Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Scrum Retrospective – What about best practices and learning from success?

As per Scrum Guide, the purpose of the Sprint Retrospective is to:

  • Inspect how the last Sprint went with regards to people, relationships, process, and tools;
  • Identify and order the major items that went well and potential improvements; and,
  • Create a plan for implementing improvements to the way the Scrum Team does its work.

But Scrum Guide is silent about on How?

The question of how become more important as scale of Scrum Agile increases in an enterprise.

To answer one part of How – “How and why something worked well?” Fu Pan might be an answer.

Fu Pan concept has its origin in Lenovo and widely supported by its chairman Liu Chuanzhi. The idea is to intentionally slow down and analyze events - both successes and failures - in order to learn from them and move ahead at a faster pace.

Goal:  What had you originally set out to do?

Measure results: What have you achieved and is it what you set out to do?

Brainstorm: Find outcomes, highlights and lowlights of the final result

Analysis: Get to the root cause of why the outcomes were achieved

Insights: Learnings based on the analysis. Determine what to replicate in the future, what behaviors to start, stop and continue

I am planning to use Fu Pan during Retrospective and also at Program level.

Any ideas, pointers?


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

For my High Schooler: Application Server

Yash: Today in Java class, we discussed Application Server.

Me: What is that?

Yash: Don’t make fun of me.  Can you correlate it to some interesting example?

Me: I can try.

Yash: hmm…

Me: Ok. Name the planet on which we live.

Yash: Obviously, Earth.

Me: Is whole of earth has a same geographic feature?

Yash: No. We have sea, savanna, tropical jungles, desert, glaciers, polar ice caps, etc.

Me: Good.  Are animals living in these geographies same or different?

Yash: Naturally different. In sea you will find shark, whales, octopus and other sea creatures, in jungles you can encounter lions, giraffe, elephants and other animals. You will certainly find polar bears at North Pole. Similarly in other geographies different animals are living.

Me: Very true. Why so?

Yash: Because, each animal has different requirements to live, this can be fulfilled in a particular geography.

Me: Excellent. Let me rephrase.  Each animal has a different life cycle which can be supported only in a particular geography. Also there are some common requirements like oxygen to breathe, water to hydrate, etc.  which are available in all geographies.

Yash: yep.

Me: Let’s put this whole concept in technical terms. Earth is an Application Server which provides some minimum set of features (like security, object pool, etc.) to hosted containers like tropical jungles, seas, savanna, etc. (Servlet container, JSP Container, EJB Container, JMS Provider, etc.). These hosted containers provide life cycle support to its residents like sharks, whales, lions, etc. (Servlets, JSPs, EJBs, etc.).

Yash: This is terrific.

Me: My pleasure. It’s time for dessert.