Individuals not interacting
All the events in this post are true events but the names and locations of individuals have been changed to protect peoples privacy.
This short script highlights one of the agile principals
Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Tracy: Hey Gary we really need a way of letting Bob know when we have got something for him to test
Gary: Hmm yes we do, otherwise we end up with a bottleneck at the end of the sprint
Both pause and think for a while…..
Gary: I’ve got it, why don’t we change the build so that when it completes it lists out the change sets that have gone into it.
Tracy: Yea that would be really neat, take a little setup but once its done he’ll get something in his inbox to notify him that we’ve got work he needs to test.
Gary: We could also create a page in our wiki, each time we complete work why don’t we add to that.
Tracy: Yea, what and then email him as well?
Gary: For sure, builds, emails and wiki’s. We have all the tools we need.
Tracy: Lets add some comments against the Ticket/PBI/Task too, just in case he misses those
Meanwhile Bob takes his headphones off and starts to listen
Gary: So do you have anything you need testing now?
Tracy: Oh yes I finished something this morning and its waiting there for testing. Why don’t we create another swim lane in our expensive Agile tool?
Gary: Great idea, we can then have build notifications, emails, wiki updates and an extra step in our work flow.
Tracy: Awesome, I’m so happy about this, I think this sprint we really will finish all our work and complete our sprint goals
Gary: Well lets wait until tomorrows daily scrum meeting and we can tell people what we want to do
Bob decides to interject
Bob: Hey guys, we all sit in the same room. Just come over and tell me when you got that task ready and I can get straight on it. Better still lets chat when you start work on it as I’d like to do some exploratory testing first as well.
This is a true story and a good one to point out as I find more and more tools come into the Agile arena with increasing complexity in what they can do. They really are good and can help projects out tremendously. We need to be careful though as these tools won’t make us into agile teams if we start letting them drive our processes, we need to keep the agile manifesto in mind and remember communication is king here. Scrum is a great framework but we need to remember what it is and it isn’t a set of tools.
Familiarise yourself with the manifesto here Agile Manifesto
Its good to talk, talk more, tell team mates what you’re doing, what you plan on doing. You don’t need to wait for a daily scrum to update each other either. If you have an impediment are you really going to wait for the daily scrum the next day?