Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Some stuff going on in Finland

I decided to participate on arranging an agile conference here in Finland (in name of Agile Finland). I am trying to contribute on getting the expert track sorted together with Markus. More information will follow as we move forward.

As part of the arrangements we had short get-together with Markus and talked a hour about the conference, half hour extra time about our experiences about agile. It was nice to share the buzz and the pain - common challenge seemed to be getting QA involved to iterations (Sprints in Scrum). Far too many companies do not have practices and especially the culture in place to make cross-functionality to happen. For instance I gave an example of a Scrum team that asked me to join their daily stand-up to help them to see what exactly is blocking them to get stuff out.

I went to their scrum board to see what's wrong and it hit me hard: they had columns "not started", "in progress", "QA" and finally "done". Guess which column had most of the stuff pending (yeah, they had pushed the stuff till QA column..)? :) Anyway, I asked the team that why the QA has so much stuff and why they do not get one thing done before moving to the next. The answer was blunt: "Well, we are waiting to tester to get it done and meanwhile try to get our stuff done"... I asked "so from your point of view the tester is solely responsible to get stuff into the last column that states 'done'?" ... after faint "yeah... sort of" they realized the problem. In few minutes the ScrumMaster was explaining how team is committed together instead individual commitments and I left the room. Sometimes people miss the message from information radiator - no matter how strong the signal is.

Oh, and if you are about to join Agile Dinner, do not hesitate to poke me; I want to hear your story :)