The Scrum Gathering and Hardware

The Hard Yards hit San Diego last month for the annual Scrum Gathering.  Mark Pushinsky reflects on his experience:  

“I attended my first Scrum Gathering nearly a decade ago.  Back then, we fit the whole conference in a single small room in a quaint hotel in downtown Boulder, Colorado.  It was a time of great learning for me as I had the opportunity to spend quality time with the best in the industry.  Ken Schwaber, Jeff Sutherland, Esther Derby, and Mike Cohn were all there.  We ate together, shared ideas, and debated various aspects of Scrum and the Scrum Alliance

Fast forward to April 2017 – a lot has changed.  The Scrum Gathering barely fits in a large Hotel in San Diego, and comes complete with stage lighting, dancing, a huge tent for food and vendor booths, hundreds of sessions, and over a thousand people in attendance.  Jeff is now a rock-star keynote speaker.  Something else changed as well.  Scrum is being used in new and different ways. There is Scrum for Marketing, Scrum for Education, Scrum for a Scrum Conference, and Scrum for Hardware.

It is not shocking that Scrum is adding value in increasingly different ways.  After all, it is rooted in simple ideas - Create Transparency, Inspect, and Adapt.  I have heard lots of folks debate the efficacy of Scrum for a certain type of software, an organization, or an industry.  I do not think I have ever heard someone say, “we should definitely not be transparent, and we should not inspect how we are working, and we should not adapt to change”.  The reality is that the core of Scrum is universally applicable.  

I had the opportunity to spend some time in San Diego with Hubert Smits and Peter Borsella (long time Scrum Trainers) as part of their Scrum for Hardware track at the conference.  They took cross-functional teams, a product backlog, and the core ideas of Scrum, and built a car in two days.  It was great to see the fundamentals of Scrum being applied to a problem that most might think requires a more traditional fixed, defined process.  Teams worked in short sprints to build, integrate, and refactor components of the car.  I got to see it as hundreds of parts lying on the floor and then see it roll down the aisle at the final event of the conference.”

 

Car waiting to be assembled

Car waiting to be assembled

Mark Pushinsky (Scrum Guard) with Peter Borsella and Hubert Smits

Mark Pushinsky (Scrum Guard) with Peter Borsella and Hubert Smits

We believe organizations can leverage the core Agile and Scrum ideas to solve just about any type of problem.  The power of cross-functional, self-organizing teams coupled with transparency, inspection, and adaptation can be used to tackle complex problems.  In the Department of Defense and Intelligence Community, there is a huge opportunity to disrupt traditional prime contractor and subcontractor waterfall processes to run Scrum in parallel with software and hardware efforts that require complex integration.   

If you have complex software and hardware integration challenges, contact us.  We will teach the principles, demonstrate them with Legos, and then do the hard yards with you to put the theory into practice.