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Chapter 3. The ScrumMaster > The Untrained ScrumMaster at Litware - Pg. 29

Chapter 3 The ScrumMaster 29 the basis of the Scrum team's extraordinary productivity. Once I pointed this out to the project manager, he immediately saw the error of his ways. "Oh, of course!" he exclaimed. Some people are so embedded in their familiar ways that they have trouble seeing what they have to change, no matter how many articles and books they read and agree with. The Untrained ScrumMaster at Litware Litware is a medium-size vendor of planning software. A project management office consisting of one manager, John Chen, and three project managers planned all of the company's releases. After each release was planned, the work was broken down into tasks and organized on PERT charts. These tasks were then divided among the various analysts, designers, programmers, testers, and documenters. The approach was very "waterfall" and very defined. As the complexity of the releases increased and the customer base grew, the release planning phase grew and grew until it was simply unacceptable. The results of each release planning phase were also unsatisfactory: the plans were difficult to adapt to the complexities that the team encountered and to the changes that sales and customers requested. The company's frustrated managers asked John to work with me to switch the release management over to Scrum. After assessing the situation, John and I set a Scrum start date several weeks out. At this point, we would convert the plans to Product Backlog, provide Scrum training, and then conduct several Sprint planning meetings. What Was Wrong During those several weeks, I held a Certified ScrumMaster class and invited John to attend. This was his chance to learn Scrum before he implemented it at Litware. The class prepares people who will be ScrumMasters for projects. As usual, the class was well attended. Unfortunately, there was one conspicuous no-show: John. I kept checking during the day, but he was definitely not there. Later that day, I e-mailed John to find out what had happened. John responded that other priorities at work had precluded his attendance but that we would nonetheless start the Scrum implementation as we'd planned. I showed up on the appointed day, and we spent the morning laying out the Product Backlog for two teams. In the afternoon, the Litware managers asked me to give an overview of Scrum to the entire development organization. The managers wanted everyone to understand Scrum and what was planned for the two teams. I introduced Scrum and entertained many questions. Everyone