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Developing a sense of commitment among the Team to completing the Sprint Backlog

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  • dvroberts411
    Howdy All, I m in the midst of Sprint #3 with a Team that is new to Agile/Scrum but consists of seasoned development engineers. One trend that I have noticed
    Message 1 of 14 , Apr 2 7:52 AM
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      Howdy All,

      I'm in the midst of Sprint #3 with a Team that is new to Agile/Scrum
      but consists of seasoned development engineers. One trend that I
      have noticed over the course of these first 3 sprints is the Team's
      casual attitude about completing the Sprint Backlog. I've heard
      several comments such as 'Well, it doesn't look like we're going to
      have enough time to complete that last story' on the sprint
      backlog. I am just not seeing the Team truly understand the meaning
      of 'committing' to the Sprint Backlog, even though I try to get them
      to elicit a statement of commitment at the conclusion of each Sprint
      Planning meeting.

      Can any of you share your ideas on how I can better instill an
      understanding among my Team of what it means to 'commit' to the
      Sprint Backlog? I certainly understand that the Team may have over-
      committed during the Sprint Planning meetings and genuinely cannot
      complete a Sprint Backlog. But that is not the case: I am seeing
      some members doing design work, or building libraries, that actually
      have nothing to do with the Sprint Backlog, just because they think
      these activities are truly important and should be done. But this
      results in all the user stories not being completed by the end of
      our sprints. And the reaction I'm seeing from Team members is
      like 'Oh well, that's the way it goes. We ran out of time'.

      Your ideas on how I can better enlist the Team's commitment to focus
      on, and complete, the sprint backlog would be much appreciated.

      Thanks,

      Doug
    • Plamen Balkanski
      Hi, It looks like you re having similar problems to the one we had. What we ve done was to organize a set of meetings on which we basically did the exercises
      Message 2 of 14 , Apr 2 7:58 AM
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        Hi,

         

        It looks like you're having similar problems to the one we had. What we've done was to organize a set of meetings on which we basically did the exercises described in this book - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Five-Dysfunctions-Team-Leadership-Fable/dp/0787960756/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1207148167&sr=8-1

         

        While there is still place for improvement ,overall I am happy with the results and the change of attitude. From previous experience I would also recommend some team building games/exercises.

         

        Cheers

        Plamen


        On Wed, Apr 2, 2008 at 3:52 PM, dvroberts411 <Douglas.Roberts@...> wrote:

        Howdy All,

        I'm in the midst of Sprint #3 with a Team that is new to Agile/Scrum
        but consists of seasoned development engineers. One trend that I
        have noticed over the course of these first 3 sprints is the Team's
        casual attitude about completing the Sprint Backlog. I've heard
        several comments such as 'Well, it doesn't look like we're going to
        have enough time to complete that last story' on the sprint
        backlog. I am just not seeing the Team truly understand the meaning
        of 'committing' to the Sprint Backlog, even though I try to get them
        to elicit a statement of commitment at the conclusion of each Sprint
        Planning meeting.

        Can any of you share your ideas on how I can better instill an
        understanding among my Team of what it means to 'commit' to the
        Sprint Backlog? I certainly understand that the Team may have over-
        committed during the Sprint Planning meetings and genuinely cannot
        complete a Sprint Backlog. But that is not the case: I am seeing
        some members doing design work, or building libraries, that actually
        have nothing to do with the Sprint Backlog, just because they think
        these activities are truly important and should be done. But this
        results in all the user stories not being completed by the end of
        our sprints. And the reaction I'm seeing from Team members is
        like 'Oh well, that's the way it goes. We ran out of time'.

        Your ideas on how I can better enlist the Team's commitment to focus
        on, and complete, the sprint backlog would be much appreciated.

        Thanks,

        Doug




        --
        Plamen Balkanski
        Certified Scrum Master (CSM), Certified Scrum Practitioner (CSP), MCSD
        07912 780 927
      • George Dinwiddie
        Doug, Are you a member of the team? Have you brought it up in the retrospectives? I think that saying something like this: I feel embarrassed that we don t
        Message 3 of 14 , Apr 2 9:06 AM
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          Doug,

          Are you a member of the team? Have you brought it up in the retrospectives?

          I think that saying something like this:

          "I feel embarrassed that we don't complete the work we commit to do.
          We manage to do some other things that aren't part of the commitment,
          and this implies to me that our word to the Product Owner doesn't mean
          very much. When I give my word, I like it to really mean something."

          might be a good conversation starter.

          If you're not part of the team, maybe the Product Owner should ask, at
          the end of the planning meeting, what the word "commit" means to the team.

          - George

          dvroberts411 wrote:
          > Howdy All,
          >
          > I'm in the midst of Sprint #3 with a Team that is new to Agile/Scrum
          > but consists of seasoned development engineers. One trend that I
          > have noticed over the course of these first 3 sprints is the Team's
          > casual attitude about completing the Sprint Backlog. I've heard
          > several comments such as 'Well, it doesn't look like we're going to
          > have enough time to complete that last story' on the sprint
          > backlog. I am just not seeing the Team truly understand the meaning
          > of 'committing' to the Sprint Backlog, even though I try to get them
          > to elicit a statement of commitment at the conclusion of each Sprint
          > Planning meeting.
          >
          > Can any of you share your ideas on how I can better instill an
          > understanding among my Team of what it means to 'commit' to the
          > Sprint Backlog? I certainly understand that the Team may have over-
          > committed during the Sprint Planning meetings and genuinely cannot
          > complete a Sprint Backlog. But that is not the case: I am seeing
          > some members doing design work, or building libraries, that actually
          > have nothing to do with the Sprint Backlog, just because they think
          > these activities are truly important and should be done. But this
          > results in all the user stories not being completed by the end of
          > our sprints. And the reaction I'm seeing from Team members is
          > like 'Oh well, that's the way it goes. We ran out of time'.

          --
          ----------------------------------------------------------------------
          * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
          Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
          Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
          ----------------------------------------------------------------------
        • dvroberts411
          Hi George, I am the SM for the Team: sorry, I should have mentioned that in the original post. I have not brought it up as a topic during the Sprint
          Message 4 of 14 , Apr 2 9:55 AM
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            Hi George,

            I am the SM for the Team: sorry, I should have mentioned that in the
            original post.

            I have not brought it up as a topic during the Sprint Retrospective,
            but I have it on my agenda of topics to talk about for the upcoming
            meeting this Monday. I will take your suggestion and pose it more
            as a question to the Team at the meeting: 'What does it mean to you
            to 'commit' to the Sprint Backlog?'.

            Thanks,

            Doug

            --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, George Dinwiddie
            <lists@...> wrote:
            >
            > Doug,
            >
            > Are you a member of the team? Have you brought it up in the
            retrospectives?
            >
            > I think that saying something like this:
            >
            > "I feel embarrassed that we don't complete the work we commit to
            do.
            > We manage to do some other things that aren't part of the
            commitment,
            > and this implies to me that our word to the Product Owner doesn't
            mean
            > very much. When I give my word, I like it to really mean
            something."
            >
            > might be a good conversation starter.
            >
            > If you're not part of the team, maybe the Product Owner should
            ask, at
            > the end of the planning meeting, what the word "commit" means to
            the team.
            >
            > - George
            >
            > dvroberts411 wrote:
            > > Howdy All,
            > >
            > > I'm in the midst of Sprint #3 with a Team that is new to
            Agile/Scrum
            > > but consists of seasoned development engineers. One trend that
            I
            > > have noticed over the course of these first 3 sprints is the
            Team's
            > > casual attitude about completing the Sprint Backlog. I've heard
            > > several comments such as 'Well, it doesn't look like we're going
            to
            > > have enough time to complete that last story' on the sprint
            > > backlog. I am just not seeing the Team truly understand the
            meaning
            > > of 'committing' to the Sprint Backlog, even though I try to get
            them
            > > to elicit a statement of commitment at the conclusion of each
            Sprint
            > > Planning meeting.
            > >
            > > Can any of you share your ideas on how I can better instill an
            > > understanding among my Team of what it means to 'commit' to the
            > > Sprint Backlog? I certainly understand that the Team may have
            over-
            > > committed during the Sprint Planning meetings and genuinely
            cannot
            > > complete a Sprint Backlog. But that is not the case: I am
            seeing
            > > some members doing design work, or building libraries, that
            actually
            > > have nothing to do with the Sprint Backlog, just because they
            think
            > > these activities are truly important and should be done. But
            this
            > > results in all the user stories not being completed by the end
            of
            > > our sprints. And the reaction I'm seeing from Team members is
            > > like 'Oh well, that's the way it goes. We ran out of time'.
            >
            > --
            > -----------------------------------------------------------------
            -----
            > * George Dinwiddie *
            http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
            > Software Development
            http://www.idiacomputing.com
            > Consultant and Coach
            http://www.agilemaryland.org
            > -----------------------------------------------------------------
            -----
            >
          • Larry Cross
            This has been an issue with a team which I am the scrum master for as well. We *re* learned (during our retrospective) that the team is notorious for adding
            Message 5 of 14 , Apr 2 10:13 AM
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              This has been an issue with a team which I am the scrum master for as well. We *re* learned (during our retrospective) that the team is notorious for adding scope. Its ironic since the Product Owners are usually the culprit.

              We now have a large poster reminding the team to holler "Moose Antlers" everytime anyone on the team even suspects someone is adding scope. It seems silly but so far it has really helped the team focus on the true done criteria for the backlog.



              ----- Original Message -----
              From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com <scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com>
              To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com <scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Wed Apr 02 09:55:48 2008
              Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Developing a sense of commitment among the Team to completing the Sprint Backlog

              Hi George,

              I am the SM for the Team: sorry, I should have mentioned that in the
              original post.

              I have not brought it up as a topic during the Sprint Retrospective,
              but I have it on my agenda of topics to talk about for the upcoming
              meeting this Monday. I will take your suggestion and pose it more
              as a question to the Team at the meeting: 'What does it mean to you
              to 'commit' to the Sprint Backlog?'.

              Thanks,

              Doug

              --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com <mailto:scrumdevelopment%40yahoogroups.com> , George Dinwiddie
              <lists@...> wrote:
              >
              > Doug,
              >
              > Are you a member of the team? Have you brought it up in the
              retrospectives?
              >
              > I think that saying something like this:
              >
              > "I feel embarrassed that we don't complete the work we commit to
              do.
              > We manage to do some other things that aren't part of the
              commitment,
              > and this implies to me that our word to the Product Owner doesn't
              mean
              > very much. When I give my word, I like it to really mean
              something."
              >
              > might be a good conversation starter.
              >
              > If you're not part of the team, maybe the Product Owner should
              ask, at
              > the end of the planning meeting, what the word "commit" means to
              the team.
              >
              > - George
              >
              > dvroberts411 wrote:
              > > Howdy All,
              > >
              > > I'm in the midst of Sprint #3 with a Team that is new to
              Agile/Scrum
              > > but consists of seasoned development engineers. One trend that
              I
              > > have noticed over the course of these first 3 sprints is the
              Team's
              > > casual attitude about completing the Sprint Backlog. I've heard
              > > several comments such as 'Well, it doesn't look like we're going
              to
              > > have enough time to complete that last story' on the sprint
              > > backlog. I am just not seeing the Team truly understand the
              meaning
              > > of 'committing' to the Sprint Backlog, even though I try to get
              them
              > > to elicit a statement of commitment at the conclusion of each
              Sprint
              > > Planning meeting.
              > >
              > > Can any of you share your ideas on how I can better instill an
              > > understanding among my Team of what it means to 'commit' to the
              > > Sprint Backlog? I certainly understand that the Team may have
              over-
              > > committed during the Sprint Planning meetings and genuinely
              cannot
              > > complete a Sprint Backlog. But that is not the case: I am
              seeing
              > > some members doing design work, or building libraries, that
              actually
              > > have nothing to do with the Sprint Backlog, just because they
              think
              > > these activities are truly important and should be done. But
              this
              > > results in all the user stories not being completed by the end
              of
              > > our sprints. And the reaction I'm seeing from Team members is
              > > like 'Oh well, that's the way it goes. We ran out of time'.
              >
              > --
              > ----------------------------------------------------------
              -----
              > * George Dinwiddie *
              http://blog.gdinwiddie.com <http://blog.gdinwiddie.com>
              > Software Development
              http://www.idiacomputing.com <http://www.idiacomputing.com>
              > Consultant and Coach
              http://www.agilemaryland.org <http://www.agilemaryland.org>
              > ----------------------------------------------------------
              -----
              >
            • George Dinwiddie
              ... Doug, it occurs to me that the Dev Team and the PO may be content with the current level of commitment. If that s the case, I m not sure it s the
              Message 6 of 14 , Apr 2 11:36 AM
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                dvroberts411 wrote:
                > Hi George,
                >
                > I am the SM for the Team: sorry, I should have mentioned that in the
                > original post.
                >
                > I have not brought it up as a topic during the Sprint Retrospective,
                > but I have it on my agenda of topics to talk about for the upcoming
                > meeting this Monday. I will take your suggestion and pose it more
                > as a question to the Team at the meeting: 'What does it mean to you
                > to 'commit' to the Sprint Backlog?'.

                Doug, it occurs to me that the Dev Team and the PO may be content with
                the current level of "commitment." If that's the case, I'm not sure
                it's the scrummasters call to ask for a higher level. Certainly that
                contentment may not be forever, as someone is likely to want more once
                they start thinking about it.

                It's likely, however, that the Dev Team and PO are /not/ in agreement on
                this topic. In that case, facilitating a discussion between them would
                be good for the health of the project. It may be tricky to avoid the
                emotional landmines, of course. You may want to study up on
                facilitation techniques.

                - George

                --
                ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
                Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
                Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
                ----------------------------------------------------------------------
              • Rodney Wynn
                If this is truly important to you then do not wait till the retrospective after the daily stand up bring it forward for discussion. Waiting in silence for the
                Message 7 of 14 , Apr 3 10:01 AM
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                  If this is truly important to you then do not wait till the retrospective after the daily stand up bring it forward for discussion.

                  Waiting in silence for the retrospective sends a message of acceptance of the team actions

                  dvroberts411 <Douglas.Roberts@...> wrote:
                  Hi George,

                  I am the SM for the Team: sorry, I should have mentioned that in the
                  original post.

                  I have not brought it up as a topic during the Sprint Retrospective,
                  but I have it on my agenda of topics to talk about for the upcoming
                  meeting this Monday. I will take your suggestion and pose it more
                  as a question to the Team at the meeting: 'What does it mean to you
                  to 'commit' to the Sprint Backlog?'.

                  Thanks,

                  Doug

                  --- In scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com, George Dinwiddie
                  <lists@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Doug,
                  >
                  > Are you a member of the team? Have you brought it up in the
                  retrospectives?
                  >
                  > I think that saying something like this:
                  >
                  > "I feel embarrassed that we don't complete the work we commit to
                  do.
                  > We manage to do some other things that aren't part of the
                  commitment,
                  > and this implies to me that our word to the Product Owner doesn't
                  mean
                  > very much. When I give my word, I like it to really mean
                  something."
                  >
                  > might be a good conversation starter.
                  >
                  > If you're not part of the team, maybe the Product Owner should
                  ask, at
                  > the end of the planning meeting, what the word "commit" means to
                  the team.
                  >
                  > - George
                  >
                  > dvroberts411 wrote:
                  > > Howdy All,
                  > >
                  > > I'm in the midst of Sprint #3 with a Team that is new to
                  Agile/Scrum
                  > > but consists of seasoned development engineers. One trend that
                  I
                  > > have noticed over the course of these first 3 sprints is the
                  Team's
                  > > casual attitude about completing the Sprint Backlog. I've heard
                  > > several comments such as 'Well, it doesn't look like we're going
                  to
                  > > have enough time to complete that last story' on the sprint
                  > > backlog. I am just not seeing the Team truly understand the
                  meaning
                  > > of 'committing' to the Sprint Backlog, even though I try to get
                  them
                  > > to elicit a statement of commitment at the conclusion of each
                  Sprint
                  > > Planning meeting.
                  > >
                  > > Can any of you share your ideas on how I can better instill an
                  > > understanding among my Team of what it means to 'commit' to the
                  > > Sprint Backlog? I certainly understand that the Team may have
                  over-
                  > > committed during the Sprint Planning meetings and genuinely
                  cannot
                  > > complete a Sprint Backlog. But that is not the case: I am
                  seeing
                  > > some members doing design work, or building libraries, that
                  actually
                  > > have nothing to do with the Sprint Backlog, just because they
                  think
                  > > these activities are truly important and should be done. But
                  this
                  > > results in all the user stories not being completed by the end
                  of
                  > > our sprints. And the reaction I'm seeing from Team members is
                  > > like 'Oh well, that's the way it goes. We ran out of time'.
                  >
                  > --
                  > ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
                  -----
                  > * George Dinwiddie *
                  http://blog. gdinwiddie. com
                  > Software Development
                  http://www.idiacomp uting.com
                  > Consultant and Coach
                  http://www.agilemar yland.org
                  > ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
                  -----
                  >



                  You rock. That's why Blockbuster's offering you one month of Blockbuster Total Access, No Cost.

                • Hank Roark
                  Doug, It might be worth tracking the number of story committed vs. number completed sprint by sprint. Put it on a big visible chart and see if anyone notices
                  Message 8 of 14 , Apr 3 10:18 AM
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                    Doug,

                    It might be worth tracking the number of story committed vs. number completed sprint by sprint.  Put it on a big visible chart and see if anyone notices / cares.

                    -- Hank

                    On Wed, Apr 2, 2008 at 10:52 AM, dvroberts411 <Douglas.Roberts@...> wrote:

                    Howdy All,

                    I'm in the midst of Sprint #3 with a Team that is new to Agile/Scrum
                    but consists of seasoned development engineers. One trend that I
                    have noticed over the course of these first 3 sprints is the Team's
                    casual attitude about completing the Sprint Backlog. I've heard
                    several comments such as 'Well, it doesn't look like we're going to
                    have enough time to complete that last story' on the sprint
                    backlog. I am just not seeing the Team truly understand the meaning
                    of 'committing' to the Sprint Backlog, even though I try to get them
                    to elicit a statement of commitment at the conclusion of each Sprint
                    Planning meeting.

                    Can any of you share your ideas on how I can better instill an
                    understanding among my Team of what it means to 'commit' to the
                    Sprint Backlog? I certainly understand that the Team may have over-
                    committed during the Sprint Planning meetings and genuinely cannot
                    complete a Sprint Backlog. But that is not the case: I am seeing
                    some members doing design work, or building libraries, that actually
                    have nothing to do with the Sprint Backlog, just because they think
                    these activities are truly important and should be done. But this
                    results in all the user stories not being completed by the end of
                    our sprints. And the reaction I'm seeing from Team members is
                    like 'Oh well, that's the way it goes. We ran out of time'.

                    Your ideas on how I can better enlist the Team's commitment to focus
                    on, and complete, the sprint backlog would be much appreciated.

                    Thanks,

                    Doug


                  • dvroberts411
                    Thanks, Hank (and Rodney) for your suggestions to make the failure to complete all the user stories in the Sprint Backlog more visible. Actually, the PO is
                    Message 9 of 14 , Apr 3 2:19 PM
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                      Thanks, Hank (and Rodney) for your suggestions to make the failure
                      to complete all the user stories in the Sprint Backlog more
                      visible. Actually, the PO is quite aware and concerned, and vocal,
                      about the Sprint Backlog not being completed in each of the 2
                      completed (to date) sprints. What I have to figure out is how to
                      develop a sense of ownership among the Team members and that
                      commitment to the Sprint backlog is more than the attitude 'We'll
                      get done as much as we can'. We are only in our third sprint with
                      this new (to Scrum) team, and I know that this understanding of
                      commitment will come. I just want to see how I can better
                      communicate and develop that feeling of ownership among the Team so
                      that the Team really takes it to heart what it means to commit.
                      It's got to be a balance of effective user story/task estimation
                      during the Planning meeting plus a pride in getting what was
                      promised 'done' by sprint's end.

                      Thanks again for all the helpful thoughts and advice. This is such
                      a great forum! I'm looking forward to meeting a lot of you at the
                      Scrum Gathering in Chicago.

                      Doug

                      --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Hank Roark"
                      <Hank.Roark@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Doug,
                      >
                      > It might be worth tracking the number of story committed vs. number
                      > completed sprint by sprint. Put it on a big visible chart and see
                      if anyone
                      > notices / cares.
                      >
                      > -- Hank
                      >
                      > On Wed, Apr 2, 2008 at 10:52 AM, dvroberts411 <Douglas.Roberts@...>
                      > wrote:
                      >
                      > > Howdy All,
                      > >
                      > > I'm in the midst of Sprint #3 with a Team that is new to
                      Agile/Scrum
                      > > but consists of seasoned development engineers. One trend that I
                      > > have noticed over the course of these first 3 sprints is the
                      Team's
                      > > casual attitude about completing the Sprint Backlog. I've heard
                      > > several comments such as 'Well, it doesn't look like we're going
                      to
                      > > have enough time to complete that last story' on the sprint
                      > > backlog. I am just not seeing the Team truly understand the
                      meaning
                      > > of 'committing' to the Sprint Backlog, even though I try to get
                      them
                      > > to elicit a statement of commitment at the conclusion of each
                      Sprint
                      > > Planning meeting.
                      > >
                      > > Can any of you share your ideas on how I can better instill an
                      > > understanding among my Team of what it means to 'commit' to the
                      > > Sprint Backlog? I certainly understand that the Team may have
                      over-
                      > > committed during the Sprint Planning meetings and genuinely
                      cannot
                      > > complete a Sprint Backlog. But that is not the case: I am seeing
                      > > some members doing design work, or building libraries, that
                      actually
                      > > have nothing to do with the Sprint Backlog, just because they
                      think
                      > > these activities are truly important and should be done. But this
                      > > results in all the user stories not being completed by the end of
                      > > our sprints. And the reaction I'm seeing from Team members is
                      > > like 'Oh well, that's the way it goes. We ran out of time'.
                      > >
                      > > Your ideas on how I can better enlist the Team's commitment to
                      focus
                      > > on, and complete, the sprint backlog would be much appreciated.
                      > >
                      > > Thanks,
                      > >
                      > > Doug
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      >
                    • Hank Roark
                      Doug, One last piece of advice (good, bad, or otherwise) that I might offer. The team needs to allow some time for other stuff. At Google this is 20% to work
                      Message 10 of 14 , Apr 3 4:51 PM
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                        Doug,

                        One last piece of advice (good, bad, or otherwise) that I might offer.

                        The team needs to allow some time for other stuff.  At Google this is 20% to work on things not requested by marketing (analogous to the product owner).  I shoot for more like 10-15%.  The work is related to the business but not necessarily from the product owner(s).  It lets the team do some 'innovative' things, house keeping, etc.

                        -- Hank

                        On Thu, Apr 3, 2008 at 5:19 PM, dvroberts411 <Douglas.Roberts@...> wrote:

                        Thanks, Hank (and Rodney) for your suggestions to make the failure
                        to complete all the user stories in the Sprint Backlog more
                        visible. Actually, the PO is quite aware and concerned, and vocal,
                        about the Sprint Backlog not being completed in each of the 2
                        completed (to date) sprints. What I have to figure out is how to
                        develop a sense of ownership among the Team members and that
                        commitment to the Sprint backlog is more than the attitude 'We'll
                        get done as much as we can'. We are only in our third sprint with
                        this new (to Scrum) team, and I know that this understanding of
                        commitment will come. I just want to see how I can better
                        communicate and develop that feeling of ownership among the Team so
                        that the Team really takes it to heart what it means to commit.
                        It's got to be a balance of effective user story/task estimation
                        during the Planning meeting plus a pride in getting what was
                        promised 'done' by sprint's end.

                        Thanks again for all the helpful thoughts and advice. This is such
                        a great forum! I'm looking forward to meeting a lot of you at the
                        Scrum Gathering in Chicago.

                        Doug

                        --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Hank Roark"

                        <Hank.Roark@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Doug,
                        >
                        > It might be worth tracking the number of story committed vs. number
                        > completed sprint by sprint. Put it on a big visible chart and see
                        if anyone
                        > notices / cares.
                        >
                        > -- Hank
                        >
                        > On Wed, Apr 2, 2008 at 10:52 AM, dvroberts411 <Douglas.Roberts@...>

                        > wrote:
                        >
                        > > Howdy All,
                        > >
                        > > I'm in the midst of Sprint #3 with a Team that is new to
                        Agile/Scrum
                        > > but consists of seasoned development engineers. One trend that I
                        > > have noticed over the course of these first 3 sprints is the
                        Team's
                        > > casual attitude about completing the Sprint Backlog. I've heard
                        > > several comments such as 'Well, it doesn't look like we're going
                        to
                        > > have enough time to complete that last story' on the sprint
                        > > backlog. I am just not seeing the Team truly understand the
                        meaning
                        > > of 'committing' to the Sprint Backlog, even though I try to get
                        them
                        > > to elicit a statement of commitment at the conclusion of each
                        Sprint
                        > > Planning meeting.
                        > >
                        > > Can any of you share your ideas on how I can better instill an
                        > > understanding among my Team of what it means to 'commit' to the
                        > > Sprint Backlog? I certainly understand that the Team may have
                        over-
                        > > committed during the Sprint Planning meetings and genuinely
                        cannot
                        > > complete a Sprint Backlog. But that is not the case: I am seeing
                        > > some members doing design work, or building libraries, that
                        actually
                        > > have nothing to do with the Sprint Backlog, just because they
                        think
                        > > these activities are truly important and should be done. But this
                        > > results in all the user stories not being completed by the end of
                        > > our sprints. And the reaction I'm seeing from Team members is
                        > > like 'Oh well, that's the way it goes. We ran out of time'.
                        > >
                        > > Your ideas on how I can better enlist the Team's commitment to
                        focus
                        > > on, and complete, the sprint backlog would be much appreciated.
                        > >
                        > > Thanks,
                        > >
                        > > Doug
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        >


                      • George Dinwiddie
                        ... How many stories are in flight at the same time? Working on as few as possible, without developers stepping on each other, not only helps get things
                        Message 11 of 14 , Apr 4 7:33 AM
                        • 0 Attachment
                          dvroberts411 wrote:
                          > Thanks, Hank (and Rodney) for your suggestions to make the failure
                          > to complete all the user stories in the Sprint Backlog more
                          > visible. Actually, the PO is quite aware and concerned, and vocal,
                          > about the Sprint Backlog not being completed in each of the 2
                          > completed (to date) sprints. What I have to figure out is how to
                          > develop a sense of ownership among the Team members and that
                          > commitment to the Sprint backlog is more than the attitude 'We'll
                          > get done as much as we can'.

                          How many stories are "in flight" at the same time? Working on as few as
                          possible, without developers stepping on each other, not only helps get
                          things accomplished rather than just started, but it also increases the
                          interdependency between the developers. That is likely to develop as
                          sense of commitment faster than the commitment to the PO, as they're
                          working with each other every day.

                          Does the PO come to the daily scrum?

                          - George

                          --
                          ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                          * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
                          Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
                          Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
                          ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                        • dvroberts411
                          Hi George, Over the course of our 3 sprints, the # of user stories has varied between 3 (the current sprint) to about 9. The current sprint should be an
                          Message 12 of 14 , Apr 4 1:46 PM
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                            Hi George,

                            Over the course of our 3 sprints, the # of user stories has varied
                            between 3 (the current sprint) to about 9. The current sprint
                            should be an anomaly because there was a large design task that the
                            Team wanted to tackle that they felt could not be further broken
                            down, and it turned out to be a great experience for the Team with
                            pair programming. And yes, the PO does, indeed, attend each Daily
                            Stand-Up.

                            Hank: thanks again for your advice. As it turns out, we have
                            negotiated with the PO to reserve 40 hours (roughly 13%) of each
                            sprint for activities that the Team feels are needed to improve
                            infrastructure and enable better/faster development of user
                            stories. The Team wanted more time, of course, but it's great that
                            the PO and Team realize each other's priorities.

                            Have a good weekend, all.

                            Doug

                            --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, George Dinwiddie
                            <lists@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > dvroberts411 wrote:
                            > > Thanks, Hank (and Rodney) for your suggestions to make the
                            failure
                            > > to complete all the user stories in the Sprint Backlog more
                            > > visible. Actually, the PO is quite aware and concerned, and
                            vocal,
                            > > about the Sprint Backlog not being completed in each of the 2
                            > > completed (to date) sprints. What I have to figure out is how
                            to
                            > > develop a sense of ownership among the Team members and that
                            > > commitment to the Sprint backlog is more than the
                            attitude 'We'll
                            > > get done as much as we can'.
                            >
                            > How many stories are "in flight" at the same time? Working on as
                            few as
                            > possible, without developers stepping on each other, not only
                            helps get
                            > things accomplished rather than just started, but it also
                            increases the
                            > interdependency between the developers. That is likely to develop
                            as
                            > sense of commitment faster than the commitment to the PO, as
                            they're
                            > working with each other every day.
                            >
                            > Does the PO come to the daily scrum?
                            >
                            > - George
                            >
                            > --
                            > -----------------------------------------------------------------
                            -----
                            > * George Dinwiddie *
                            http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
                            > Software Development
                            http://www.idiacomputing.com
                            > Consultant and Coach
                            http://www.agilemaryland.org
                            > -----------------------------------------------------------------
                            -----
                            >
                          • Vikrama Dhiman
                            How is it that you have managed to achieve the same behaviour from the total team - which comprises of people with various backgrounds, experiences and
                            Message 13 of 14 , Apr 5 7:01 AM
                            • 0 Attachment
                              • How is it that you have managed to achieve the same behaviour from the total team - which comprises of people with various backgrounds, experiences and prejudices. You have managed to do something. The question you should ask is why and how?
                              • Can you restructure your question as to : What is it that "I" can do to make the team more aware of their responsibility to commit and deliver as per that commitment. The first thing you should focus on is understand why this is happening. Try and use the 5 why's and focus on matter of fact in first discussion and then delve deeper.
                              • Who is the Scrum Master for the team? Why is it that they are not already aware of why this is happening? Are they totally aligned with each of the team members and the team as a whole?

                              dvroberts411 <Douglas.Roberts@...> wrote:
                              Hi George,

                              Over the course of our 3 sprints, the # of user stories has varied
                              between 3 (the current sprint) to about 9. The current sprint
                              should be an anomaly because there was a large design task that the
                              Team wanted to tackle that they felt could not be further broken
                              down, and it turned out to be a great experience for the Team with
                              pair programming. And yes, the PO does, indeed, attend each Daily
                              Stand-Up.

                              Hank: thanks again for your advice. As it turns out, we have
                              negotiated with the PO to reserve 40 hours (roughly 13%) of each
                              sprint for activities that the Team feels are needed to improve
                              infrastructure and enable better/faster development of user
                              stories. The Team wanted more time, of course, but it's great that
                              the PO and Team realize each other's priorities.

                              Have a good weekend, all.

                              Doug

                              --- In scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com, George Dinwiddie
                              <lists@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > dvroberts411 wrote:
                              > > Thanks, Hank (and Rodney) for your suggestions to make the
                              failure
                              > > to complete all the user stories in the Sprint Backlog more
                              > > visible. Actually, the PO is quite aware and concerned, and
                              vocal,
                              > > about the Sprint Backlog not being completed in each of the 2
                              > > completed (to date) sprints. What I have to figure out is how
                              to
                              > > develop a sense of ownership among the Team members and that
                              > > commitment to the Sprint backlog is more than the
                              attitude 'We'll
                              > > get done as much as we can'.
                              >
                              > How many stories are "in flight" at the same time? Working on as
                              few as
                              > possible, without developers stepping on each other, not only
                              helps get
                              > things accomplished rather than just started, but it also
                              increases the
                              > interdependency between the developers. That is likely to develop
                              as
                              > sense of commitment faster than the commitment to the PO, as
                              they're
                              > working with each other every day.
                              >
                              > Does the PO come to the daily scrum?
                              >
                              > - George
                              >
                              > --
                              > ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
                              -----
                              > * George Dinwiddie *
                              http://blog. gdinwiddie. com
                              > Software Development
                              http://www.idiacomp uting.com
                              > Consultant and Coach
                              http://www.agilemar yland.org
                              > ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
                              -----
                              >



                              You rock. That's why Blockbuster's offering you one month of Blockbuster Total Access, No Cost.

                            • Michael James
                              ... In that case, I might try it *without* the Product Owner attending each daily Scrum. Is the Product Owner also the team s boss? --mj
                              Message 14 of 14 , Apr 5 8:14 AM
                              • 0 Attachment
                                --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "dvroberts411" <Douglas.Roberts@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > And yes, the PO does, indeed, attend each Daily Stand-Up.
                                >

                                In that case, I might try it *without* the Product Owner attending each
                                daily Scrum. Is the Product Owner also the team's boss?

                                --mj
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