Thursday, January 13, 2005


by Asim Jalis

I was reading Jeff Sutherland's notes on SCRUM: Here is a link. This is a really good slide deck. SCRUM seems to leverage these psychological principles a lot more than XP. XP does this also, but SCRUM appears to be built on them. For example, he recommends insane and unachievable goals. Here is an excerpt from slide 28: > Project team is offered extremely challenging goals with wide > measure of freedom. > > Example: Fuji-Xerox gave FX-3500 project team two years to come > up with a copier that cut costs in half. > > Top management creates an element of tension in the project > team through challenging requirements with wide freedom to > achieve strategic objective. > > Honda Executive: It's like putting the team members on the > second floor, removing the ladder, and telling them to jump or > else. I believe creativity is born by pushing people against > the wall and pressuring them almost to the extreme. This is markedly different from XP. In XP you use yesterday's weather, which is guaranteed to be a nearly achievable goal. And then over time (and I have seen this on several teams, so I am convinced this is the result of the system, not of the moral failing of individuals on a team), over time the estimates get inflated. Yesterday's weather rewards mediocrity and not pushing oneself. The incentives are all built into the system.