Friday, September 13, 2013

Impediments: from the Charleston CSM class in September

As you may know, I think it is key in Scrum to aggressively attack impediments.

I think each Team should have a (mostly) public impediment list. I think the SM should be attacking the top impediment each day.  I think this ‘kaizen’ should lead to improvements in velocity. I think every Team can get better. Always.

An impediment is anything (anything) that is slowing the Team down (or stopping the Team).

So, I asked the Charleston class to list their top impediments. It was a diverse crowd, representing many teams and several companies.  Here are the stickies that they showed each other:

  • Deflection
  • Skill set (lack of…)
  • Identifying risks upfront (lack of…)
  • Market (changes?)
  • Interest (by the Team??)
  • Eliminating scope creep (ok, I think now they would say ‘reducing’)
  • Notification of deadlines
  • Communication
  • Hardware defective
  • Environments not ready
  • Task slippage (too much)
  • Too many items open at once
  • Not co-located
  • No project rooms
  • DBA backlog
  • Too much talking – too little action
  • Operational responsibilities
  • No staffing in critical areas
  • Lack of documentation
  • Status updates
  • No prioritization
  • Wrong product selection
  • Night job; people working day jobs fit it in when they can
  • Wrong Tech skills
  • Too aggressive a schedule
  • Not enough people
  • Customer won’t accept product
  • Unclear scope
  • Not knowing what the customer wants
  • Unclear product owner
  • Risks were not mitigated
  • Changing end goal mid project (and it didn’t make enough sense)
  • Mgmt issues
  • Poor process
  • Poor planning
  • No project methodology
  • Market value (effort had a ‘low’….)
  • Not enough $ (for effort, per what makes business sense)
  • Lack of control – outsourcing too much
  • Morale
  • Customer participation
  • Structure
  • Poor system availability and speed
  • People constraints (eg, tech)
  • Prioritization (lack of)
  • Communication
  • Synch of environments (lack of)
  • Control of patches (lack of)
  • Improve upper mgmt focus
  • Unwilling to ask for help
  • Unknown requirement
  • Lack of Auto testing
  • Undefined goals
  • Improving the ‘owner’ (maybe the PO)
  • No accountability
  • Managing whirlwind
  • Knowledgeable subject expert not available
  • Lack of procedure
  • Lack of Scrum [I liked this one - smile]
  • Broken code
  • No installation guide
  • Incorrect estimates
  • Indecisive “decision” makers
  • Data crash
  • Time spent on non-value added tasks
  • A wide variety of different things.  I recommended to them that a Team track the top 20 impediments…that was probably enough.
I hope this list suggests to you or your team that maybe there are…. one or two more ‘opportunities for increased excellence’.

No comments: