Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Timeby Jeff Sutherland Published 30 Sep 2014
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We live in a world that is broken. For those who believe that there must be a more efficient way for people to get things done, here from Scrum pioneer Jeff Sutherland is a brilliantly discursive, thought-provoking book about the management process that is changing the way we live.
In the future, historians may look back on human progress and draw a sharp line designating “before Scrum” and “after Scrum.” Scrum is that ground-breaking. It already drives most of the world’s top technology companies. And now it’s starting to spread to every domain where people wrestle with complex projects.
If you’ve ever been startled by how fast the world is changing, Scrum is one of the reasons why. Productivity gains of as much as 1200% have been recorded, and there’s no more lucid – or compelling – explainer of Scrum and its bright promise than Jeff Sutherland, the man who put together the first Scrum team more than twenty years ago.
The thorny problem Jeff began tackling back then boils down to this: people are spectacularly bad at doing things quickly and efficiently. Best laid plans go up in smoke. Teams often work at cross purposes to each other. And when the pressure rises, unhappiness soars. Drawing on his experience as a West Point-educated fighter pilot, biometrics expert, early innovator of ATM technology, and V.P. of engineering or CTO at eleven different technology companies, Jeff began challenging those dysfunctional realities, looking for solutions that would have global impact.
In this book you’ll journey to Scrum’s front lines where Jeff’s system of deep accountability, team interaction, and constant iterative improvement is, among other feats, bringing the FBI into the 21st century, perfecting the design of an affordable 140 mile per hour/100 mile per gallon car, helping NPR report fast-moving action in the Middle East, changing the way pharmacists interact with patients, reducing poverty in the Third World, and even helping people plan their weddings and accomplish weekend chores.
Woven with insights from martial arts, judicial decision making, advanced aerial combat, robotics, and many other disciplines, Scrum is consistently riveting. But the most important reason to read this book is that it may just help you achieve what others consider unachievable – whether it be inventing a trailblazing technology, devising a new system of education, pioneering a way to feed the hungry, or, closer to home, a building a foundation for your family to thrive and prosper.
"Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time" Reviews
After Ken Schwaber and I wrote "Software in 30 Days" I felt we didn't have enough stories about Scrum outside of software development. This book is for the general business reader in any domain. It also tells the personal story of how my 11 years as a fighter pilot and another 11 years as a medical school professor affected the development of Scrum and the writing of the Agile Manifesto.
Once I got over the extremely self-aggrandizing tone of the author, I found some of the points quite useful. Basically this is a way of operationalizing the 80/20 rule. Here are the things I took away from it:
1. Good team size. 4-6 is optimal, 20 is way too many.
2. Multitasking is a myth - people who think they’re good at it, actually are the worst. The truth is people are serial processing, not parallel, and it takes the brain longer to switch gears so all you’re doing is slowing yourself down.
3. Prioritize based on how much the action will affect your goal (whether that goal is $ or something else)
4. Don’t be a D*ck: Managers need to have zero tolerance for incivility, disrespect, or abuse in the workplace – it actually sucks energy and makes everyone ineffective
5. Don’t waste your time looking for Evil People, look instead for Evil Systems
6. Construct your to do list as follows: To Do, Doing and Done
7. Don’t create Master Plans. Create Micro plans which you can do in time-limited sprints and then iterate.
Things I found a bit weird
- Given that what we’re essentially talking about are “human systems” and anything human, by definition, is messy and non-standard, I find it hard to believe that this method applies to EVERY BUSINESS EVER. This is what the author seems to suggest (and modestly, he also suggests that if it didn’t work for a business they weren’t doing it right). Hmmm…
- The author also fails to mention any examples of where scrum failed even when applied “properly” – I would have liked a few real world examples to have been less “awesome” and go through what the iteration and tweaking process looks like while a company or organization is veering off the path
- The author also fails to talk about the negative aspects of scrum – destabilizing to have plans change so often, difficult to redeploy assets to the right place. It would have made for a much more fair read to get the negative along with the positive so that leaders can make a fully informed decision when they choose to adopt scrum.
If you are interested in the historical context of scrum and want to read "around and about" it, this looks like a good book for you. But if you want to learn scrum this is not the book for you.
Я вирішив прочитати цю книгу, щоб точно розібратися в методології, по якій вже кілька років працюю. До того усі знання були часткові і не цілісні.
Книга написана людиною, яка створила дану методологію, вона базується на японській філософії «кайдзен». Речі які я виніс цікаві для себе:
- в спрінт не докидаються таски коли він вже почався
- скрам команда в більшості саморганізована, продакт-оунер грає роль більше напряляючу
- метологія розкриває себе в малих командах, в які працюють люди які розуміють, що в співпраці їхня сила
- власне одна із задач скраму посилити співпрацю
- виявляється основна задача скрам-мастера — забирати перешкоди в роботі команди, робити так, щоб команда працювала ефективно, без простоїв
- ретроспективи мають не меті робити людей щасливими, а не поливати один одного гівном(!)
- скрам-методологію можна успішно використовувати, як в НГО так і навчанні
The book is basic for someone who already studies and practices Agile Methodologies for a long time. But the book deserves five stars because goes on the Why of Scrum, Why Scrum works and how it is adapted to the new realities of work in the 21st century.
Some of the interesting topics: The origins of Scrum, Team principles, Waste management, The importance of priorities and time management and how this fits with 'estimation' and how to begin implementing Scrum in your team or org.
So it's strongly recommended to beginner and intermediate users of Scrum. The book already have a Portuguese translation.
This isn't a guide to Scrum per-se. Which is probably good, since there are lots of guides to scrum at the practices at varying levels of details. What this book does is talk help you understand the value of scrum through stories. There is an appendix of scrum practices at the end. The book is full of war stories (both literally and figuratively), and Sutherland is clearly proud of how he, his family, and organizations he has worked with, have applied scrum. Reading this book will help energize you to use Scrum to help your team succeed. This is not the only book on Scum you need. But if you want motivation to explore more about Scrum, or if you have been practicing Scrum for a while and are looking for inspiration, give this book a read.