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3427RE: [scrumdevelopment] question regarding muliple projects against a small team

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  • Mike Cohn
    May 5, 2004

      Some of the collaborative benefits will come from just discussing the products and prioritizing in the Sprint Planning Meeting. For example, we pull Story A in for your project. During Sprint Planning we discuss it and while breaking it into tasks you say you need to do “xyz.”  When I hear that I tell you that I just finished doing “xyb” and it might help you start. Or, that I need to do “xya” this sprint and their might be something we can solve together.  Even if those opportunities are rare the increased general awareness is useful.

       

      --Mike Cohn, Certified ScrumMaster

      Author of User Stories Applied for Agile Software Development

      www.userstories.com

      www.mountaingoatsoftware.com


      From: Dave Moore [mailto:jdmoorejr@...]
      Sent: Wednesday, May 05, 2004 7:08 PM
      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] question regarding muliple projects against a small team

       

      Hey Mike, Deb et. al.

       

      Thanks a ton for your comments, I really appreciate it.

       

      Regarding 1). I like that approach. I am a little concerned about how to realize the colloborative benefits though if the developers are working on the very different projects within the same sprint.  I would imagine that there would be some  backlog items in this "shared" sprint backlog that could facilitate some interaction between developers simply because they stem from the same original product backlog... and hence the same codebase.  I need to think on this a bit more deeply.

       

      Thanks again

      Dave Moore

      Mike Cohn <mike@...> wrote:

      Daveb

      My suggestions are:

       

      1) Consider yourself one team and so have one sprint backlog for the full team. This sounds especially feasible since you say the developers are able to help each other some. You may very likely want to maintain multiple product backlogs (one per product, obviously). At the start of each sprint, create the single sprint backlog from the most important items on the associated product backlogs. That may mean taking some in from each product backlog or taking it all from one product backlog sometimes. That will depend on the business.

       

      2) Ibd suggest setting your sprint length so that you can be appropriately responsive to customers without having to add all of their new items into current sprints. For example, if you have 2 week sprints you could say bnew customer requests go into their product backlogs and get prioritized into the next sprintb and not add customer hot issues into the current sprint. If you do this then the customer will receive a fix within 3 weeks on average. Of course youbll have a few occasional really hot bshowstopperb items that you add to a sprint. Live with those and just let them adjust your velocity down a bit.

       

      3) During the sprint, itbs bwebre all in this together.b Hopefully each developer can see which work he or she can do that will add great value to the organization during the sprint. But, if nothing from my pet project got prioritized in, I am not allowed to work on bmyb project and I find other ways to contribute by taking on other sprint backlog items.

       

      Good luck!

       

      --Mike Cohn, Certified ScrumMaster

      Author of User Stories Applied for Agile Software Development

      www.userstories.com

      www.mountaingoatsoftware.com


      From: Dave Moore [mailto:jdmoorejr@...]
      Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 2004 5:46 PM
      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [scrumdevelopment] question regarding muliple projects against a small team

       

      Hey All,

       

      I'm working at getting my head around how to start using Scrum in our little organization. I'm beset by a couple of initial challenges that I'm hoping get your feedback/opinions on.

       

      A little info...

      We are a small custom software development shopt and currently have 5 developers each either working on a specific project that they "own", or bouncing around helping on other projects as their time allows.  We have about 10 projects that are in maintenance mode, which is to say that the backlog would be either periodically empty, or filled with some "hot" items... which would hopefully be iterated over in a hurry and the be "patched" to the current working code base.  Each project is with a different customer, represents a different code base, and possibly a different technology.  We also occassionally take on a new project whose typical 1-2 developer lifecyle is anywhere from 3-9 months.

       

      Some of my confusion/problems.

      I think I could figure out how to form a team, create a backlog, and begin a sprint for a new project that has a  considerable amount of backlog directly related to it.

      But, I can't seem to figure out how to organize the maintenance projects into a sprint structure that makes sense. Any ideas?

      Specifically:

      1) Do I create one team and try and divide our time amongst multiple projects and consequently multiple (possibly shorter) sprints?

      2) Do I divide the teams up, having one sort of new project team that can more closely adhere to the Scrum 30day sprint etc guidelines, and another project team that works against several maintenance projects with small sprints/quicker releases?

      3) Do something completely different?

       

      I fear I may not be giving enough information, but I didn't want to make this email too long.

       

      Thank you  for your time!

      Dave


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