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Re: Scrum Excel add-in - Product Backlog worksheet

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  • Deb
    Hi Rusty... Backlog estimates are adjusted when items are assigned to a Sprint. This is because the initial estimate is made in a bit of a vacuum, but the
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 10, 2003
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      Hi Rusty...

      Backlog estimates are adjusted when items are assigned to a Sprint.
      This is because the initial estimate is made in a bit of a vacuum,
      but the rubber hits the road when you assign it to a Sprint. Once you
      know which Sprint, you know the staffing, location and other factors
      that may force adjustments - things like: junior staff members, or
      team that has not worked together before, etc.

      This is covered in the Certification training materials
      under "Activity: 1.4 Adjust Backlog Estimates", which includes an
      example table of "drag" factors for different combinations of the
      following: "# years team working together", "knowledge of
      technology", "knowledge of domain". (Page 157 on my copy).

      Note that this is just an example, and that different factors may
      crop up where you work. The Adjustment activity is there to make the
      Owner aware of mitigating factors *before* the fact. Alistair
      Cockburn in Agile Software Development cites other factors such
      as "non-colocated team". From experience, I'd also consider "slow
      desktop CPU speed" as a significant drag factor when using continuous
      integration with XP. (The appearance of this factor in your planning
      could theoretically prompt a discussion between your Customer and
      whoever approves IT hardware budgets... which could be good, right? :-
      )

      Here's what Activity: 1.4 says...

      <snip - from Ken Schwaber's ScrumMaster Certif. materials 2003, p155>
      Purpose:
      To adjust the product backlog estimates to reflect any factors
      reducing team effectiveness. Scrum assumes an optimal work
      environment. This activity forces an understanding that suboptimal
      product factors have a cost.

      Assumptions:
      This activity is not mechanical, plugging in factors. Instead, it is
      intended to provide cost awareness. Every decision regarding the team
      working environment has an impact on their productivity and an
      attendant cost. If the management is aware of this, this activity is
      merely a reminder of these costs. If management is not aware of these
      costs, this activity provides a monetary cost to suboptimal
      environments.

      Risks:
      Don't quibble about the factor values. They are generalized and not
      intended to be precise for every situation.
      <snip>

      Ciao!
      deb

      --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "rwaltersiii"
      <rusty.walters@e...> wrote:
      > I recently obtained the latest Scrum Excel add-in and user guide
      from
      > the Scrum Alliance web site. It is not clear to me when and how
      one
      > should update the product backlog estimates.
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