The first day of ScrumMaster Training with Ken Schwaber has been a blast. I’ve got about 10 pages of good notes on Scrum approaches and new things to try already. The class is fairly interactive, but the exercises have been pretty relevant. One involved moving people out into a hallway and just having everyone line up in a continuum from zero to ten on questions of how much you love your job and what your experience with Scrum is. I fell in the 8-9 range which put me alone with a consultant who does Agile development and a Microsoft XBox developer who codes games all day. The low person at zero has been doing Sarbanes-Oxley work for two solid years. The continuum approach really worked better than asking the same questions of the class because you could visually see where people mapped to and you could ask the people around you questions to determine if you were really at the right place in the line. It reinforced Scrum’s obsession with team interaction and feedback.
There are a ton of Microsofties in the class, about 20 in all and based on the ones I’ve gotten a chance to talk to Scrum at Microsoft is still largely a bottom up affair where individual teams at Microsoft have started to adopt it. Management at Microsoft hasn’t really blessed the approach despite it’s recent inclusion in Visual Studio. I asked a few Microsofties about how they handled coordinating multiple Scrum teams with the Scrum of Scrums approach and they explained they weren’t aware of anyone at Microsoft trying it yet since it hasn’t seeped that deep into any of the groups they were aware of.