Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Public Impediments List !!!

This is essential in Scrum.

Why public? Well, so everyone can see and offer feedback on what are our team's biggest impediments.

Oh, and the list is prioritized. If the priorities are not obvious, then the ScrumMaster breaks ties.

And the real juice is that the SM is making sure the top impediment is always getting worked.

And there never comes a day when there is not a top impediment. (We never become perfect.)

Now, it may also be that the public impediment list reminds the SM (and everyone else around) why the heck we have an expensive person over there *not* doing "real work." (By the way, I think the SM easily pays his board by removing impediments. But you do the math. Of course, that assumes that the company culture does not stifle all the impediment removal efforts -- which has been known to happen.)

The exclamation marks in the title are there to suggest that way too often we find teams without a public impediment list.

Your thoughts?


David Updike said...

I like the idea of making the Impediments public. I would suggest posting it as an Information Radiator (IR) and am going to try that on my next project starting in a week or so.
So this works for co-located teams but distributed teams will find this more challenging. You could put it on a Wiki but this just doesn't have the same impact of a Team Room IR.

Matthew Fisher said...

Hi Joe,

This is something I have to work on, and will be putting into place very soon. Thanks.

Re. the "real work" comment, priceless. At a previous employer, following Scrum But, I was kinda the SM. At some point I was made redundant because my value wasn't seen. Shortly after I left, I caught up with some of the guys still there and they told me that it was only once I was gone that management suddenly understood the value I was adding.


Joe Little said...

Hi David and Matt. All I can say is "I agree'. Thanks.

Tony G said...

I do this! I have a CSM Backlog project in JIRA that can be viewed and appended to by everyone on the Scrum teams at all times. I am the Scrum Master for 2 teams and I have a CSM Backlog for each one. Working with an agile coach recently, I categorized the impediments as follows: High Impact Process, High Impact Training, Low Impact Process, Low Impact Training. I give a brief progress update every week at our Planning meetings as well. This is really working well for us!

Matthew Fisher said...

I'd be interested to hear what information is actually captured for an impediment.

Eg. Is it just a description of the issue?