I am working on a small product based company developing .Net applications. There is a small team with 5-6 developers. I am a person responsible for planning everything. But my primary role is Software developer.

Now our current project is very unstable because of poor organization. Today my boss called me and told to submit a report about required resources, appropriate methodology, required man power and their salary scales to make the current project success.

I know I don’t have enough organization skills and I need to go deep in my programming skills. So I need to focus only in the development. So I can’t manage the project anymore.

Now I am searching some other ways to make ongoing development success. My questions are

  • What is the suitable agile methodology to my team?
  • Is Scrum is suitable for above mentioned scenario?
  • If we adopt Scrum, what we have to do next? (I think hiring new one to manage the project is more suitable. So we have to get Scrum master and some other developers.)
  • Are there any resources (books, Blogs and etc) to get some tips and advices to solve this problem?
  • If Scrum is not a suitable methodology for our scenario, what else can be more suitable methodology to adopt?

Can anyone give a good solution for my problem?

  • The description of your organization lacks details that would assist in determining if Scrum is a suitable management methodology for you. Scrum requires a backlog of user stories, i.e. tasks (take a look at INVEST). Also, Scrum is geared towards iterative releases of the product (as opposed to a single release like a waterfall model). For more information on implementing Scrum, see this thread in Project Management – David Kaczynski Aug 31 '12 at 20:28

Yes, scrum may very well be appropriate, but you need to learn more about it. Ken Schwaber's book will tell you a lot of stuff--like how the Scrum Master is not at all a project manager, and that the team needs to be self-organizing.

The main things you'll need if you're going down the agile route, is a team who can self-motivate and pick up whatever ball gets dropped in front of them, customers who are willing to work closely with the team throughout the development process, and a product owner who has the wherewithal to decide what needs to be within your current and longterm scope and its priority.

So, first you need to learn more about scrum and decide whether it is appropriate. If you so decide, you'll have to talk to all the stakeholders and see if they are willing to give it a go--hopefully one of them taking the reins as Product Owner. Then you'll either need to hire or become a Scrum Master.

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  • Thanks...That book is amazing. i will check the book first. – Thabo Aug 31 '12 at 21:12

You say your "current project is very unstable because of poor organization." In response, your boss has asked the "person responsible for planning everything" whose primary job is a "Software developer" but "cannot manage the project any more" to do upfront planning. I am not criticizing your ability either as a software developer or a project manager but I suspect there may be bigger problems here that a development methodology cannot solve. Let me speculate on some of your issues and how Scrum may or may not help.

Scrum is great for handling imprecise or changing requirements. The team implements the requirements and produces a release that the product owner (customer) sees and suggests improvements in future sprints. It is especially good when the product owner does not know exactly what is wanted by "will know it when they see it."

However, Scrum will not force the creation of such requirements. If you do not have access a customer representative to be a product owner, some of the advantages of Scrum will be lost.

Scrum is a great way to demonstrate progress. If people are losing faith that you can deliver something, providing a regular cadence of visible improvements can help greatly.

However, Scrum does not work as well when you have immovable deadlines with required features. Indeed, no development methodology does. Scrum will help you get a subset of your features implemented with good quality but it is not a silver bullet.

Scrum can also be difficult to explain to non-technical people used to dictating deadlines and seeing detailed upfront planning. Many people hear "plan as you go" as "cowboy coding" and baulk at the apparent loss of control. If you want to implement Scrum, it may be easier to pick a less critical project and demonstrate it working. Otherwise, if you implement it here and the project fails, it will be much harder to use it for future projects.

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  • ..Thanks ,let me explain some core problem.Actually frequently changing requirements is a big problem there.When we do a current task they ask to do some other new task .So we always postponed the current task and start to do the required task. – Thabo Sep 1 '12 at 9:01
  • But when we come to develop the previous task after finishing the current task we forget every think about that task.So we may take more time to finish that again.This is happen all the time.Sales point of view they are asking newer features always but it is not good for a developer pint of view.We always build a feature with less planning,more bugs .By the way we don't have a tester also.Because of that Our management want to adopt a new methodology to solve these kind of problems.Also they are trying to re arrange the team by hiring some new people.So every think is based on my report. – Thabo Sep 1 '12 at 9:02
  • So the problem sounds like prioritization. Scrum will help here because you capture outstanding tasks on a visible backlog and, once a sprint starts, its tasks are immutable. Since you are only doing it in 2-4 week chunks, i.e. sprints, there is no long-term commitment required. – akton Sep 1 '12 at 9:06
  • Thanks..It is great suggestion.Can you give me some resources(blog links,discussion links and etc)where i have to start?What are the key roles i have to hire?Is there a role exist for review the codes?Also What are the recommended books i can supply for my team to introduce the concept the Scrum. – Thabo Sep 1 '12 at 9:23
  • Well, that's a lot of ground to cover. If you are new to scrum, try the scrum guide from scrum.org at scrum.org/Scrum-Guides. It covers the roles, artefacts, terminology and process. I do not know much about your team but you should not need to hire anyone else to use scrum. You may want to get yourself and possibly others trained to be Certified Scrum Masters (CSM) but Scrum is not like other methodologies where the text book is thicker than a phone book. Instead, the challenges are in the disciplined execution. – akton Sep 1 '12 at 11:39

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