants to change and adapt as much as I do. We will always have those items I learned from you and I will always have the Daily Stand ups, Retrospectives, and Technical Spikes. There is so much you taught me and you will always have a special place in my methodology heart.

I hope we can remain friends a maybe catch a movie someday. Maybe the Hobbit when it is released in 2012. Stay in touch.

Yours Truly.

Terry

Re-posted from http://bornagainagilist.wordpress.com

About Terry Bunio

Terry Bunio is passionate about his work as the Manager of the Project Management Office at the University of Manitoba. Terry oversees the governance on Information Technology projects to make sure the most important projects are being worked on in a consistent and effective way. Terry also provides leadership on the customized Project Methodology that is followed. The Project Methodology is a equal mix of Prince2, Agile, Traditional, and Business Value. Terry strives to bring Brutal Visibility, Eliminating Information islands, Right Sizing Documentation, Promoting Collaboration and Role-Based Non-Consensus, and short Feedback Loops to Minimize Inventory to the Agile Project Management Office. As a fan of pragmatic Agile, Terry always tries to determine if we can deliver value as soon as possible through iterations. As a practical Project Manager, Terry is known to challenge assumptions and strive to strike the balance between the theoretical and real world approaches for both Traditional and Agile approaches. Terry is a fan of AWE (Agile With Estimates), the Green Bay Packers, Winnipeg Jets, and asking why?

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