Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Scrum thoughts: cross-functional teams

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Anonymous said...

I'd like to leave a comment actually. I am on the other end and am a graphic designer. We just started using scrum this week and a software system to manage it called VersionOne. It's too early to tell yet, but as a designer, I am already having some frustrations. For example I work differently that the typical programmer. A lot of times I don't know what needs to be change until I am actually doing it and looking at it with my eyes. Of course then I'll get another idea that will lead me to do something else. Truly what I have found (so far) is that the process of logging all of these tasks and backlog items tends to stiffle the creative process a tad. I'm not saying I don't want to do the work, mind you. . .I think the concept of Scrum is great. I have just had a hard time working with the software to log everything because it was written to be tailored to development teams and programmers. I'd like to just be able to attach an image to a task (not a backlog item) and just send it over for approval. I don't know if you use software for your tracking, but so far the VersionOne software has been somewhat complicated. So long story short, I see both sides. As a designer, I could see why the designers prefferred to have it done ahead of time and separate themselves from the development. Almost like a client relationship or an inhouse design department. I also understand though, the value of everyone being on the SCRUM system so that you can evaluate the velocity and see how everything is working.

Jon Moore said...

Hi! Thanks for the comment. I'm not familiar with the VersionOne software specifically, but maybe you just need to pick your tasks differently. e.g. instead of, say, for a web page, making tasks like:

design the header,
design the body,
design the footer.

Maybe you decompose this and do:

produce first draft,
produce second draft,
produce final draft.

Where you might be able to timebox those effectively (we will allow someone to make a task that is as large as two whole days, but that's an engineering rule of thumb--maybe for graphic design it's acceptable to make the chunks bigger).

But anyway, remember that the purpose of the tasks are to assist the team with remember what they planned/signed up for, and to track time and estimates. So, if it works for you, maybe you just need one task which is:

design the page

(which should be pretty easy to track time against!). i.e. make the tasks fit your workflow well, not the other way around.

Scrum Problems said...

Thanks for sharing, I will bookmark and be back again.

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