1. Yes, we do Scrum, and although it has its good points I definitely recognized the pitfalls described in that article (minus the game-development-specific parts). Especially number 7, about how Scrum done badly can actually cause good developers to become less pro-active than they would normally be.

    What I like about Scrum is that it makes very visible exactly where your time goes, and that it gets the whole team involved in the project scheduling activities. So if you regularly find yourself in a “we’re two months behind schedule and we have no idea where all that time went” situation, then Scrum may be just what you need.

    On the other hand, for a supposedly “agile” process it can easily become rather heavyweight, and some of the practices it proscribes can easily become an end in themselves without a clear benefit to the project. So if you have a good team which is already highly productive and meeting its targets, even if they don’t use any kind of formal methodology, then there’s a lot to be said for the old wisdom of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

    Martin Wolf

  2. Good to see you around Martin! As far as I can see right now, Scrum still tells you very little on WHAT to do but more on how to organize things. I can’t help but think that still a lot of time is lost by people doing things that are just not adding value to the product (or worse, are breaking the product). I am not blaming Scrum, I am just pointing out that IMHO Scrum is NOT a software development methodology but just a project management methodology. So you need more than just Scrum.


  3. “IMHO Scrum is NOT a software development methodology but just a project management methodology.”

    Certainly true, which is why the real agile aficionados often combine XP with Scrum.

    Now, if you are building a large but straightforward system, such as your typical administrative web application, on top of an existing architecture framework, then you may not actually need a lot of methodology beyond task scheduling. For such a system Scrum may be very well-suited. However, if you have difficult data modeling problems to solve which require careful design up-front, then Scrum by itself will not offer you any tools to deal with that, and the emphasis on having a “potentially shippable” product at the end of each sprint may encourage design choices which will bite you in the long term. I’m not saying that Scrum *will* cause those problems, but they are certainly pitfalls to be aware of.

    By the way, what did your blogging system do with my newlines? Does Microsoft hate paragraphs?

    Martin Wolf

  4. This site eating newlines has nothing to do with Microsoft’s hate of paragraphs. In fact, I think they like them too much. But that is a different story. It’s just the Community Server software that doesn’t like newlines (or rather, doesn’t process newlines into breaks or paragraphs)


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