Scrum in the Financial Times.
Scrums are big news at WildCard Systems – it has more than 35 of them in progress – but the Florida-based specialist in stored value cards has not gone rugby mad. Nor has Yahoo, the internet services company, which is running 15. Nor even conchango, an IT consultancy based in the UK, the home of the sport.
None of these three companies is looking for staff with legs like tree trunks, willing to crunch shoulder against shoulder in a melee of collapsing limbs and mud. Instead, they have all adopted Scrum, a process for developing software that breaks a project down into small chunks, each of which produces a tangible result, to be carried out by self-managing teams (see panel).
Traditional approaches to software development take too long to produce results, and by the time they are delivered, the customer’s priorities and business conditions may have changed, says Ken Schwaber, a US software developer and industry consultant who co-developed Scrum in the early 1990s with fellow software expert Jeff Sutherland.
Now it is being targeted more systematically at chief executives of large companies that might benefit from using it. “We aim at CEOs because CIOs [chief information officers] are part of the problem, not the solution,” says Mr Schwaber. “We are trying to directly connect the software developers with the customer, and CIOs are not too thrilled about being cut out of the action.”
btw: this link will probably disappear within a week or so … any idea of the legal ramifications of me copying the whole lot and posting it here? The internet archive takes copies of everything out there, as does googles cache. Is there any reason why I can’t do this too?
update 28/7/05: I emailed FT today and they responded extremely quickly saying, essentially, that they did sell copyright licences for articles but that it would probably be out of the price range of an individual.
On the one hand, I was very impressed to get such a quick response, but on the other hand, I wonder how many new readers/subscribers/customers the FT could gain by using blogs as a source of free advertising.
I suspect that most people wouldn’t even consider picking up a copy of the FT becasue they think its for poncy blokes in silly looking pin-stripe suits. But it is more than just a stocks and shares paper – I read it for the excellent news coverage, the management content and its fortnightly IT supplement. But, even though I frequently buy their paper, I only bought my first copy because I was so impressed by the quality of their articles included with my MBA. If I hadn’t done my MBA then I would never have become a customer. I wonder, I just wonder, how many people might buy the FT because they saw an article on a blog somewhere and wonder the rest of the paper was like.
What good will this blog entry – ignoring this update at the end – do for FT? Not much. People will click the link and visit the paper. But after a few days the link will start demanding money to read it and, quite frankly, I wouldn’t pay for an online subscription. (I actually know someone who does, but he buys the paper version too – I suspect he just had too much money). So, for 7 days or so, they get free advertising. After that they just annoy people.