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Daily Visibility Into the Project

On the fourteenth day of the Sprint I held our Daily Scrum. When it came to Tom's turn to report, he indicated that a Senior-Vice President, Lou, had instructed him to build something that was not within the scope of work for the Sprint. Consequently, he had been unable to do the work that the rest of the team had expected of him, though he would try to catch up. I immediately went to Lou's office and asked what was up. Lou had been offsite and had learned that a potential customer was interested in additional functionality. He had decided to help the team out by instructing one of its members to start developing that functionality. Lou hadn't been at all of the Scrum training, so he didn't know that interrupting a Sprint is almost always more counterproductive than it is helpful. Lou didn't know that the team was protected during the Sprint from all of the chaos, complexity, and uncertainty. Lou said that if he saw a $100 bill on the ground on the way to the train, he would bend over and pick it up, and that he didn't see how this situation was any different. I told Lou that, in the greater scheme of things, his family would probably appreciate his getting home on time more than the $100. I explained to Lou the importance of not disrupting a Sprint, and he agreed to refrain from doing so in the future. By the end of the Sprint, the feature that Lou had wanted to be demonstrated was no longer on the radar of this potential customer anyway. Apparently, it had only been of interest the day that Lou was at the offsite.

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