Thursday, January 08, 2009

French Scrum User Group Meetup


The new French Scrum User Group now has over 100 members. We will meetup at La Defense in Paris the evening of 19 March. Click here for details.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Scrum in Seattle: Last Week to Sign Up


Civica Office Commons
225 108th Ave NE
Bellevue, WA 98004


Scrum Certification Seattle
12-13 Jan 2009

This course will be led by Jeff Sutherland, Co-Creator of Scrum and Mitch Lacey, former Agile coach at Microsoft. Jeff will discuss his latest papers being submitted to Agile 2009 and papers presented early in January at his Agile track at the Hawaii International Conference on Software Systems. These will provide real world experience on how new ScrumMasters can implement world class teams.

Going from Good to Great: How a CMMI 5 Company Quadruples Productivity with Scrum

Take No Prisoners: How a Venture Capital Group Does Scrum

Distributed Scrum: The Secret Sauce for Hyperproductive Distributed Outsource Teams

Scrum In Church: Saving the World One Team at a Time

Shock Therapy: A Strategy for Consistently Generating Hyperproductive Teams

Jeff Sutherland started the first Scrum at Easel Corporation in 1993. He worked with Ken Schwaber to emerge Scrum as a formal process at OOPSLA ’95. Together, they extended and enhanced Scrum at many software companies and IT organizations and helped write the Agile Manifesto.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Scrum Makes You Feel Better


"The types of activities which people all over the world consistently report as most rewarding - that is, which make them feel best - involve a clear objective, a need for concentration so intense that no attention is left over, a lack of interruptions and distractions, clear and immediate feedback on progress toward the objective, and a sense of challenge - the perception that one's skills are adequate, but just adequate, to cope with the task at hand."
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An interesting psychological finding
Posted by: "Nancy Van Schooenderwoert" vanschoo@acm.org nancyvanschooenderwoert
Date: Thu Dec 11, 2008 8:54 pm ((PST))

I was searching in my copy of "Lean Thinking" by Womack and Jones, and noticed this interesting passage in the chapter on 'Flow'. The authors mention a psychological researcher named Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. (Someone's got a tougher last name than me!)

Here is the passage I thought might interest you:

"He has spent the last twenty-five years reversing the usual focus of psychology. Instead of asking what makes people feel bad (and how to change it) he has explored what makes people feel good, so that positive attributes of experience can be built into daily life."

"His method has been to attach beepers, which sound at random intervals, to his research subjects. When the beeper sounds the subject is asked to record in a notebook what she or he was doing and how they were feeling. After sifting decades of notebook data from thousands of subjects around the world, he has reached some very simple conclusions."

"The types of activities which people all over the world consistently report as most rewarding - that is, which make them feel best - involve a clear objective, a need for concentration so intense that no attention is left over, a lack of interruptions and distractions, clear and immediate feedback on progress toward the objective, and a sense of challenge - the perception that one's skills are adequate, but just adequate, to cope with the task at hand."

"When people find themselves in these conditions they lose their self-consciousness and sense of time. They report that the task itself becomes the end rather than a means to something more satisfying, like money or prestige. Indeed, and very conveniently for us, Csikszentmihalyi reports that people experiencing these conditions are in a highly satisfying psychological state of flow."

This gives an indication of why test driven development is so compelling for people once they know the basic technique. It also applies to sports and the arts. There the whole point is to do something that's just at the limit of your ability and keep pushing the edge.

It reminds me of a recent interesting post over on Jeff Sutherland's website. It's called "Scrum Makes You Smarter." It reports on a study that suggests voluntary pressure in the form of audacious goals taken on by high performance teams makes them produce more neuron stem cells.
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Nancy Van Schooenderwoert, Lean-Agile Partners Inc.
www.leanagilepartners.com