Friday, July 6, 2007

Why We Scrum

I read an article today complaining that scrum was just another useless meeting and that the time would be put to better use speaking to the other developers about design issues one on one. I tend to disagree.
At a previous company, during our waterfall days, product managers tended throw requirements over the wall as they were busy. As a tester, I often found large discrepancies between my interpretation of the requirements and what the developer had coded into the product. On occasion I had to strong-arm developers into the product manager's office so we could come to a common understanding of a feature.
We had product development offices in Boston and Vancouver, so often the product manager, tester and developer were not co-located and had never met.
Scrum helped alot. When daily scrum meetings started up, we met our cross-department distributed team (face-to-face or over phone/video conference) and had a daily opportunity to discuss all the little questions and blockages that come up as you code and test. We came to a common understanding daily, and if we got astray from the feature vision the next day, it was still recoverable.
In conclusion, scrum breaks down the barrier of departments and lack of co-location, and gets a team communicating and collaborating. Cause many brains really are better than one.

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