Over the weekend I had the opportunity to review an introductory agile development DVD called “Scrum Master Volume 1”by Daniel Markham. The video was broken into six (6) segments, plus a bonus track that contained an interview with Robert “Uncle Bob” Martin. Each video offered insights into various aspects of Agile development, focusing primarily on Scrum.The topics of the shorts included:
- Preparing for Agile adoption
- Scrum vs. Kanban
- Setting up your Sprints
- Creating your Team Room
- Lightweight Program Management
- Bonus: Interview with Uncle Bob Martin
Of the things I liked most about the video, one was that they were in short digestible chunks. Anyone watching the dvd can watch the content in quick 10 minute “sprints”. It’s easy for the busy contributor or manager to get a few lessons in on a break or lunch hour. Another thing that was great about the video is that it could be viewed in any order. No lesson required a prerequisite understanding from another lesson. Daniel’s speech is clear, with good variation in the tone of his voice. The flow of content comes across as well organized and clearly thought out. Finally, we get a hint of Daniel’s deep knowledge and experience through his many quips. For example, when discussing chaos in “Setting up Sprints”, he posits that teams should drive towards “goldilocks chaos” and that “teams that don’t collaborate spend lots of time making up for it”.
Of the things I disliked, there were some technical issues including minor static and choppiness in the transition of slides. Although the digital whiteboard (or “chalk talk”) format aided in the discussion and was timed well with Daniel’s voice, at points the hand drawn graphics were visually distracting. The transition from one thought to another in some cases was choppy and gave the impression that some content was read from a script. The audio pace in some cases could be slower with some thoughts explored in more detail. While I understood much of what Daniel said, watching this video with a "beginner's mind", I found that some concepts were not fully explained. For example, in “Scrum vs. Kanban”, Daniel references the term “PSI” and in “Agile Program Management”, Daniel mentions the “Structured Agile Framework” without any discussion on what either terms mean. Finally, the title is a little misleading. “Scrum Master Volume 1” clearly covers more than just ScrumMaster responsibilities. In fact, the video covers very little in the way of specific ScrumMaster responsibilities.Over the weekend I had the opportunity to review an introductory agile development DVD called “Scrum Master Volume 1”by Daniel Markham. The video was broken into six (6) segments, plus a bonus track that contained an interview with Robert “Uncle Bob” Martin. Each video offered insights into various aspects of Agile development, focusing primarily on Scrum.
The verdict: Overall, I thought this video provided a great introduction to implementing agile development. It does a great job filling gaps that some formal classroom training leaves out. For example, many Scrum classes will teach students what Scrum is, but not how to implement it, or what to expect during the implementation. Even though the production of the video is not on par with those put together by professional studios and publishers, anyone seeking quality content and the knowledge of an experienced Agilist will walk away having learned something from this DVD.
You can find more information on the video at Tiny Giant Books.