I have been working in Scrum teams for quite some time now, and I am a big fan of the method. One thing I always wondered about however is why product owners seem to change their minds so often after a sprint delivery.
The last few months I got the chance to experience Scrum from the product owner’s side and it really confirmed the value of the method to me and also taught me a valuable lesson…
When I was a little kid my parents often took my little brother and I to a sand quarry to play or pick berries; later, when I was in my early teens, we spent summer holidays near an active drifting sand plain. These places looked huge then; a trek across the sand felt like an expedition into unknown territory, the slopes of the quarry looked like enormous cliffs…
Around the same time, I started programming. First in MSX Basic, then in Z80 assembly. This was a magic time of discovery, having a machine printing out text to you, drawing images and animations, and making sounds (and combining those to devise an intruder alarm for your room, scaring mom!). It gave me a feeling of great accomplishment.
It is important to sharpen the saw now and then. Especially when rushing towards a deadline it easy to forget to invest in smarter techniques to get your work done.
I’m a big fan of time driven delivery. You can read about it in several other posts. Especially early in the project, where nobody feels like making a tangible build at all, because there is not so much to build. I keep stressing to get into the habit of delivering, because time never ceases to be perfectly reliable, while units of work and estimates always fail.