Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for January 12th, 2010

Does Agile have lessons learned?

They are part of the process especially in Scrum. Scrum is about transparancy, inspection and adaption. At the end of each sprint there is a sprint review in which the product increment is demoed to all stakeholders and the product owner. The results of this inspection are reflected with the adaption of the product backlog. After the review the development team meets for a retrospective. This meeting is used to analyze: what went well, what went bad and how to improve it. This results in positive reinforcement for the good stuff and a list of action items for the next sprint for the bad stuff. Since a sprint is at max 30 days long you learn from your lessons at least once a month. Actually, the most common sprint length is 2 weeks these days.
Still 2 weeks is rather long to learn and improve. Therefore. Scrum has the daily standup meeting. The Scrum Master and dev team meet for a maximum of 15 min every day. In order to keep it short eveyone has to stand up, hence the name. Everyone has to answer 3 questions. What was I doing yesterday, what am I going to do today and are there any impediments blocking me. This is learning and knowledge sharing on a daily basis.

Scrum wasn’t designed with the PDCA (plan do check act) Deming circle in mind, but it is at the very core of it. As you can see, Scrum is about constant learning and improving. It fosters constructive communication. So, how about sharing lessons learned from one project to another. Scrum follows the agile manifesto and one of the rules is:

Working software over comprehensive documentation

Working software includes not only the end product but everything to build it. Agile automates about everything, so that the final end product can be build and deployed with the push of a button. Some call this executable documentation. In the case of the former post ‘Über den Sinn und Unsinn von Leasons Learned‘, you could take the executable documentation from a past project and have a real head start. You could hit the ground running and have real value from the get go. Sure, these are not fancy looking word documents but they are helpful. Not some kind of document which lost 80% of its original value by tipping it down and another 50% loss by reading it.
So in agile, within an project you have lessons learned on an ongoing basis. As for inter projects, you are welcome to take as much executable documentation as you see fit. Go and get this whole build pipeline and adapt as you learn.

The future is lean agile!

Read Full Post »