42499RE: [scrumdevelopment] Tracking Actual Hours
- Nov 4, 2009There is nothing especially wrong about tracking hours spent. There is frequently a need for this for various purposes, including th tax and accounting reasons indicated by Alan.
The real 'smell' that arises from this is when the calculation is made Estimated Hours - Actual Hours = Remaining Hours to Completion.
Actual Hours should have nothing to do with burndown charts or whatever means is used to indicate probably future effort. There is nothing wrong with recording actual hours as well as estimating in story points, for example. They serve separate purposes. Recording actual hours does have a significant problem, however, when you try to do a breakdown for actual hours spent on Analysis, Design, Programming, Testing etc. In this day and age it is very difficult to clearly classify effort int these categories. There is far too much overlap of these classifications in what we actually do.
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> From: alandd@...
> Date: Wed, 4 Nov 2009 18:48:19 -0700
> Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Tracking Actual Hours
> Members of our Scrum teams track hours for accounting and tax
> purposes. They record hours spent on their project so tax benefits
> from R&D credits or other such things can be accounted.
> And actual hours worked is NEVER fed back into the team or the Scrum
> process. Even when we did try to estimate tasks in ideal days we did
> not track actuals against the estimates or anything like that. Once
> we have a way to calculate velocity with story points, there is little
> added value in tracking actuals to more detail than that.
> I suggest you ask the entire team, including Product Owner and
> ScrumMaster, who uses the actuals data and what they use it for. If
> no one ever looks at the data, now or weeks later, it is waste to
> track it. It may be that people are doing because they think they
> must or think there is value. Question the assumption and eliminate
> whatever does not bring value to the team and company.
> On Wed, Nov 4, 2009 at 12:00 PM, cloud_strife62301
> <officeofthelaw@...> wrote:
> > Hi All,
> > Recently I've started at a new company that has been trying to implement Scrum, and there's been several practices that naturally need a bit or work or even removal, but there's one that has really been bugging me: tracking actuals.
> > As a member of the dev team, each day I get an email from the Scrum Master asking me to please burn down our hours for the tasks I've been working on. This means, in Rally they've been filling in the "actuals" daily to "accurately" track time spent on tasks, which devs have to enter AGAIN into the corporate time tracking system, and AGAIN if they're from a contractor. :(
> > Anyway, the whole "actuals" really annoyed me... in my experience, one should be more focused on actual outputs rather than tracking the number of hours spent on each task. Sadly, when I brought this to the ScrumMaster's attention, he was able to find numerous articles mentioning tracking actual hours on tasks on the Scrum Alliance site and even pointed out that Rally and the scrum templates you can find just about anywhere on the net have fields to enter estimated hours vs. actual hours.
> > Seriousy... WTF!?
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