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How you survive SCRUM?

genichm profile image genichm github logo ・1 min read

Question to everyone who works in company that adopted SCRUM methodology. We adopted the methodology more than a year ago and I feel like worker in production line where the product is small and short tasks. For the first time from 2004 I'm not evolving in my coding skills and started pet project for not loose the ability to code complex solutions and make complex decisions. Thanks that it is only 50% job for me all other time it's architecture and technologies testing that helps to stay sharp too. So how you survive it?

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I've done scrum in several teams, including my current one. I've never felt like a worker in a production line or that I was not evolving in my coding skills. I'm not sure why you're experiencing those symptoms, but there is definitely something wrong with how your project is managed.

I can say a few things that we are doing that fit perfectly in (and are even recommended by) the scrum framework:

  • We try to split the work into small work items that can be deployed to production independently and add value to the product. However, we put a lot of effort into discussing how the overall system should look like and making sure all the pieces are aligned.
  • We spend enough time addressing technical debt (we've unfortunately inherited a couple of projects that are not in a good shape) and improvements. Nowadays we don't consider any new feature done until it has integration tests, and we meet regularly to discuss what areas of the code need to be improved and try to add a few improvements to each sprint.
  • We discuss continually the health of the team and find ways to improve what's not working. If we are not learning new things, having fun, and proud of the software we are building, something is wrong and we need to fix it.

I suspect that your team is missing entirely the last point, at least. The heart of scrum, and any other agile methodology, is to improve and adapt continually. If you're feeling the way you are, it should be brought up and addressed as soon as possible.

Scrum was specifically designed to handle many changes in priorities and to ensure that the team had a period of time (the sprint) where priorities would normally not be changed and that, during this period of time, they could at least finish something that added value to the product, even if in the next iteration they had to work on something entirely different. But the team is still supposed to have ownership of the overall product and the architecture. The way you describe it, it sounds like someone is handing you small tasks without any context or without you participating in the design and splitting of the backlog, and that's not how scrum is supposed to work.

If you want to learn more about how agile projects are supposed to work, I would recommend reading The Agile Samurai, understanding the principles that drive agile methodologies and start fixing your process from there.

 

Thanks for detailed answer, after several weeks of research and questions to everyone who can give even small tip my conclusion is that Scrum implemented without Agile can become worst development methodology for programmers that was invented recently. The key to success in Scrum without being frustrated shortly is understanding what is Agile and how they can be used together. A lot of companies cannot understand that if you do Scrum it's not really mean that you Agile, this way leads to disappointment of developers from both of them.

 

Yeah, I agree, implementing Scrum by the book and in a dogmatic way, without understanding its underlying principles and without adapting it to your current circumstances will only lead to a lot of frustration for everyone involved.

 

I worked in an agile environment for the last whole year (almost everyday including weekends).

Agile isn't always perfect, you might end-up killing the planet (watch this great talk).

What's the most important point in that video?

Focus on goals and use Scrum/Kanban/whatsoever as a tool to reach those goals.

Classic DEV Post from Jul 30 '19

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genichm profile image
Hands-on Software Architect and Technical Lead of SAAS team.