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Agile for bug fixing only

Shantanu Puranik
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 10, 2004
Posts: 67
Hello James,

Is Agile methodology (SCRUM) suitable for development that includes bug fixing/ customer complaints only ?

Ours is a product based organization.
We followed scrum for 2 sprints till now.
Both failed.
The main reason for this being not able to reproduce the bug.
Sometimes it even involves going onsite.
So basically, time factor affects a lot for these kind of user stories.
There is other team following scrum and working on new development only.
For them both sprint is success.

Having experienced this though, our Process Quality Manager insists on following scrum for bug fixing and handling customer complaints.
All team members are against it but still requires to follow.

Please share your views on such scenario.

--- Shantanu
Shane Warden

Joined: Oct 03, 2007
Posts: 16
Originally posted by shantanu puranik:
Is Agile methodology (SCRUM) suitable for development that includes bug fixing/ customer complaints only ?

Hi Shantanu,

What kinds of technical practices do you include with Scrum? Do you have a comprehensive test suite, for example?

Author of <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><i>The Art of Agile Development</i></a>
Stan James
(instanceof Sidekick)
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 29, 2003
Posts: 8791
Making a team follow a method they don't like is a recipe for disaster no matter how well or poorly everything else fits. Sorry to hear you're in that spot. Try to negotiate terms that allow the team to modify the process as they go and see if that makes them more willing to give it another chance.

My old team found some tasks didn't work in 2-week iterations. They took too much lead time or had dependencies on other groups with, say, quarterly deliverables. You might try to move the "reproduce the bug" problem outside the iteration, saying a customer can only schedule a bug-fix story for an iteration after it's found to be reproducible. There might be a separate backlog for "bugs to be reproduced" that works in priority order, but without the tight iteration schedule.

Look for Dave Anderson's Agile Management blogs & books. He runs a Kanban system that pulls stories for execution in order but with no iterations or release plans. On the regular release dates they ship whatever is in "finished" status.
[ November 04, 2007: Message edited by: Stan James ]

A good question is never answered. It is not a bolt to be tightened into place but a seed to be planted and to bear more seed toward the hope of greening the landscape of the idea. John Ciardi
Shantanu Puranik
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 10, 2004
Posts: 67
Hi Shane,

We do have defined set of test cases.
New test cases are added for customizations if any and then testing is carried out.

The product is quite old (around 8 years).
There isn't any load testing carried out and this is where system is likely to fail.
New version of the product is on the anvil.
Till date we will have to continue with the same.
Shantanu Puranik
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 10, 2004
Posts: 67
Hello Stan,

Thank you for the suggestion.
Putting 'bug reproduction' in non scrum activity can save the team from failing.
I can forward this suggestion to our Process Quality Manager.
Every one here is a novice in Agile methodology. Hopefully they will listen.
Consider Paul's rocket mass heater.
subject: Agile for bug fixing only
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