Tuesday, June 30, 2009

nlscrum - Hilversum, Netherlands 24 June 2009

I spent the month of June in Europe and one of the highlights was the nlscrum meeting held at Xebia in the Netherlands. We had a full house that wanted to talk about taking the Red Pill instead of the Blue Pill. See "Agile Architecture: Red Pill or Blue Pill." Good fun was had by all. Unlimited ice cream was available.

In the movie, "Matrix," Neo is offered a choice of a Red Pill or Blue Pill. Normally only those 18 and younger can stand the shock of taking the Red Pill, but Neo is 30 years old and Morpheus thinks he might be able to cope with reality.

In the world of Scrum, those who take the Blue Pill wake up and everything is the same. Developers choose anything they want to work on, architecture will just emerge without thought, the code will do the talking even when you are deaf to the signals, testing is never completed in a sprint, you don't know your velocity, management is unhappy, and customers are upset. This is "normal" in the world of software development.

For those who take the Red Pill, waking up is a shock. They see that everything is broken! Quality sucks, software does not fit users needs, deverlopers are agonizingly slow, process efficiency for everything they look at is 10% or less, impediments are everywhere and noone sees them. If you bring up a problem, there are men in black ready to shut you up and put you out of commission. Management is the enforcer of dysfunction, rather than helping the teams to be great! The world is an illusion, people are mesmerized, never experiencing the exhileration of what it means to be fully functional.

Everyone introduced to Scrum is offered a choice. You can remain slow, dysfunctional, and unhappy or you can wake up and see impediments are everywhere and men in black are trying to make sure noone removes them and destroys the illusion. Everything is broken and noone else notices. You don't want to fix it, but you have no choice. Your only options are the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat.

If other members of your team take the Red Pill, they will see the underlying architecture of the code base. They will notice which story will create the fastest path to a new and tested feature. They will challenge you to take the right story to help make the team a winning team. When you go to implement the story they will say don't do it that way, pair with me and we will get the task done in an hour. Otherwise it will take two days the way you are thinking about it. Your team will go hyperproductive in three sprints and stay that way until or unless the men in black take you down.

1 comment:

dagfinn said...

Thanks. This was just what I needed after a couple of encounters with the men in black.