Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

story writing workshop vs. sprint planning

Expand Messages
  • Jane Sherman
    I could use some validation from this group about our first Sprint experience. We just kicked off our first Sprint today. Last week we had a estimation
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 5, 2008
    View Source
    • 0 Attachment

      I could use some validation from this group about our first Sprint experience.   We just kicked off our first Sprint today.

       

      Last week we had a estimation meeting to estimate the newly formed Backlog.  We got through about 20 out of 60 items which was enough to get us going.   This estimation meeting went well – lots of engagement from Engineering and Product Marketing.   Folks enjoyed it.   Lots of good ideas were traded.   I guess I would call this a Story Writing Workshop?      (We did this because the product owner needed some idea of effort so she could prioritize appropriately.)

       

      We had our first Sprint planning meeting yesterday.  The first half of the meeting was a bit of a dud – we’d just gone through all of the stories last week, so there wasn’t much interesting discussion.     I don’t know if everyone in the room remembered every detail we had discussed, but no one wanted to rehash the stories again.   The uber-Product Owner had done a fine job at prioritization so there wasn’t discussion about priorities either.  We’d estimated our capacity already and so we just committed to a certain set of stories.   We spent the 2nd half of the meeting building the Sprint Backlog – this went fine.

       

      It seems to me that we’re going to have the most success by continuing with our Story Writing Workshops – high level design sessions between Product Owners and Engineers for stories at the top of the backlog.   In these meetings we’ll also do our story point estimates.   We’ll do these about once every three week Sprint.  

       

      The first half of our Sprint planning meeting is going to go pretty quickly – verification of capacity, verification of priority, simple math to see which stories we bring in.    I don’t envision  much discussion about the stories themselves.   (Most of the stories are small – 2-5 days – and there’ll will be about 15 of them in a Sprint.)

       

      It seems we could do some of the Story Writing Workshop effort in the Sprint Planning meeting, but I think the difference is the people who attend.   In our Story Writing Workshop, it was just the product owners and the developers.   In our Sprint planning meeting, we had the President and COO plus some extra onlookers.   I welcome folks attending, but there’s a sensitivity amongst the group for wasting folk’s time.   Other than getting our QA folks to attend the Story Writing Workshop (the head of QA did attend, but I think the QA folks in the Sprint will need to attend as well), I’m thinking we’ll be ok.

       

      Anyone see any pitfalls I’m missing?

       

      Jane Sherman

    • Mike Cohn
      I use the term story writing workshop for when we are writing new items for the product backlog--either because they are new concepts or because we are
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 5, 2008
      View Source
      • 0 Attachment
        I use the term "story writing workshop" for when we are writing new items for the product backlog--either because they are new concepts or because we are adding detail to known concepts that just need to be broken apart.

        I find that the "first half of sprint planning meeting" often melts away to near nothing when the team has a properly written and maintained backlog. This is because of how they've already talked about the PB items.  The team was there when they were written. They discussed them again when they were estimated. They may have done that again to split them into smaller pieces. All it takes later during sprint planning is a quick reminder of the story, not a lengthy discussion. So, you're experience is common.

        Good luck with your continued efforts and please keep us posted on progress as this unfolds.

        Regards,
        Mike Cohn
        Author:
          Agile Estimating and Planning
          User Stories Applied


        On Feb 5, 2008, at 9:34 AM, Jane Sherman wrote:


        I could use some validation from this group about our first Sprint experience.   We just kicked off our first Sprint today.

         

        Last week we had a estimation meeting to estimate the newly formed Backlog.  We got through about 20 out of 60 items which was enough to get us going.   This estimation meeting went well – lots of engagement from Engineering and Product Marketing.   Folks enjoyed it.   Lots of good ideas were traded.   I guess I would call this a Story Writing Workshop?      (We did this because the product owner needed some idea of effort so she could prioritize appropriately. )

         

        We had our first Sprint planning meeting yesterday.  The first half of the meeting was a bit of a dud – we’d just gone through all of the stories last week, so there wasn’t much interesting discussion.     I don’t know if everyone in the room remembered every detail we had discussed, but no one wanted to rehash the stories again.   The uber-Product Owner had done a fine job at prioritization so there wasn’t discussion about priorities either.  We’d estimated our capacity already and so we just committed to a certain set of stories.   We spent the 2nd half of the meeting building the Sprint Backlog – this went fine.

         

        It seems to me that we’re going to have the most success by continuing with our Story Writing Workshops – high level design sessions between Product Owners and Engineers for stories at the top of the backlog.   In these meetings we’ll also do our story point estimates.   We’ll do these about once every three week Sprint.  

         

        The first half of our Sprint planning meeting is going to go pretty quickly – verification of capacity, verification of priority, simple math to see which stories we bring in.    I don’t envision  much discussion about the stories themselves.   (Most of the stories are small – 2-5 days – and there’ll will be about 15 of them in a Sprint.)

         

        It seems we could do some of the Story Writing Workshop effort in the Sprint Planning meeting, but I think the difference is the people who attend.   In our Story Writing Workshop, it was just the product owners and the developers.   In our Sprint planning meeting, we had the President and COO plus some extra onlookers.   I welcome folks attending, but there’s a sensitivity amongst the group for wasting folk’s time.   Other than getting our QA folks to attend the Story Writing Workshop (the head of QA did attend, but I think the QA folks in the Sprint will need to attend as well), I’m thinking we’ll be ok.

         

        Anyone see any pitfalls I’m missing?

         

        Jane Sherman



      • MartinBuhl
        In my experience a well written / understood product backlog is crucial in order to achieve a decent sprint planning. So I think you should be glad that you
        Message 3 of 3 , Feb 6, 2008
        View Source
        • 0 Attachment
          In my experience a well written / understood product backlog is
          crucial in order to achieve a decent sprint planning. So I think you
          should be glad that you have such good material for your sprint
          planning. We are working hard in my company to achieve the same.
          Maybe you could just do really high level estimates at the user story
          workshop and then do more detailed estimation at the sprint planning
          by playing planning poker and estimating in story points. It is good
          fun and adds a lot of value. My guess is that you are going to have a
          lot of focus on velocity in future sprints. So if you have the time
          you might as well put a lot of emphasis on estimation from the
          beginning.

          Martin Buhl

          --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Jane Sherman" <janes@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > I could use some validation from this group about our first Sprint
          > experience. We just kicked off our first Sprint today.
          >
          >
          >
          > Last week we had a estimation meeting to estimate the newly formed
          > Backlog. We got through about 20 out of 60 items which was enough
          to
          > get us going. This estimation meeting went well - lots of
          engagement
          > from Engineering and Product Marketing. Folks enjoyed it. Lots
          of
          > good ideas were traded. I guess I would call this a Story Writing
          > Workshop? (We did this because the product owner needed some
          idea
          > of effort so she could prioritize appropriately.)
          >
          >
          >
          > We had our first Sprint planning meeting yesterday. The first half
          of
          > the meeting was a bit of a dud - we'd just gone through all of the
          > stories last week, so there wasn't much interesting discussion.
          I
          > don't know if everyone in the room remembered every detail we had
          > discussed, but no one wanted to rehash the stories again. The
          > uber-Product Owner had done a fine job at prioritization so there
          wasn't
          > discussion about priorities either. We'd estimated our capacity
          already
          > and so we just committed to a certain set of stories. We spent
          the 2nd
          > half of the meeting building the Sprint Backlog - this went fine.
          >
          >
          >
          > It seems to me that we're going to have the most success by
          continuing
          > with our Story Writing Workshops - high level design sessions
          between
          > Product Owners and Engineers for stories at the top of the
          backlog. In
          > these meetings we'll also do our story point estimates. We'll do
          these
          > about once every three week Sprint.
          >
          >
          >
          > The first half of our Sprint planning meeting is going to go pretty
          > quickly - verification of capacity, verification of priority, simple
          > math to see which stories we bring in. I don't envision much
          > discussion about the stories themselves. (Most of the stories are
          > small - 2-5 days - and there'll will be about 15 of them in a
          Sprint.)
          >
          >
          >
          > It seems we could do some of the Story Writing Workshop effort in
          the
          > Sprint Planning meeting, but I think the difference is the people
          who
          > attend. In our Story Writing Workshop, it was just the product
          owners
          > and the developers. In our Sprint planning meeting, we had the
          > President and COO plus some extra onlookers. I welcome folks
          > attending, but there's a sensitivity amongst the group for wasting
          > folk's time. Other than getting our QA folks to attend the Story
          > Writing Workshop (the head of QA did attend, but I think the QA
          folks in
          > the Sprint will need to attend as well), I'm thinking we'll be ok.
          >
          >
          >
          > Anyone see any pitfalls I'm missing?
          >
          >
          >
          > Jane Sherman
          >
        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.