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Sales employee Bob wants a clickable blue button.

Bob tells product owner Karen about his unstoppable desire for clickable blue buttons.

Karen assigns points for potential and impact (how much does a blue button improve Bob's life, how many people like Bob desire blue buttons)

Karen asks the button team how hard it is to build a button. The button team compares the request to a reference button they've built before, and gives an ease score, with higher score being easier (inverse of scrum points).

These three scores are combined to give a priority score. The global buttonbacklog is sorted by priority.

Once every two weeks (a "sprint") the button team convenes, uses the ease scores to assign scrum points. Difficult tasks are broken up into smaller tasks, because there is a scrum point upper limit. They use the average of the last 5 sprints to calculate each developer's "velocity".

The sprint is filled with tasks, from the top of the global button backlog, up to the team's capacity as determined by velocity. Approximate due dates are assigned, Bob is a happy Bob.

What if boss Peter runs into the office screaming "OUR IMPORTANT CLIENT WANTS A FUCKING PINK BUTTON WHICH MAKES HEARTS APPEAR"?

Devs tell boss to shut the fuck up and talk to Karen. Karen has a carefully curated list of button building tasks sorted by priority, can sedate boss with valium so he calms the fuck down until he can make a case for the impact and potential of his pink button.

Karen might agree that Peter's pink button gets a higher priority than Bob's blue button.

But devs are nocturnal creatures, easily disturbed when approached by humans, their natural rhythms thrown out of balance.

So the sprint is "locked", and Peter's pink button appears at the top of the global backlog, from where it flows into the next sprint.

On rare occasions a sprint is broken open, for example when Karen realizes that all of the end users will commit suicide if they don't have a pink heart-spawning button.

In such an event, Peter must make Bob happy (because Bob is crying that his blue button is delayed). And Peter must make the button team of devs happy.

This usually leads to a ritual involving chocolate or even hardware gift certificates to restore balance to the dev ecosystem.

Comments
  • 51
    An epic tale to challenge the likes of the great poets and writers of the past, bittersweet is truly a modern day Homer.
  • 32
    Why are sales employees always named "Bob"? My mother is a sales employee and she has the same name.
  • 18
    @rutee07 your moms name is Bob?
  • 14
    Tonight in Sales vs Dev,

    Will the herd of dev allow sales to take their cub -- the blue button for a meal?
  • 6
    Peter has no need to make Bob happy, fuck bob, his feature was cancelled. No one has to explain anything further than "we evaluated, the pink button is better"
  • 17
    @mundo03 Peter must make Bob happy if it was not an "A is better than B so it will replace it" scenario, but an "My A has priority over because I cry harder" scenario.

    It's not about buttons, sometimes a sales employee just starts screaming "I must have this CSV export tomorrow, it's essential!"

    If it really can not wait, it's his responsibility to explain to both Karen and all the sad people whose important features got delayed to explain just how important it is.

    This is done to shield developers from constant feature switching, and make it slightly inconvenient and publicly shameful to interrupt devs in their work.

    Everyone understands that you storm into the dev cave when the home page accidentally redirects to pornhub — but when you do it for a slight inconvenience which can easily wait a week, we want you to declare your reasoning.

    Plus chocolate is delicious so you better bring bribes.
  • 1
    It's funny because it imitates real life. We've built a prison for ourselves. I just want to GSD.
  • 1
    @bittersweet no, this is the professional world, Bob's feelings have no place.

    Bob made his suggestion, was told to fuck off, was given a reason, there is no appeal opportunity, Bob has to move on.

    Peter, since he is the boss, has to evaluate Bob's aptitude to deal with this professionally, but has, by no means, the obligation to make up to Bob or the developers.
  • -1
    Started out nicely, got boring midway.
  • 1
    You got a subscriber with this one bittersweet
  • 9
    @mundo03 I wouldn't call a place where rank always takes priority over feelings or even protocol "professional", I'd call it toxic.

    As both developer and tech lead I have my demands for what I deem a workable environment for me and my teams.

    The chocolate bribery is only semi serious, but I do go to great lengths to protect developers from the whims of other executives.

    If the CEO really decided to overrule my protocols, there is of course little I could do apart from quitting or getting fired — but yeah, luckily my boss realizes that there is value in a less authoritarian and more decentralized leadership, so he respects the boundaries I've set up.
  • 0
    @bittersweet was not talking about a authoritarian state, was talking about a decision that happened at work.

    Whatever the reason, feelings are never to be considered.
  • 3
    hahaha best rant in 2019 so far
  • 4
    @mundo03 Feelings should not get in the way of what is good for the company, but they shouldn't be ignored either. When a junior dev comes to me with a shit idea, he's not going to have his way, but I will invest some time to consider his feelings about the subject and handle them in such a way that he doesn't feel like shit.
  • 4
    @bittersweet

    Could you tell me more about valium? Where is it found? Does only the project manager has legal right to use it? Can others own it? How can I own it? How to use it? Can someone sedate himself with it? Could you also please not close the question citing that it is too broad?
  • 7
    @gitlog I guess my European nationality is showing, It's diazepam, a common benzodiazepine much like flunitrazepam/rohypnol, or what Americans like to call a roofie.

    Yes, you can own it, and anyone can legally inject it into annoying coworkers. I think. At least they never complain about it 🤔
  • 6
    @bittersweet oh... is it actually a real thing?

    I was just joking for a magically sedative material that project managers own hierarchically

    LoL
  • 4
    @gitlog That magical sedative material is called meetings.
  • 1
  • 2
    Man, that's the best fuckin rant I've read in a long time.
    @dfox I think it's award time
  • 1
    @gitlog Lol. I read that in the voice of David Attenborough.
  • 0
    Fucking Karen
  • 3
    I with I could share this with my boss...

    My last response to his random additional feature request was: yes it's possible, everything is possible. Not important right now, next Sprint.

    And then told him pretty much exactly what you said: usually sprints are locked unless it's super important.
  • 4
    @billgates You can link it, fork it, change it, repost it, send it as an email together with a gif of a sneezing panda. All my rants are free & open source 😁
  • 2
    @bittersweet well I meant if I did, he wouldn't be very happy about me telling him that.

    I created a rant instead.... https://devrant.com/rants/2029577/...
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