Thursday, July 10, 2008

Questions, and more questions

So, I have been reading Lisa Crispin's blog lately, and as usual, I have read most of her recent ones with a whole bunch of "yeah, but what if ... ?" questions in my head. I thought about just emailing her directly, but eventually decided that other people might have similar questions, and well, honestly, it's been a while since my last post.

I think the biggest thing that I have read from her recently that I have difficulty with is the ides of focusing on one story at a time thing. To quote her: "Try to quit multitasking, and focus on getting one thing done".

Hmmmm .... but what if you can't, because people above you won't let you? What if, at any given time, you are juggling half a dozen tasks? To take that variable out of the equation, what if the stories' interdependencies aren't clear enough, and you really can't finish one story until another story (that has not yet been completed) *gets* completed?

In my team, we have enough people involved who aren't really a part of the team, that we end up with a nontrivial amount of "this story is waiting on X person before it can continue".

Of course, fundamentally, I *know* the answers to many of these questions .... Have a clear product owner, have people who are more dedicated to the team, etc. But what if we can't? Are there still ways to work around those "higher than us" non-commitments, and still succeed as a team?

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