We start this episode by highlighting the challenges that Product Owners (POs) face when working with DevOps teams. Zhenya explains that DevOps work is unique and comes with a variety of incoming tasks and requests on a daily basis. Additionally, DevOps teams also require time to invest in improving their operations, which adds to the workload. The constant interruptions and chaotic nature of the work make it challenging for the PO to manage effectively. Unlike traditional backlogs where POs are used to prioritize tasks, in DevOps teams, the backlog may not always be the main focus. Zhenya identifies a common anti-pattern where DevOps teams have a strong willingness to help others, which can further complicate the role of the PO.
In this episode, Amruta shares her experience working with a team on a website migration project that involved adding client-specific features. Initially, the project started off well, but they soon realized that all the stories were heavily focused on technical aspects. After about four months, as the codebase grew, they faced challenges with introducing stories about code optimization without defined scope. The stories became too big, making it difficult to convince the engineers to prioritize and focus on one optimization at a time. The team started carrying stories from sprint to sprint, resulting in deviations from their original plan. Amruta provides tips such as presenting data to highlight time allocation, involving senior members to facilitate communication, and focusing on specific features instead of the entire scope.
Featured Book of the Week: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni
In this segment, Amruta shares her favorite book, “Five Dysfunctions of a Team” by Lencioni. She highlights how relatable the story is for Scrum Masters, as many have experienced similar situations. The book emphasizes the significance of trust within a team, aligning closely with Agile principles. It explores the journey of a team’s transformation, shedding light on the challenges and dynamics that teams commonly face. Amruta’s summary showcases the book’s relevance to Scrum Masters and its valuable insights into building successful teams through trust and collaboration.
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About Amruta Beri
Amruta is an Agile enthusiast, artist, and environmentalist. She loves quiz shows, travel and sports, and is an engineer at heart.
Marcus wrote a blog post about predicting progress in ‘well-defined’ projects. He used a simple example where uncertainty was very limited. You can read the details in the blog post. However, even when uncertainty about the work was low, the predictions he was able to do (and he collects quite a few metrics in that story), was limited.
In this episode, we explore the limits to prediction, and how that affects how we should look at prediction in our own software projects.
Embracing uncertainty and what that means in practice for software projects
- Unclear specifications with missing information like acceptance criteria, and that require large amounts of rework after we start developing a particular functionality
- Finding out critical use cases too late (via bugs, real-user feedback, etc), which leads to long delays in the project.
- We don’t have a clear and measurable definition of value, therefore it is always a fight of opinions where the HIPPO (highest paid person’s opinion) prevails most of the times – even when it goes against survey results.
A toolbox to solve these problems