Weclome to "The Memoirs of a ScrumMaster" (credit for the title goes to Mike Sherman one of the developers on my team). After years of using several different software development methodologies and finally settling for Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF) and the Microsoft Product Development methology, I discovered Scrum. I had read about Agile software development but never came up against a challenge that MSF did not solve, for the most part, until I came to Vorsite (http://www.vorsite.com/).
The challenges we faced at Vorsite led me to re-examine my thinking about software development. At Vorsite, we actually managed to release our products on time and with acceptable quality (eventually!!). However, I questioned if the final product actually delivered value to customers and the company, did we deliver what customers wanted today versus what they told us they wanted six months ago? How do we make our progress more visible to our stakeholders instead of the status reporting mails we send out?
Eventually, I read "Agile Project Management with Scrum" by Ken Schwaber. I've had the book since 2005 but never had the time to read or just didn't care enough to read it. What I read made sense, so off we go, we implemented Scrum and six sprints later we shipped the first version of our products using Scrum. In the next couple of posts I will chronicle our journey to becoming an Agile software development shop, the lessons learned, how it has changed software development project management at Vorsite, some of the challenges that still remain and how we are addressing them.