Monday, August 22, 2005

Why Do You Need a ScrumMaster?

The ScrumMaster is the Captain of the team.
Plays hard, plays fair
All Black captain Tana Umaga received the Pierre Coubertin Trophy from the International Committee of Fair Play on December 9. Previous awardees include Martina Navratilova and Nelson Mandela. The trophy recognised his good sportsmanship in helping Welsh captain Colin Charvis, who was knocked unconscious during a June 2003 Test match in Hamilton. Umaga removed Charvis's mouthguard to ensure he did not swallow his tongue and placed him in the recovery position while play continued around them. Later in December, the Guardian picked Umaga to lead their 2004 dream team, which included fellow All Blacks Joe Rococoko, Daniel Carter (“the season’s big discovery”), Richie McCaw, and Jerry Collins. (The Mercury, 12 December 2004)

To be a world champion you need a world champion ScrumMaster.
On top of the world
The All Blacks resumed their world No.1 ranking after a compelling 45-6 victory over European champions France. “I felt powerless,” said French coach Bernard Laporte. “I had the feeling that we could play for hours and hours and not find our way to the line. The All Blacks are well and truly a better side.” The Guardian called the win the “dominant image of a vibrant autumn,” and named Daniel Carter – “the new Johnny Wilkinson and Carlos Spencer rolled into one” – player of the month.The AB's followed up their French win with a 47-19 defeat of a predominantly Australian Barbarians side. (Reuters, 30 November 2004)

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Pump Up Your Stock Options With Agile Methods!


David Rico sent around the latest version of his thesis proposal and it makes for an interesting read. Developers in many companies have stock options and want them to have real value. Rico argues that a company declaring publicly that it supports Agile methods can raise its valuation even if it is not executing Agile very well. Furthermore, it enhances their marketing, advertising, and business development programs. Potential customers may exclusively favor firms who outwardly commit to the use of Agile methods.

We already knew that being a Certified ScrumMaster is a career enhancing move. Now we find that it pays to dump that waterfall company and move to an Agile company where the portfolio action is.

Rico, David. Agile Methods for Developing Internet Products, Customer Satisfaction, and Firm Performance. 2005.

The relevance and importance of examining the links between the use of agile methods for developing Internet products, customer satisfaction, and firm performance are high as well. This is because hard evidence of the economic benefits of using agile methods for developing Internet products isn’t the only reason executives and managers may benefit from this study. Firms may also garner many substantial indirect economic benefits from using agile methods to develop Internet products as well.

For instance, it is a well established fact that the stock market rewards firms with higher market valuations for publicly committing to the use of approaches to quality management techniques such as agile methods (Przasnyski & Tai, 1999). Furthermore, the stock market also rewards firms with higher market valuations for renovating information technology infrastructures with greater investments (Davis, Dehning, & Stratopoulos, 2003). What these studies mean is that a firm’s investors may simply reward companies with higher market valuations for simply adopting the use of agile methods for developing Internet products.

But, the benefits don’t merely stop with potentially higher market valuations associated with public announcements of a firm’s commitment to agile methods. Firms may simply benefit from exploiting the use of agile methods in marketing activities, business development proposals, and in their advertising. What this means is that understanding the strategic implications of using agile methods for developing Internet products is extremely relevant and important to managers engaged in business development as well. In other words, merely saying a firm is committed to the use of agile methods may result in more business partnerships, more sales leads, and more contracts for Internet products and services, regardless of the actual commitment to the use of agile methods. For example, potential customers of Internet products and services may exclusively favor firms who outwardly commit to the use of agile methods with new business.