Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Can remote workers be in our Daily Stand-up?

Hey, CMMI Appraiser: I am a software executive for a Virginia health products engineering company that is rated CMMI Maturity Level 3. When we have remote team members, can they join the Daily Stand-up, as long everyone is looking at the same lifecycle? ~ Lydia W.

Hey, Lydia,

We've had a ton of questions about getting CMMI and Scrum to work together -- and that's good! People are curious about Daily Stand-ups (sometimes called "Daily Scrums"), although some of their questions can be pretty zany. Just the other day, somebody said, “Hey, CMMI Appraiser. If I work from home, do I have to be standing up during the daily standup?”  uhhh . . . .

This CMMI Appraiser will leave that one to the Agile Puristas to decide.

Besides, I am more interested in your question, Lydia. What you are really asking is how do you figure out who should be involved during your Scrum ceremonies.

As a company that has put itself on the path to greatness by adopting the CMMI, you can – and should – apply Generic Practice 2.7 to every aspect of your business, including building behaviors for Scrum Teams.  In fact, GP 2.7 is a great guide for figuring out who our stakeholders should be.  Use it to identify which people have direct, daily impact and direct involvement with the project.  Those are the ones that belong on your Scrum Teams.  It just so happens that it is usually THE Scrum team, with potentially some special guests (yes, yes, purists, I said it...send your complaints to getalife@hotmail.com).

In other words, yes, you can have remote people on Scrum Teams.

So who should be invited to your Daily Stand-ups, anyway?

Some Scrum Teams will insist that only the core team be invited. Some Scrum Teams will want product managers involved. And others may want the pizza guy.  Actually, the pizza guy might be a higher priority than the Product Manager, but I digress.

Who’s in and who’s out?

To help you decide, there’s a playful concept in Scrum called the chickens and the pigs. The story of the chickens and pigs is as old as farm life itself. It goes like this:

A chicken and a pig are walking down the street. The chicken says, “Hey, Pig, I’ve been thinking. Let’s create a breakfast restaurant.”

“What will we call it?” said the pig.

“How about Ham and Eggs?”

And the pig looks disdainfully at the chicken and says, “No, thanks. I’d be committed, but you’d only be involved!”

That’s how it is in every company, regardless of methodology.  You have chickens and pigs, and all too often, the pork is in the meeting, sucking up air and filling time, but is not fully committed  People who are directly involved, and those who have direct impact, are the best bet for the attendees. Both are important stakeholders, but in different ways.  You decide what works and what doesn't.

By the way, Lydia, are you registered for our CMMI + Scrum Learning Experience workshop?   It's September 14, 2012 in Fairfax, VA.  We'd love to help you and your team cone out and practice Scrum approaches to problem solving within the CMMI.

Details here:  CMMI + Scrum Learning Experience

Hope to see you there!

Like this blog? Forward to your nearest engineering or software exec!

Jeff Dalton is a Certified SCAMPI Lead Appraiser, Certified CMMI Instructor, author, and consultant with years of real-world experience with the CMMI in all types of organizations. Jeff has taught thousands of students in CMMI trainings and has received an aggregate satisfaction score of 4.97 out of 5 from his students.

Visit www.broadswordsolutions.com for more information about running a successful CMMI program.

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