Production Release - Real definition of DONE!
Anyone who knows me professionally knows how important done is to me. Actually my children know how important done is my personal life as well - just ask them about cleaning their rooms. In software development what is the ultimate definition of the software being done? Successfully releasing the software into the production environment and the customers being able to use the new features and continue to use the existing features. That is done.
Well my new team just did their second release of the year. The actual release went very smoothly. Unfortunately the release revealed a bug that was hidden in the previous release and only became exposed in the new release. A retrospective on the release effort is probably in order, something I don't think the team has done before, to find out how this happened. But overall a very successful effort.
In other news the team I was previously associated with has gone through a massive reorganization. The end result included the firing of some top executives (CIO and his hand picked people) and all the off shore teams. The organization has retrenched and refocused to a smaller team which is becoming more agile, co-located, and focused on getting working software done. The entire team is in a bit of shell shock. Some team members more than others. The Business Analysts and Product Owners seem most shell shocked. That is because they had so much more invested in the previous system and didn't have to deal with the terrible technology. They also realize how big the risk for failure there is because how much of the system had already been developed.
The developers and QA folks are more encouraged by the change - except when they realize that throwing away all the previous work means a huge amount of work and risk to deliver.
My (unofficial) role is now as advisor to Scrum Masters and to provide wisdom based on almost 30 years of experience in doing software development.
But mostly I am focused on the work with my new team. There are many things the teams are doing very well. There are other things that need to be changed or tweaked over the next few months. The feedback I am getting so far is "Thank God we have a Scrum Master again." Hopefully they think that in a month or two.