Sunday, March 16, 2014

Don't you worry 'bout a Thing!

We can't live with'em, and can't live without em...

Three things lead to this post:
- My son got a new phone, and is looking for any dead pixel, possible scratch, a-symmetry, or possible real or imaginary flow.
- A team member may start working from home, so we are starting to question how to replace (or extend) the functionality of our (prrrrecious....) scrum-board.
- A song on the radio.

I hate the idea of losing the physical connection to the scrum board and using a virtual tool, and on the other hand I would like my son to not be attached to his shiny new toy so much.
And what makes me uncomfortable is the double standard I have. but do I?

I asked for some advice regarding the scrum wall, and was suggested to replace it with the Jira Agile plugin, here is my response:

I am a great advocate of physical objects, plus you can't beat the flexibility of a real board - Jira doesn't have the following options:

  • Colored postits, and different colors to write with (nor different font and font size, and writing on the other side)
  • Putting a note on the border between two columns
  • Drawing on the board to: group postits, write a name near a post-it, draw a red arrow pointing to one, drawing arrows to represent dependency, drawing silly faces, etc
  • The cost of a two meter by one screen is too high compared to a whiteboard
  • Can't use magnets with different colors and shapes.
  • The sensation of tearing a post-it and throwing it to the garbage is (still) hard to emulate.
  • During stand-up - you can't have someone holding a post-it in her hands, or handing it to someone,
  • You can't control the width of the columns
  • You can't hand a paper that keeps track of who pair programmed with whom, or note it by a flower drawn on a task.
I could go on...

I think one of the things that makes Scrum tick is exactly this, claiming back from the virtual world what is rightfully ours, objects, sensations, smells, etc.
And this is what ticks me off at my son's (who I adore:) reaction.
He expects his real object to be virtual, to have straight-as-an-arrow corners, perfect symmetry, and no flaws. while I think these flows are the fun stuff.

A few years back I saw an old man literally cry standing in front of his shiny new car, caressing it where it had its first scratch, and it struck me so much I still carry that memory.

So my take away from all this, and my reminder to my future-self is this:

Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing! (*)
* click the link to see the video.