The Case of the Recalcitrant Customer

Over on the ScrumDevelopment yahoo group, a ScrumMaster reported problems getting the Product Owner fully involved in the development process. Part of the problem is that the Product Owner isn’t co-located with the development team. The physical distance will certainly make participation more difficult, and less sure. That’s something to work on.

The Product Owner is not following the “rules” of Scrum, and this is frustrating the ScrumMaster. He’s likely right that playing the game by the rules will benefit everyone. He asks for advice on how to handle the situation. (Continued)

Just one of those things

I’ve been neglecting this blog, lately, partly because I’ve been busy working on a software development process assessment for a client. In doing this, one of the meetings I observed was a post mortem of a release failure. The developers involved noted that they’d seen some connection drops by the webserver on the integration environment. The developers, however, didn’t trust that the integration environment adequately represented the production environment. They’d seen a similar problem some months prior, and didn’t know if anyone had fixed it. Therefore they didn’t know whether these problems were the result of the code they were deploying, or, as one developer put it, “just one of those things.” (Continued)

Bearing in mind that there are many factors of which I am unaware.

Last week I was corresponding with Esther Derby on the use of the Prime Directive in retrospectives, and how some people express difficulty in accepting it. She followed up that discussion with an excellent post on the topic, where she lists many reasons why someone may be doing their best under the circumstances, though not doing their peak work. When I saw that, I shelved the article I’d been writing on the topic. It’s remained on my mind, however, and I still have a bit to say about it.

Regardless of what we discover, we understand and truly believe that everyone did the best job they could, given what they knew at the time, their skills and abilities, the resources available, and the situation at hand.

— Norm Kerth, Project Retrospectives: A Handbook for Team Reviews