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39451Re: Scrum Teams Finishing Most Work in Last Third of Sprint: PROBLEM or NO??

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  • jmilunsky
    Jun 30, 2009
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      I guess I need you to clarify one more thing

      When you say they're only completing the bulk of their tasks in the last 3rd of the sprint are you specifically referring to tasks or do you mean user stories.

      If you mean the user stories are completed at the tail end of the sprint that's ok. Typically a user story is broken down into many tasks and so a user story is often not complete until all the tasks are complete.

      If it's tasks you are referring to then it sounds to me that there are a couple issues

      1. tasks have too many dependencies so they can't get done until the others are done
      2. tasks should be 1 or 2 days max so if they're not being moved to the done column then that should signal to you that there's an issue
      3. your tasks are too large i.e. they take days to finish, so break them down more

      Not sure if this helps
      jack
      www.agilebuddy.com
      blog.agilebuddy.com
      twitter.com/agilebuddy


      --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "redbull1214" <james_k_lee@...> wrote:
      >
      > Thanks for the concern, Jack.
      >
      > I'd like to add more context to this conversation.
      >
      > So, the teams take on about 30-40 tasks per sprint. Approximately, 82-87% of those 30-40 tasks are completed (broken down into story points). Usually, this amounts to 2-4 tasks not completed.
      >
      > The only concern I am presenting is this observation:
      >
      > ..that the teams tend to finish the majority (~60%) of their commitments in the last third of the sprint.
      >
      > Should I be alarmed by this observation? And, if so, WHY? And, what mechanisms would I have at my disposal from a facilitator standpoint?
      >
      > Thanks.
      >
      >
      > James
      >
      > PS We use the Kanban board. Burndown charts are posted daily.
      >
      > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "jmilunsky" <jack@> wrote:
      > >
      > > if you are using the kanban board and they're not finishing tasks, this would mean that tasks are piling up in the in progress column which you'd see straight away.
      > >
      > > so you should ensure the tasks are complete before they start a new task, there's ways to limit the number of tasks in any given column.
      > >
      > > You may however have a problem where they say the task is finished but it's not really. This is a different problem altogether. I suggest you get qa engaged earlier if this is the case so that you can know sooner that the task is actually not done.
      > >
      > > Try adding acceptance test criteria and make the developers ensure that there stuff is done
      > >
      > > Jack
      > > www.agilebuddy.com
      > > blog.agilebuddy.com
      > > twitter.com/agilebuddy
      > >
      > > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "redbull1214" <james_k_lee@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > I am already using the Kanban Board, since sprint 1.
      > > >
      > > > James
      > > >
      > > > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "jmilunsky" <jack@> wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > THis is called thrashing i.e. they're not finishing one thing before starting another.
      > > > >
      > > > > A kanban board should really help you with this
      > > > >
      > > > > Jack
      > > > > blog.agilebuddy.com
      > > > > twitter.com/agilebuddy
      > > > > www.agilebuddy.com
      > > > >
      > > > > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "redbull1214" <james_k_lee@> wrote:
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Hi Everyone,
      > > > > >
      > > > > > I am facilitating 3 scrum teams (4 at one point in time before I consolidated 2 into 1).
      > > > > >
      > > > > > I've noticed that most of the teams here have a propensity to finish "most" of their tasks (like 60%) in the last third of the sprint.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > After more than 7+ sprints for each team, they are averaging 82-87% completion % overall.. The teams are on an upward trend in terms of story points completed (maybe 5-10% growth per iteration) and scoring/ estimates are becoming more standardized (that is, team members more readily agree on each other's estimates with LESS conversation during the planning meeting),..
      > > > > >
      > > > > > From a facilitator perspective, should I be alarmed about this?
      > > > > >
      > > > > > If so, what are some of the mechanisms you like to use to keep the burndown on a more even pace throughout the sprint cycle??
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Please advise.
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > > James ;)
      > > > > >
      > > > >
      > > >
      > >
      >
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