Sunday, December 2, 2007

Working with Partners Not Using Scrum

The reality is that managing OEM (your software ships under another company’s brand) relationships/executing these contracts can be extremely challenging especially for the 'weaker' partner in the relationship. The teams executing the contract have two main goals/objectives (1) Delivering value to customers and (2) executing the OEM Contract. One would expect that if you get the first goal right the second should take care of itself; This, however, is not the case. You stand a better chance if you have agreement on what value needs to be delivered to the Customer.

If you find yourself involved with one here are some things to consider/discuss upfront:

- Who is the Product Owner?
- How do you conduct Sprint Planning/Review meetings?
- How do you conduct Daily Scrum meetings?
- What is your Release sprint going to look like?
- How do you align processes to get your work done?

Some Scrum artifacts that I consider a 'must have' include (1) Product Vision, (2) Product Roadmap and (3) Release Plans

It might be difficult getting agreement on the Product Vision/Roadmap, these are however worth the upfront pain, you should proceed cautiously without then. These relationships are a constant struggle and needs careful handling, get the items identified above resolved early in the process (especially during contract negotiation or during your kick-off meeting) it might save a headache or two later.

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