Saturday, July 04, 2009

Ready: The Dynamic Model of Scrum

I give CSM trainings with Jeff Sutherland, and about half a year ago he had put something in his material called "the dynamic model of Scrum". The essential feature was the addition of a READY state opposite the DONE state. The idea here is that a team needs to be in a stable, known situation to be able to perform well. It immediately struck a chord with me: I had seen so many teams thrash because the Product Owner could not give them a clear objective, the READY state was exactly the goal to work to. But what was it really, and how do you get there? By now I think I've got some good answers to these questions.


The two Scrum states, READY and DONE
Here's a picture from my Scrum course material to illustrate the concept...

What does the READY state do?

In a self-organizing team setting a clear destination it very important: self-organization does not exist if you have nothing to organize TO. The READY state prevents team thrashing by ensuring that the preconditions for a good Sprint execution have been met. More ...

For a description of how to systematically quadruple velocity of a Scrum team by focusing on ready  and done states see:

C. Jakobsen and J. Sutherland, "Scrum and CMMI – Going from Good to Great: are you ready-ready to be done-done?," in Agile 2009, Chicago, 2009.

4 comments:

Mike Dwyer said...

Jeff
About two years ago a team I was coaching was running into the same problem. They came up with a definition of ready that is not dissimilar to what you mention.

After seeing this in almost every engagement where Agile was scaling I also saw the impact of this and realized it was a smell that ended up with 'feudal scrum' being implemented. This is one of the core drivers for our Agile @ Large effort as the good ideas found in existing approaches have been reshaped into easily auditable steps that do not reflect the adaptive thinking that many standards went into the market with

larryacoates said...

I found the article SCRUM and CMMI: Going from Good to Great to be a really great read! I was wondering if you or Carsten Jakobsen could possibly provide a PDF version of the "Ready for Implementation Checklist" so that it will be a bit more legible. I think that this could give a lot of organizations a head start in improving the Sprint velocity of their teams.

David Koontz said...

Jeff,

I've found almost every team will improve with an understanding of the need for these two steady states: Ready and Done. I've made this into a game/exercise that we play during project launch workshops. The exercise is generically a card sorting game that results in a customized Big Visible Chart of the Definition of Ready / or Done.

http://agilecomplexificationinverter.blogspot.com/2011/09/exercise-definition-of-done.html

Thanks for your post and the references to Jeff's post.

scrumcrazy said...

Awesome exercise, David!