Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Personal Scrum (ps)

Let’s define a personal scrum process that follows regular Scrum practices so that the way you manage your personal work habits mimics the way you manage your team’s.  This is in support of the hypothesis that alignment and correlation will be strengthened by muscle memory.  Think of it as a Fractal process (fractal scrum!)

The components of the standard scrum process are the roles, the backlog and timebox, and practices.  For the personal scrum, though all roles are necessarily played by yourself and the practices tend to be much more reflective; however all three components are still analogous.  Here is a quick explanation for personal scrum roles and practices.  Then, by going into a practical example, I think it will be easier to comprehend

As in any scrum project, individuals must be suitably self motivated.  This would imply that you need to be your own customer: you determine what tasks need to be completed during this sprint and you prioritize them (based of course on lots of external input).  These are actions we take all the time, particularly once we are mature enough to become self directed.  Additionally, we must be reflective.  If we are not interested in bettering ourselves, we are neither able to learn nor improve our actions.  Though it is easier to accept criticism (constructive or other) from ourselves, it is certainly more difficult to give oneself criticism.  This needs to be learned - perhaps by following the rigor employed during early team retrospectives.  

Personal Scrum practices stay essentially the same as the regular scrum practices:  
  • Planning sessions happen at the beginning of the new sprint (Monday morning, on the train into work).  

  • Standups occur each morning, though they tend to be more mental than physical.  Again, these occur perhaps during the commute when a quick review of the tasks for the day is made.

  • Reviews are quick – Friday afternoon with a beer, the weeks backlog can be checked off and hangover moved to next week (again, just as with the FC daily planning system)

  • Retrospectives become the opportunity to reflect upon one’s anti-velocity to determine its appropriateness.  If it is too high, additional reflection should help identify a couple of steps that could be undertaken to try to reduce the anti-velocity.


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