Hi all –

 

Well, we did sprint 9 broken up into two subteams, and it went quite well overall.  The tone of the team in the sprint retrospective was generally positive, and the “things that could be improved” were generally focused on the way we were executing on specific work items rather than focusing on the process.  There was significant positive feedback about breaking the teams up to smaller, more focused Scrum teams, so that was definitely a win.

 

Moral of the story: having a Scrum team that’s too big (esp. >10) is really bad.

 

One other curious thing: every sprint there’s always at least one person who wants to change the daily scrum time (and this sprint, a chicken was also inexplicably pushing to change the time!).  For a long time we had it at 4pm, but then one person couldn’t do that for commute reasons, so we moved our dual daily scrums to the window between 11:45am & 12:15pm.  Then, of course, some people complained that it’s in the middle of the day and makes it inconvenient to go out to lunch.  My answer is always to deflect this back to the person raising the issue: “[X], if you can get the team to agree on a different time, then we’ll do it at that time”.  So far they never have, but we’ll see.

 

It occurs to me that there is perhaps one annoying aspect of the Scrum retrospective from the ScrumMaster’s perspective: it almost puts people into a whiny mood, complaining about things they otherwise wouldn’t bring up.  This is of course a minor point, and the goodness of the retrospective is enormous and overwhelmingly positive.  But it does point out one essential skill for a ScrumMaster: the ability to distinguish between unimportant complaints and truly important ones, and steer the conversation appropriately.

 

Chris