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Scrum/Agile Now Used To Manage Non-Tech Projects 136

Posted by samzenpus
from the best-practices dept.
jfruh writes "Agile and, in particular, Scrum, have been popular project management methods for software development for more than a decade, and now its use is spreading well beyond software. For example, NPR is using Agile for faster, cheaper development of new radio programs. 'I was looking for some inspiration and found it one floor up inside our building (where Digital Media sits),' says NPR vice president of programming Eric Nuzum. NPR has used this 'Agile-inspired' approach to create several new programs, including TED Radio Hour, Ask Me Another, and Cabinet of Wonders."
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Scrum/Agile Now Used To Manage Non-Tech Projects

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  • Is understanding the difference between an estimate, and vision on a problem.
  • by TheLink (130905) on Friday August 10, 2012 @02:33AM (#40942535) Journal
    So how does this sort of stuff work in the architecture field?

    e.g. say you have a team of people designing a new large building with an innovative design.
    • Re:Architecture (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 10, 2012 @03:26AM (#40942823)

      The fundamental idea of Agile is that you do things incrementally, see how they work and then fix the problems afterwards. This is based on the (definitely somewhat valid) claim that it's easy to change software after the fact but difficult to know in advance what the best solution to a problem is. Moreover, the idea is that you can properly test a piece of software to see that it does more or less the right thing before using it. Basically it's saying that the hardest part of software is the design and it may be worth trying different ones and throwing them away as they fail in order to be sure that the design is sound.

      Architecture is different. It's very difficult to change a building after you have poured the concrete. If you try building a concrete building without incuding steel to see if it works and then it falls down with people in it then that will not be acceptable.

      In other words; the consequence of applying true agile methodologies to Architecture is likely to be well deserved jail time.

      • I think it can work if we only apply it to the process of designing the building i.e. getting constant feedback from the customer, instead of going out once and writing a full specification based on that. But maybe architects already do that.

      • by 91degrees (207121)
        Architecture is different. It's very difficult to change a building after you have poured the concrete. If you try building a concrete building without incuding steel to see if it works and then it falls down with people in it then that will not be acceptable.

        But neither of those are architecture. Pouring concrete is building. Whether or not you use steel is structural engineering. Architecture is about the design of a building. What it looks like, how it's laid out.
        • by Shinobi (19308)

          At least here in Sweden, an Architect has to know at least some fundamentals of materials/structural engineering etc to be certified as an architect, it's not just about artistry.

      • by hakey (1227664)
        Pouring of concrete is analogous to software going to golden master. The architecture design effort that agile would apply to is everything that leads up to that point. Also architecture isn't just about making buildings that don't fall down, not every defect leads to jail time, some defects just mean the building isn't as nice as the client hoped for.
      • Agile can work very well in architecture - it simply has to be private, small-scale architecture, on the scale of a house or on a neighborhood layout level. Check out the work of Christopher Alexander (who invented the concept of the pattern language, from which software patterns were derived). His early work emphasized organic growth of architecture over large-scale planning, use of local materials, and energy-efficient designs.

    • by Xest (935314)

      It'd probably work fine for the design phase, where you can make progressive changes, but obviously not for the whole project. If you use it for design, and then pass it over to engineering to ensure it's actually a structurally sound solution, say, at the end of each sprint, then you could probably benefit. Just make sure that you end the Agile portion of the project and check one last time that it's structurally sound before you pass it off to the builders.

      • by mcclurg (2705389)
        With the advancements in modeling, especially BIM, a team could look at the completed design and associated model as the product. These models are now getting advanced enough that the client could provide constructive feedback after using the model. With the current waterfall method, there is very little scope to feed back these issues to the design team, as they will move on to the next project immediately after handover. Or even better, the architects don't just throw the building over the wall to the st
    • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Friday August 10, 2012 @07:29AM (#40944095)

      So how does this sort of stuff work in the architecture field? e.g. say you have a team of people designing a new large building with an innovative design.

      It works pretty well [cactuschristian.org], thank you.

    • What's old is new again, just with a different name. We were using what is now being referenced as Agile and Scrum techniques in the creative world (1990s architecture and art curriculum) long before the CS geeks discovered them and renamed them to try and make them new and exciting. We just called it "the way you get things done when designing for someone else." I have been applying those problem solving techniques in everything I do for years, since deciding architect was not the career for me after getti
  • What if... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MonoSynth (323007) on Friday August 10, 2012 @02:36AM (#40942551) Homepage

    What if Agile is better suited for other tasks than software development? I think Agile is an elegant way of approaching some kinds of creativity, but it just doesn't seem to work for most aspects of software-development.

    Making radio shows is more of an iterative kind of creativity with lots of loosely-coupled ingredients where throwing away an item and replacing it with another won't destroy the whole format, so you can start off with a format, broadcast it, and add/remove items as you go.

    Software is completely different. You create it once and after the first release you have to support it for eternity. Every new addition adds another layer of complexity, you can't just remove a feature without breaking other things or add a feature without duplicating functionality. For every iteration you'll need an overview and a deep knowledge of the whole system.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RD_Sid (2705019)
      I think Agile is more of a "getting things done" sort of a methodology. It doesn't care what you're developing or how stable the thing will be. It just forces you to create and manage something which can't be created through a static set of rules. For e.g. you don't need Agile to assemble a car, it's all taken care of by machines. But you can apply Agile to the unprectictable areas, be it S/w, management, research etc.
      • by fatphil (181876)
        Having had the misfortune of witnessing many different methodologies (a word that I hate - it's a nonsense word when used in that context, it is not a study of methods, it is merely a method), and a wide range of teams with varying experience, I think that Agile does have its uses. It's good for making sure that sloppy non-self-motivated people keep making progress. There's nothing software-engineering-specific in that, it would work just as well in a many contexts (such as producing a textbook with many au
    • by bondsbw (888959)

      Responding to change is one of the major tenets of agile development. That flexibility comes in part from good design and thorough automated testing, as well as close collaboration with the customer and users.

      Ideally in agile development, each iteration will create a new build of the software. If your development doesn't stop, maintenance is just a continuing set of iterations past whatever build you call "version 1.0".

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by under_score (65824)

      I teach and coach teams on how to adopt Agile for their work. I have a computer science degree and worked as a software developer and architect for several years... using Agile methods. I no longer do lots of hands on work, but I mention all this to help you understand that what I am saying is based on experience, not theory.

      Scrum is one Agile method. It is good for creating high-performance product development teams. Unfortunately, it cannot succeed without some additional things: you _must_ also use t

      • Re:What if... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Instine (963303) on Friday August 10, 2012 @05:34AM (#40943557)
        I no longer consider any manager to be 'professional' if they get so dogmatic and process obsessed that they underline the word 'must' before asserting the need for a given practice or methodology. What you describe here is a soulless, creativity sapping mess of ass covering. It will not make better software, but simply reduce the attack surface of you in the boardroom/excecs' meetings (I've been dev, lead dev, Arch, Lead Arch of 30 devs, CTO and owner - if that makes any difference). It helps justify larger teams. It helps eat precious time. It helps track nonsense constructs, such as 'velocity' (please - as a physicist this term misuse makes me want to commit violence - what are the units of a scrum's velocity exactly?). It helps do many things, but not make better software more productively.
        • Since this seems to be addressed to me, but is arguing about something I didn't say, I'm not sure how to reply... can you clarify please where I unconditionally asserted "the need for a given practice or methodology"? Or perhaps alternatively, can you point out how what I have described "is a soulless, creativity sapping mess of ass covering."?

          • by rmstar (114746)

            I'm not sure how to reply... can you clarify please where I unconditionally asserted "the need for a given practice or methodology"?

            I can help here. You wrote:

            In my practice with software teams, I no longer think of developers as professional if they fail to use these practices. They are hackers in the most pejorative sense of the word. Think of a surgeon. If a surgeon fails to wash her hands before operating, she is failing as a professional. These agile engineering practices are like surgeons washing their hands.

            That's rather strong, isn't it?

            • Yes, it is strong. Do you disagree with my statement about surgeons? Assuming you do not, then think about it from my perspective: I've worked on several large-scale mission-critical software systems where I personally used most of the practices I listed. I have also seen others use these practices to the same degree. In every case, the results have been clear: zero-defect software is possible and can be done _faster_ than "normal" development. By "zero-defect" I mean that the handoff from development

        • Re:What if... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by todrules (882424) on Friday August 10, 2012 @07:14AM (#40944041) Journal

          So true. The biggest proponents of Scrum/Agile are the "instructors." It's just propaganda to make you think that Scrum really works. While it might look great to the MBAs and other execs, it just doesn't work in the real world, at least at any company that has a budget and wants to actually make a profit. I'm sure it would work beautifully on side projects, non-profit projects, etc... where you're not concerned about money, though.

          Oh yeah, and a case in point on the GP's propaganda:

          I no longer think of developers as professional if they fail to use these practices.

          So, he resorts to telling programmers, basically, that they're not professional if they don't use Scrum. Trying to appeal to that person's guilt and shame. Sorry, but I don't fall for these "shame" tactics. Just a tactless, tasteless ploy to try and lure people to Scrum.

          • Actually, what I stated is that if you are using Scrum, you must also use the Agile Engineering practices to be successful and if you are not, then I do not consider you to be a professional developer.

            If you aren't using Scrum, then I have no opinion about your engineering practices or your professionalism. I suspect that the engineering practices are valuable outside of a Scrum environment, but I don't have enough experience with non-Agile environments to be able to comment with any degree of certainty.

        • I get it... (Score:4, Informative)

          by gosand (234100) on Friday August 10, 2012 @10:20AM (#40945579)

          I understand what he meant by that, and I don't think it is as bad as it reads. I think he just meant that those things are the key components, they are just part of the process, if you want to do it right.

          I spent the last 3 years managing a testing teams on an Agile project. And it was at a very very large company that is most certainly concerned with money. What I saw Agile do was amazing... and yet, we had to compromise it somewhat. We didn't do pair programming. Our TDD wasn't as good as it could have been. We faced challenges with it, but we had contraints that we had to deal with, especially after our first release. But I will say that the quality and volume of what we put out was far and above anything else around us.

          IMO, Agile isn't for every software project, and there are some that I think it simply just wouldn't work for... but it is very very useful when it fits. BUT - you have to really adopt it. It really is a team effort, and if it's not, or if you ignore or sabotage some of the key components of it, you will fail. To one of your points, calling velocity a "nonsense construct" tells me immediately that you've never done Agile, at least not successfully. I'll take a moment to explain....

          You actually aren't far off... it kind of is a nonsense construct. What?! Yeah. It is a unit of effort. Here is how we did it. Each story is written to describe the functionality desired. It should follow good story principles of INVEST (look it up). Once you have that, the development and test team review it, and quickly put an estimate on it. We used a point scale. 1,2,4,8,16,32. You have to pick one of those values, there is no 12 for example. This forces a decision on it. If you had a 1 to 10 scale, there's really no differentiating factor between a 7 and an 8. You get the idea.

          So what we did was the dev team came up with their estimate for each story, and test did the same. Then the story was assigned the larger of the two numbers. Since you have to dev and test it during the iteration, larger number wins. Then as a team you commit to X number of points for an iteration (we used 2 weeks). At the end of the iteration, whatever stories are accepted as delivered are counted up, and that is your velocity for the iteration. The NEXT iteration, you can only commit to doing that number or less. You can certainly deliver more, but you can only commit up to that. Over time, your velocity will fluctuate, and then STABILIZE. That is the point where you know as a team how many points you can deliver in a 2 week period, in theory indefinitely. Now some people want to know how accurate your estimates were - i.e. we said this story was 16 points.. how many was it actually? Don't do that. That is exactly why we didn't use hours. It's irrelevant. What is relevant is how many points you delivered. By making the points a non-quantifiable number you can't do that. It let's you focus on what is really important, and that is determining the team's sustainable velocity.

          It is a foreign concept. But we did it for 3 years. Actually the project is still going, I just left and took on a different positon in the company. Yeah, we had challenges, funding and otherwise, but we were able to deal with them. We had to cut about 1/2 our team at one point, and our velocity suffered. But we got to the point where when we said we could deliver something by a certain date, we could. I really don't see that very often, and it wasn't the case with all of the projects around us struggling with Waterfall. Again, it's not a panacea, but it can work and to discount something just because you don't understand it or have never actually done it is foolish.

        • by Josuah (26407)

          I no longer consider any manager to be 'professional' if they get so dogmatic and process obsessed that they underline the word 'must' before asserting the need for a given practice or methodology.

          Well, your opinion would be in direct opposition to the processes employed by NASA to reach insanely high code quality. I found an article from 1996: The Write the Right Stuff [fastcompany.com]. Although they do agree creativity is stifled, it does indeed result in better software.

          And I, as a professional programmer, think there are certain _must_ practices. If you fail to do these things, you aren't doing a good job and you aren't acting as a professional (e.g. documentation, source code management, testing). For small triv

      • by Anonymous Coward

        At my (successful, multinational and rapidly growing) company we usually don't do pair programming, but every check-in has to be reviewed and approved by another developer. This works well, everyone has to do their bit and any sub-optimal code gets kicked back to be rewritten. Fear of looking like a code monkey tends to ensure people do it right the first time anyway. Generally any "did you think of X" insights from another developer's perspective come within 15 minutes of reading the case notes and your ch

      • by fatphil (181876)
        > I no longer think of developers as professional if they fail to use these practices.

        So anyone who doesn't use pair programming is not being professional? It's unusual to hear tosh as unadulterated as that. Pair programming is useful only if you're employing newbs, idiots, or people otherwise unfit for the role you've given them.

        Don't get me wrong, I consider multiple eyes essential. Quite the opposite. However, that kicks in during a process called "review", not "editing".
        • > I no longer think of developers as professional if they fail to use these practices.

          So anyone who doesn't use pair programming is not being professional?

          No: if you are using Scrum and if you are not using the complete set of Agile Engineering practices, then you are not being professional. Sorry if the context wasn't completely clear.

          • by fatphil (181876)
            So if a bunch of wannabe-academics come up with a new methodology called the "Scrum-but-without-pair-programming" methodology, which contains everything from scrum except pair programming, and people buy into that, then even if they follow it rigorously, those followers wouldn't be "professional".

            All I see there is religion. Only your way is the right way, just replace "professional" with "saved".
      • by bertok (226922)

        They are hackers in the most pejorative sense of the word. Think of a surgeon. If a surgeon fails to wash her hands before operating, she is failing as a professional. These agile engineering practices are like surgeons washing their hands.

        Washing of hands is based on the scientific germ theory, which is backed by mountains of evidence.

        Every buzzword you just listed is a mere whim. A preference. A particular style that works for some teams, and not others, mostly for mysterious and unknown reasons.

        What you just said basically amounts to some priest admonishing a fellow man of the cloth for not properly anointing the bust of Christ with scented oil. He's doing it wrong, doesn't he know?

        I've seen these software development fads come and go, and

        • I had a lot of trouble learning to do TDD well because for a long time I confused it with unit testing. They are related, and complementary, but separate disciplines, and it is best not to confuse them. The way I approach TDD right now is to try to gather testable (though not necessarily complete) requirements, write tests to verify them, design smaller components that will implement these requirements, write the tests and then implementation, and continue to divide the problem into smaller pieces until t
        • Washing of hands is based on the scientific germ theory, which is backed by mountains of evidence.

          You are right. I used an analogy. Although I can't claim that there is a scientific germ theory equivalent for the practices I listed, I can claim that I have mountains of evidence based on my own practice, the practice of my peers, and the converse, but the consequences of the lack of practice. At a broad level, this can be seen in the Standish Group's "Chaos Report" (e.g. from 2008) where Agile projects are more successful than all types of non-agile projects to a degree that has both business and stat

          • by bertok (226922)

            I can't claim that there is a scientific germ theory equivalent for the practices I listed...

            I could skip replying to the rest of your comment, because you admitted my point, but you seem to have misunderstood my finer points, so I may as well...

            First off, I understand TDD and I know the difference between TDD and Unit Testing. I love refactoring, and when IntelliJ IDEA was first released, I thought it was like the light of God shining down from heaven upon me. I've done pair programming. I get it. What I'm saying is that none of those can or should be applied without knowing when to apply them, wh

        • There was a study done at NCSU by Laurie Williams [agilesweden.com]. It showed that pair programming decreased errors, but took more overall effort to achieve similar functionality. Did the additional effort due to pairing work better than, say, additional effort put into code reviews? Who knows. It's very hard to compare these things. And that's the best study out there on the topic of pairing.

          In reality, you're right - it's all pretty much snake oil. In the end, it's not process that saves your ass - it's the people on the

      • by Kjella (173770)

        Probably the most important, and the least understood is refactoring. Refactoring is defined, in agile methods, as changing the design of the system without changing its function. There are different types of refactoring: UI refactoring (e.g. radio buttons to drop-down selection list), code refactoring (e.g. pulling a method from a subclass into its parent class) and database refactoring (e.g. splitting a table into two or more tables along columns). Refactoring can be done on its own, but it is much better to do it with the other practices, particularly TDD and Pair Programming. Refactoring is essential for maintaining internal quality of a system in the face of constant change (which normally results in ever-increasing amounts of cruft and technical debt).

        Oh it's perfectly understood, but there's two issues:
        1) It's never executed perfectly. There's always going to be some code that rely on some crazy behavior or some corner case that isn't documented by any test case and functionality will cease to work. The fact that you can go back and blame someone else for writing the shitty code and/or not making a test case doesn't change the fact that the code failed now, during your refactoring. That's what everybody who isn't reading the code will see, the customers

    • I was thinking exactly the opposite - It seems to me that certain types of creative tasks simply do not lend themselves to lots of iteration and refinement... Writing, for example, tends to get worse the more people mess with it. I'm guessing that movie scripts are the same. Obviously there's room for improvement on most kinds of projects, but I just don't see how you do iteration on writing a story or building a jet engine... at least not iteration in the sense of progressive refinement and adding feat

  • FWIW, OpenAgile [openagile.com] was designed for non-software agile use including management, sales, marketing, operations, etc. and there are some very interesting uses out there. I'm on the board of directors for the OpenAgile Center for Learning so I'm a bit biased, but I strongly recommend this approach to any organization or team that wishes to improve effectiveness. I think it's very exciting that Agile is spreading beyond software, but there are also many challenges. In particular, Scrum is really best for new pr

  • by __Paul__ (1570) on Friday August 10, 2012 @03:06AM (#40942697) Homepage

    ...more Cult of Management techniques being inflicted on the world.

    • I do not use it as a management tool, rather, I use it more as a "patchwork" tool to facilitate easing of the workflow
       

    • by Sulphur (1548251)

      ...more Cult of Management techniques being inflicted on the world.

      Managementology?

    • What do you expect? We're minting MBAs at a higher rate than ever. Those people need to go do something to prove that middle management is value added.

  • by jools33 (252092) on Friday August 10, 2012 @03:26AM (#40942829)

    I first heard of Scrum from my wifes hospital ward - where they were using the technique to manage the activities of their staff. This made me curious as to its origins and it turns out it was first and foremost a product development methodology. So its not that Scrum is spreading from its software origins - it never originated in software in the first place. [wikipedia.org]

    • True enough... and often forgotten by organization that are adopting Scrum. Scrum is by far at its best when it is used for product development (software or otherwise) and if it is used in other situations (e.g. IT projects, operations, etc.) it needs to either be modified or its results won't be very impressive.

    • Neither is what is labeled Agile. Those techniques I learned in architecture school in the early 1990s. We just learned those techniques as how you get things done when designing for other people. No slick name for them. I suspect those techniques had been taught to architects (at the school I went to, anyway) for decades before I got there. Honestly, when I first heard of Agile software development a few years ago I looked it up and went, "Huh, those guidelines are the same 'common-sense' things they taugh
      • by biodata (1981610)
        This. We were doing this stuff in software development in the 90s as well (large consultancy firms). Agile is just some marketing name for one way of doing things.
    • by Xest (935314)

      Yes, the NHS in the UK has used it for a number of projects for many years.

  • Creativity Killer (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mnt (1796310) on Friday August 10, 2012 @06:43AM (#40943899)
    Working in the game industry i found that creativity was heavily hampered by scrum, even after doing several adjustments to the process.
    • by asr_br (143523)

      Working in the game industry i found that creativity was heavily hampered by scrum, even after doing several adjustments to the process.

      I have a totally different experience (I was working in the mobile phone business, which is kind of similar to the game industry you mention). I worked for two major mobile phone companies "doing scrum" from 2006 to 2011. It took me years to finally see the beauty of scrum really working in my team, and then I realized one important thing:

      You can't do agile unless you really want to do agile and make an honest effort to do it "by the book". You can't make compromises and expect it to be "magical". You start

  • Agile methods like Scrum and Kanban didn't even start in the software development field. They've been used in manufacturing for longer.

  • by nickmdf (216307) <nickmdf@gmail.com> on Friday August 10, 2012 @08:01AM (#40944253) Homepage

    ... especially when non-technical people are in charge of this process. One can't map short term deliverables properly to a creative process.

  • The idea that you can mitigate the effects of changes to requirements by re-prioritizing features to meet a fixed deadline is a MYTH. I would claim it an epic lie.

    You see, most companies have these people in a field called "Sales" and "Customers". People in "Sales" speak with "Customers". "Customers" ask for features, "Sales" promises those features, the product is often sold before the product is released and a release date gets fixed in the future. Code monkeys then have to add the features to the pro

  • by pauljlucas (529435) on Friday August 10, 2012 @09:53AM (#40945223) Homepage Journal
    ... with Agile is the "Daily Stand-up." I don't care what anybody else is doing on a daily basis. Actually, for most people, I don't care what they're doing -- ever. All I care about is that people I work with (1) answer e-mail in a timely manner and (2) if I depend on their work, that they'll have it done when they say they will. (If they're going to miss a dead-line, only then do they need to bring it to my attention.)

    What some other set of people whose work I don't depend on is doing in no way helps me do my job. I'm paid to do my job, not concern myself with everybody else's job.
    • by Quazion (237706)

      The "Daily Stand-up" is a way to monitor the sprints progress and adjust the sprint accordingly to make sure the sprint goal is met at the end of the sprint. If someone is stuck on a task for a day, maybe he needs help. Also its harder to hide and do nothing for a week, telling the same bullshit story everyday gets old very quick. Agile is about team work and team's need to know what everyone is doing to meet a team goal.

      From your comment I read you are a loner, you don't care what others are doing, you don

      • If you want to monitor the sprint's progress, have people send status update e-mail to the project leader or have the project leader go around go around and ask people individually. S/he's the only one who should care. There's no reason to force everybody into a room at the same time even if it's only for 15 minutes.

        If someone's stuck and needs help, let him ask for help. If you have people on your team who hide and do nothing for a week, you should fire them.

        As for meeting a team goal, if I agree to
        • by Quazion (237706)

          If you want to monitor the sprint's progress, have people send status update e-mail to the project leader or have the project leader go around go around and ask people individually. S/he's the only one who should care. There's no reason to force everybody into a room at the same time even if it's only for 15 minutes.

          E-mail? Whaaa, help! You mean everyone CCing me more bullshit. Not more e-mail, please! E-mail is really the biggest productivity killer ever, or is it PowerPoint?

          If someone's stuck and needs help, let him ask for help. If you have people on your team who hide and do nothing for a week, you should fire them.

          If life was only that simple. Often people are too proud to ask for help, they think they can find the solution themselves even if it takes them some more days.
          Of course you fire the lazy fucks, but sometimes its hard to spot that some is not really productive, certainly if management has no clue what developers are doing.
          I saw many small companie

          • E-mail? Whaaa, help! You mean everyone CCing me more bullshit. Not more e-mail, please!

            You need to read more carefully. I wrote, "... have people send status update e-mail to the project leader ..." I never said anything about sending e-mail to everybody on the team, via Cc or otherwise.

            FYI: My current project does weekly progress updates by e-mail (to the whole group, contrary to my suggestion). I filter all such e-mail since I couldn't care less.

            • by Quazion (237706)

              I understood clearly, just wanted to illustrate why I don't like e-mail and why I do like short face-to-face updates.
              Also just because you can't derive all the context you need from a text message as we noticed in this short comment conversation.

              But I guess you couldn't care less. ;-) have nice weekend.

    • That's funny, I have always been curious about what everyone is doing, even operations and sales. I have found this knowledge extremely helpful for both my projects and my career.

      • I have always been curious about what everyone is doing, even operations and sales. I have found this knowledge extremely helpful for both my projects and my career.

        In general, what problem(s), other than satisfying your curiosity, does having such knowledge solve? Please give concrete examples how such knowledge has actually helped you do your job or advance your career.

        • Well for one, I always know what is coming down the pipe so I could get my team and I on the juiciest projects and avoid the loser/death-march projects. I would also get called to do prototypes and demos so upper management became familiar with me, so it was easy to ask for large pay increases.

          Exposure to OPS has increased my ability to troubleshoot environment issues.

          • Knowing what coming down the pipe doesn't sound like the kind of information you get at Daily Stand-ups. Daily Stand-ups should only be about what everyone is currently doing, not what management has decided for the near-term future.

            As for doing prototypes: if you're a good developer, your boss will know it and call on your for special tasks. Your boss should be your champion. (More generically, a boss should be the champion of everyone under him/her.) If your boss isn't your champion, you need a new bos
            • You have a good view of how things should happen but that is not how the usually occur, at least from my POV.
              I am sure there are other successful outlooks that work too this is just my personal experience.

  • After working at several companies that use Agile/Scrum, my experience has been that Agile is a great way to stuff a company's ranks with non-contributors.
  • Agile/Scrum is nothing new in other industries. I work in the engineering consulting business. We often have teams of 100+ engineers from multiple disciplines working on one project. When my programmer buddies explained what scrum was, it was very similar to the methods we use to run projects.

APL is a write-only language. I can write programs in APL, but I can't read any of them. -- Roy Keir

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