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How does scrum handles absent team members?

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  • Joshua Jackson
    Dear all, How does scrum handles team member that is not present during the project timeline because of sick leave, annual leave or any other leave? Best
    Message 1 of 24 , Aug 8 12:22 PM
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      Dear all,

      How does scrum handles team member that is not present during the
      project timeline because of sick leave, annual leave or any other
      leave?

      Best regards,

      --
      Setting a new landmark.
      Blog: http://joshuajava.wordpress.com/
      Twitter: http://twitter.com/thejavafreak
    • captwilco2002
      It doesn t, but it does. Scrum won t fix any problems, but it will let you see them. If you team is 100% booked for the sprint, there there wasn t enough
      Message 2 of 24 , Aug 8 2:22 PM
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        It doesn't, but it does. Scrum won't fix any problems, but it will
        let you see them. If you team is 100% booked for the sprint, there
        there wasn't enough room for contingencies such as people being out
        sick.

        I tend expect the team to spend 50% - 85% of their time on sprint
        tasks. Granted 50% is a little low, but seems to help better plan
        around research items, meetings, under-estimating, and absenteeism.

        The sprint burndown chart should reflect the issue. A decrease in the
        burndown rate should be seen, so then the rest of the team, being true
        team players, should pick up the slack. If they fail to deliver
        everything they committed to, then factor in a little more slack next
        time.

        Inspect and adapt.

        Side-thought, how do other processes (not Scrum) handle absent team
        members?
      • Ron Jeffries
        Hello, Joshua. On Friday, August 8, 2008, at 3:22:08 PM, you ... What do you mean by handle ? Ron Jeffries www.XProgramming.com The central e in Jeffries
        Message 3 of 24 , Aug 8 4:34 PM
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          Hello, Joshua. On Friday, August 8, 2008, at 3:22:08 PM, you
          wrote:

          > How does scrum handles team member that is not present during the
          > project timeline because of sick leave, annual leave or any other
          > leave?

          What do you mean by "handle"?

          Ron Jeffries
          www.XProgramming.com
          The central "e" in "Jeffries" is silent ... and invisible.
        • Stephen Bobick
          If you know a team member will be gone ahead of time, then you need to proportionally reduce the team s velocity when committing to backlog items at the sprint
          Message 4 of 24 , Aug 8 4:43 PM
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            If you know a team member will be gone ahead of time, then you need to proportionally reduce the team's velocity when committing to backlog items at the sprint planning meeting which covers the time interval affected by the absence.  Likewise, you need to factor in holidays and other known events (e.g. training, all day company events, etc).

            If a team member becomes ill during a Sprint, when that person's participation in the project was factored into the velocity when committing to a backlog, and that absence is significant enough to jeopardize the commitment by the team, then the ScrumMaster needs to let the PO know of the situation.  You may then be able to renegotiate scope (e.g. drop a sprint backlog item).

            -- Stephen


            On Fri, Aug 8, 2008 at 4:34 PM, Ron Jeffries <ronjeffries@...> wrote:

            Hello, Joshua. On Friday, August 8, 2008, at 3:22:08 PM, you
            wrote:

            > How does scrum handles team member that is not present during the
            > project timeline because of sick leave, annual leave or any other
            > leave?

            What do you mean by "handle"?

            Ron Jeffries
            www.XProgramming.com
            The central "e" in "Jeffries" is silent ... and invisible.


          • Ron Jeffries
            Hello, Stephen. On Friday, August 8, 2008, at 7:43:33 PM, you ... In fact you d better, since if you re not going to make the commitment something needs to be
            Message 5 of 24 , Aug 8 4:52 PM
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              Hello, Stephen. On Friday, August 8, 2008, at 7:43:33 PM, you
              wrote:

              > If a team member becomes ill during a Sprint, when that person's
              > participation in the project was factored into the velocity when committing
              > to a backlog, and that absence is significant enough to jeopardize the
              > commitment by the team, then the ScrumMaster needs to let the PO know of the
              > situation. You may then be able to renegotiate scope (e.g. drop a sprint
              > backlog item).

              In fact you'd better, since if you're not going to make the
              commitment something needs to be done ... :)

              Ron Jeffries
              www.XProgramming.com
              The truth ain't like puppies, a bunch of 'em runnin' around
              and you pick your favorite. --Emerson Codd
            • Kiran Thakkar
              Joshua; you could handle sick days and other unexpected absence similar way in any project whether you use Scrum or not. During release and sprint planning, if
              Message 6 of 24 , Aug 8 7:24 PM
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                Joshua; you could handle sick days and other unexpected absence similar way in any project whether you use Scrum or not. During release and sprint planning, if annual leave/yearly education/known company or industry events/major vacation month (December in USA and August in Europe) information is available to you then exclude them in capacity (resource) planning.  I never allocate resource at 100% because in reality there will be unexpected events just as you described in your note. For example, if you have a critical customer issues; you need to take care of customer issue. If employee is sick or employee’s child is sick; they need to take care of that too. Now, if customer issues occur frequently then it makes sense to create a separate support team that handles customer issues.  If resource is available 100% for a given sprint, I only include 85% of resource’s time on the scrum team.
                Kiran Thakkar,MBA,CSP


                 

              • Joshua Jackson
                ... Thanks for the response Kiran. I just thought Scrum would have a special way to handle this since Scrum is very flexible so I can ensure that the project
                Message 7 of 24 , Aug 9 1:12 AM
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                  2008/8/9 Kiran Thakkar <kthakkar@...>:
                  > Joshua; you could handle sick days and other unexpected absence similar way
                  > in any project whether you use Scrum or not. During release and sprint
                  > planning, if annual leave/yearly education/known company or industry
                  > events/major vacation month (December in USA and August in Europe)
                  > information is available to you then exclude them in capacity (resource)
                  > planning. I never allocate resource at 100% because in reality there will
                  > be unexpected events just as you described in your note. For example, if you
                  > have a critical customer issues; you need to take care of customer issue. If
                  > employee is sick or employee's child is sick; they need to take care of that
                  > too. Now, if customer issues occur frequently then it makes sense to create
                  > a separate support team that handles customer issues. If resource is
                  > available 100% for a given sprint, I only include 85% of resource's time on
                  > the scrum team.
                  >

                  Thanks for the response Kiran. I just thought Scrum would have a
                  special way to handle this since Scrum is very flexible so I can
                  ensure that the project still done on time when a team member is
                  absent.



                  --
                  Setting a new landmark.
                  Blog: http://joshuajava.wordpress.com/
                  Twitter: http://twitter.com/thejavafreak
                • Ron Jeffries
                  Hello, Joshua. On Saturday, August 9, 2008, at 4:12:02 AM, you ... If the team has committed to doing as much work as it can with all members present, it can
                  Message 8 of 24 , Aug 9 3:11 AM
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                    Hello, Joshua. On Saturday, August 9, 2008, at 4:12:02 AM, you
                    wrote:

                    > Thanks for the response Kiran. I just thought Scrum would have a
                    > special way to handle this since Scrum is very flexible so I can
                    > ensure that the project still done on time when a team member is
                    > absent.

                    If the team has committed to doing as much work as it can with all
                    members present, it can do less work with fewer.

                    Ron Jeffries
                    www.XProgramming.com
                    My advice is to do it by the book, get good at the practices, then do as
                    you will. Many people want to skip to step three. How do they know?
                  • Geir Amsjo
                    Joshua, if the leave is known before Sprint planning you just adjust the team capacity. I advice teams to use a quite conservative utilisation factor, i.e. the
                    Message 9 of 24 , Aug 9 4:36 AM
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                      Joshua, if the leave is known before Sprint planning you just adjust
                      the team capacity.

                      I advice teams to use a quite conservative utilisation factor, i.e.
                      the number of hours a day a team member on average is able to
                      dedicate to the Sprint. In Scandinavia I think it is common to use 6
                      hours a day. The rest here should cover normal, short sick leave.

                      On the other hand, if a team member (Jim) breaks a leg or something
                      in the middle of the Sprint, you can just add an activity called "Jim
                      absent" with an "estimate" 6*number of days left. A spike will the be
                      visible in the Burndown chart, which should be handeled with the
                      emergency procedures. You would probably then be forced to take some
                      tasks out, maybe a complete function.

                      -geir

                      --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Joshua Jackson"
                      <joshua.java@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Dear all,
                      >
                      > How does scrum handles team member that is not present during the
                      > project timeline because of sick leave, annual leave or any other
                      > leave?
                      >
                      > Best regards,
                      >
                      > --
                      > Setting a new landmark.
                      > Blog: http://joshuajava.wordpress.com/
                      > Twitter: http://twitter.com/thejavafreak
                      >
                    • Dave Smith
                      ... With the caveat that this may be highly context-dependent, I ve seen XP teams be able to absorb the temporary (1-2 day) loss of a team member without a
                      Message 10 of 24 , Aug 9 11:06 AM
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                        On Sat, Aug 9, 2008 at 3:11 AM, Ron Jeffries <ronjeffries@...> wrote:
                        If the team has committed to doing as much work as it can with all
                        members present, it can do less work with fewer.

                        With the caveat that this may be highly context-dependent, I've seen
                        XP teams be able to absorb the temporary (1-2 day) loss of a team
                        member without a visible impact on velocity over the course of an
                        iteration.

                        It might have to do with a slight reduction in the level of noise in the
                        team space giving pairs a longer mean-time between interruptions,
                        thus allowing them more focus.

                        Dave





                      • Ron Jeffries
                        Hello, Dave. On Saturday, August 9, 2008, at 2:06:50 PM, you ... Yes, though strictly speaking that does suggest that the under-committed, doesn t it? Unless
                        Message 11 of 24 , Aug 9 11:20 AM
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                          Hello, Dave. On Saturday, August 9, 2008, at 2:06:50 PM, you
                          wrote:

                          > With the caveat that this may be highly context-dependent, I've seen
                          > XP teams be able to absorb the temporary (1-2 day) loss of a team
                          > member without a visible impact on velocity over the course of an
                          > iteration.

                          Yes, though strictly speaking that does suggest that the
                          under-committed, doesn't it? Unless ol' Billy, who took a day off,
                          is a drag. :)

                          > It might have to do with a slight reduction in the level of noise in the
                          > team space giving pairs a longer mean-time between interruptions,
                          > thus allowing them more focus.

                          Maybe. In which case they ought to be just a bit quieter all the
                          time. :)

                          Ron Jeffries
                          www.XProgramming.com
                          Perhaps this Silver Bullet will tell you who I am ...
                        • Dave Smith
                          ... I know that voice. That s the if you were able to make up for lost time, you must have been slacking, so we ll cut your schedule next time! voice. :) No,
                          Message 12 of 24 , Aug 9 11:37 AM
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                            Ron Jeffries <ronjeffries@...> writes:
                            > With the caveat that this may be highly context-dependent, I've seen
                            > XP teams be able to absorb the temporary (1-2 day) loss of a team
                            > member without a visible impact on velocity over the course of an
                            > iteration.

                            Yes, though strictly speaking that does suggest that the
                            under-committed, doesn't it? 

                            I know that voice. That's the "if you were able to make up for lost
                            time, you must have been slacking, so we'll cut your schedule next
                            time!" voice. :)

                            No, I don't believe there was under-commitment. Lucky, maybe,
                            but not under-committed.

                            Dave


                          • Ron Jeffries
                            Hello, Dave. On Saturday, August 9, 2008, at 2:37:18 PM, you ... No, _______, I think not. But if we can consistently do that, something is up. ... Yes, could
                            Message 13 of 24 , Aug 9 11:51 AM
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                              Hello, Dave. On Saturday, August 9, 2008, at 2:37:18 PM, you
                              wrote:

                              >> Yes, though strictly speaking that does suggest that the
                              >> under-committed, doesn't it?

                              > I know that voice. That's the "if you were able to make up for lost
                              > time, you must have been slacking, so we'll cut your schedule next
                              > time!" voice. :)

                              No, _______, I think not. But if we can consistently do that,
                              something is up.

                              > No, I don't believe there was under-commitment. Lucky, maybe,
                              > but not under-committed.

                              Yes, could be lucky if it just happens one out of N times someone is
                              out.

                              Ron Jeffries
                              www.XProgramming.com
                              Sorry about your cow ... I didn't know she was sacred.
                            • George Dinwiddie
                              ... Or, perhaps the rest of the team pushes harder during that time to make up for it and meet the commitment. That sort of response can work for a day or
                              Message 14 of 24 , Aug 9 4:55 PM
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                                Ron Jeffries wrote:
                                > Hello, Dave. On Saturday, August 9, 2008, at 2:06:50 PM, you
                                > wrote:
                                >
                                >> With the caveat that this may be highly context-dependent, I've seen
                                >> XP teams be able to absorb the temporary (1-2 day) loss of a team
                                >> member without a visible impact on velocity over the course of an
                                >> iteration.
                                >
                                > Yes, though strictly speaking that does suggest that the
                                > under-committed, doesn't it? Unless ol' Billy, who took a day off,
                                > is a drag. :)

                                Or, perhaps the rest of the team pushes harder during that time to make
                                up for it and meet the commitment. That sort of response can work for a
                                day or two.

                                - George

                                --
                                ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
                                Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
                                Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
                                ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                              • Dave Smith
                                ... This was an XP team that did group estimates, with no assurance of who would pick up a particular story card when a pair was free, or even what the pairing
                                Message 15 of 24 , Aug 9 9:05 PM
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                                  On Sat, Aug 9, 2008 at 4:55 PM, George Dinwiddie <lists@...> wrote:
                                  Ron Jeffries wrote:
                                  > Hello, Dave.  On Saturday, August 9, 2008, at 2:06:50 PM, you
                                  > wrote:
                                  >
                                  >> With the caveat that this may be highly context-dependent, I've seen
                                  >> XP teams be able to absorb the temporary (1-2 day) loss of a team
                                  >> member without a visible impact on velocity over the course of an
                                  >> iteration.
                                  >
                                  > Yes, though strictly speaking that does suggest that the
                                  > under-committed, doesn't it? Unless ol' Billy, who took a day off,
                                  > is a drag. :)

                                  Or, perhaps the rest of the team pushes harder during that time to make
                                  up for it and meet the commitment.  That sort of response can work for a
                                  day or two.

                                  This was an XP team that did group estimates, with no assurance of
                                  who would pick up a particular story card when a pair was free, or even
                                  what the pairing would be at that moment. This team also took
                                  "sustainable pace" seriously; there was no "push harder".

                                  If a team isn't doing XP, or some undetermined subset of XP
                                  practices (which probably includes pairing), under Scrum, I'd expect
                                  that a team member's absence would cause a direct hit on velocity.
                                  But in a Scrum/XP shop, I've observed several instance of a team
                                  absorbing short absences with no hit on velocity. Why is a puzzle
                                  that I have some ideas about.

                                  Dave







                                • Ron Jeffries
                                  Hello, Dave. On Sunday, August 10, 2008, at 12:05:18 AM, you ... Tell us your thoughts, please. I would be interested in how often it happens. And I d guess
                                  Message 16 of 24 , Aug 10 4:45 AM
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                                    Hello, Dave. On Sunday, August 10, 2008, at 12:05:18 AM, you
                                    wrote:

                                    > If a team isn't doing XP, or some undetermined subset of XP
                                    > practices (which probably includes pairing), under Scrum, I'd expect
                                    > that a team member's absence would cause a direct hit on velocity.
                                    > But in a Scrum/XP shop, I've observed several instance of a team
                                    > absorbing short absences with no hit on velocity. Why is a puzzle
                                    > that I have some ideas about.

                                    Tell us your thoughts, please. I would be interested in how often it
                                    happens. And I'd guess that there is slack (as there should be) and
                                    they take a bit of it up.

                                    Ron Jeffries
                                    www.XProgramming.com
                                    Improvement stops when we start believing that
                                    ideas about how to improve are insulting.
                                  • Joshua Jackson
                                    ... Hi Dave, Thanks for sharing your experience about this. But XP is able to handle this problem because there is pair programming. So once one programmer is
                                    Message 17 of 24 , Aug 10 6:01 AM
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                                      On Sun, Aug 10, 2008 at 1:06 AM, Dave Smith <davewsmith@...> wrote:
                                      > On Sat, Aug 9, 2008 at 3:11 AM, Ron Jeffries <ronjeffries@...> wrote:
                                      >>
                                      >> If the team has committed to doing as much work as it can with all
                                      >> members present, it can do less work with fewer.
                                      >
                                      > With the caveat that this may be highly context-dependent, I've seen
                                      > XP teams be able to absorb the temporary (1-2 day) loss of a team
                                      > member without a visible impact on velocity over the course of an
                                      > iteration.
                                      >
                                      > It might have to do with a slight reduction in the level of noise in the
                                      > team space giving pairs a longer mean-time between interruptions,
                                      > thus allowing them more focus.


                                      Hi Dave,

                                      Thanks for sharing your experience about this. But XP is able to
                                      handle this problem because there is pair programming. So once one
                                      programmer is absent, the partner will replace his role. But Scrum can
                                      not do that. Anyway thanks for giving us insights about this.

                                      Cheers,

                                      --
                                      Setting a new landmark.
                                      Blog: http://joshuajava.wordpress.com/
                                      Twitter: http://twitter.com/thejavafreak
                                    • Michael James
                                      ... Scrum doesn t allow pair programming? Uh oh.... --mj
                                      Message 18 of 24 , Aug 10 3:44 PM
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                                        --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Joshua Jackson" <joshua.java@...> wrote:

                                        >
                                        > But XP is able to
                                        > handle this problem because there is pair programming. So once one
                                        > programmer is absent, the partner will replace his role. But Scrum can
                                        > not do that.
                                        >

                                        Scrum doesn't allow pair programming? Uh oh....


                                        --mj
                                      • Angela Druckman
                                        Hi Joshua - When time off is planned, I just figure it into our allocations for a given sprint. We work for a client organization and have very specific
                                        Message 19 of 24 , Aug 10 5:55 PM
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                                          Hi Joshua -

                                          When time off is planned, I just figure it into our allocations for a given sprint.  We work for a client organization and have very specific monthly targets (in hours) for different kinds of work, so allocations are a big deal in my company.  One thing I do to help my team members is I come into the planning meeting letting them know how many working days are in their sprint and how many hours they have within those working days.  It might look something like this:

                                          Sprint 4
                                          Starts: August 4
                                          Ends: August 28
                                          Working Days: 19

                                          Allocations (in hours):
                                          Jane: 110
                                          Bob:   88
                                          Tim:    40

                                          As you might guess, Tim has a big vacation planned.  This way, team members keep in mind as they set a sprint goal how time off might affect the amount they are willing to commit to as a group.

                                          Also, I would say, if you don't have to get this detailed with hours and whatnot, then don't.  I only do it because of our contractual obligation with the client.  But in our case, this helps the team make realistic commitments and still meets the client's expectations.

                                          Hope this is helpful--

                                               --Angela


                                          ----- Original Message ----
                                          From: Joshua Jackson <joshua.java@...>
                                          To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                                          Sent: Friday, August 8, 2008 12:22:08 PM
                                          Subject: [scrumdevelopment] How does scrum handles absent team members?

                                          Dear all,

                                          How does scrum handles team member that is not present during the
                                          project timeline because of sick leave, annual leave or any other
                                          leave?

                                          Best regards,

                                          --
                                          Setting a new landmark.
                                          Blog: http://joshuajava. wordpress. com/
                                          Twitter: http://twitter. com/thejavafreak


                                        • Angela Druckman
                                          One more thing I would say about this: If you have multiple people with key skill sets out for big vacations, let the Product Owner know what skills sets are
                                          Message 20 of 24 , Aug 10 6:05 PM
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                                            One more thing I would say about this:

                                            If you have multiple people with key skill sets out for big vacations, let the Product Owner know what skills sets are missing/ available as he may want to move backlog items around a bit to get the most work possible done. 

                                            For example, I am in the middle of a one month sprint now where I have one (senior) developer gone for the whole sprint and another one gone for more than half of it (I just love August!).  Knowing this and the skills sets of the team members who were still available, the PO chose to shuffle some backlog items so he would still get a good and useful set of deliverables--

                                                 --Angela


                                            ----- Original Message ----
                                            From: Angela Druckman <angela.druckman@...>
                                            To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                                            Sent: Sunday, August 10, 2008 5:55:05 PM
                                            Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] How does scrum handles absent team members?

                                            Hi Joshua -

                                            When time off is planned, I just figure it into our allocations for a given sprint.  We work for a client organization and have very specific monthly targets (in hours) for different kinds of work, so allocations are a big deal in my company.  One thing I do to help my team members is I come into the planning meeting letting them know how many working days are in their sprint and how many hours they have within those working days.  It might look something like this:

                                            Sprint 4
                                            Starts: August 4
                                            Ends: August 28
                                            Working Days: 19

                                            Allocations (in hours):
                                            Jane: 110
                                            Bob:   88
                                            Tim:    40

                                            As you might guess, Tim has a big vacation planned.  This way, team members keep in mind as they set a sprint goal how time off might affect the amount they are willing to commit to as a group.

                                            Also, I would say, if you don't have to get this detailed with hours and whatnot, then don't.  I only do it because of our contractual obligation with the client.  But in our case, this helps the team make realistic commitments and still meets the client's expectations.

                                            Hope this is helpful--

                                                 --Angela


                                            ----- Original Message ----
                                            From: Joshua Jackson <joshua.java@ gmail.com>
                                            To: scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com
                                            Sent: Friday, August 8, 2008 12:22:08 PM
                                            Subject: [scrumdevelopment] How does scrum handles absent team members?

                                            Dear all,

                                            How does scrum handles team member that is not present during the
                                            project timeline because of sick leave, annual leave or any other
                                            leave?

                                            Best regards,

                                            --
                                            Setting a new landmark.
                                            Blog: http://joshuajava. wordpress. com/
                                            Twitter: http://twitter. com/thejavafreak



                                          • James S. Fosdick, PMP, CSP
                                            ... Really? Uh oh indeed. I better stop suggesting that to the teams I coach. Should I also shy them away from TDD? ;) Jimi
                                            Message 21 of 24 , Aug 11 10:48 AM
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                                              >
                                              > Scrum doesn't allow pair programming? Uh oh....
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > --mj
                                              >
                                              Really? Uh oh indeed. I better stop suggesting that to the teams I
                                              coach. Should I also shy them away from TDD? ;)

                                              Jimi
                                            • myoungtai
                                              Joshua, At least one person touched on this in an earlier reply. 1. Adjust your team s capacity for the sprint to account for planned time off (vacation,
                                              Message 22 of 24 , Aug 12 7:33 PM
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                                                Joshua,

                                                At least one person touched on this in an earlier reply.

                                                1. Adjust your team's capacity for the sprint to account for planned
                                                time off (vacation, holidays, job-related travel, ...)

                                                2. Encourage the team to add a buffer to their anticipated velocity
                                                (in other words ask them to take on a little less work than they can
                                                theoretically complete).

                                                We took a page from Henrik Kinberg's book 'Scrum and XP from the
                                                Trenchees' (a *fantabulous* resource!) in our implementation. We
                                                track what he calls the 'Focus Factor' from sprint-sprint - the ratio
                                                of Story Points "Done" to actual man-days worked. We track this for
                                                each sprint and as a running 3-month average, and present it at the
                                                sprint planning meeting. The team members each say how many days they
                                                plan to be out, and we subtract this from the total number of days in
                                                the sprint to come up with the anticipated total number of man-days
                                                for the team. The team decides on the next sprint's Focus Factor
                                                depending on things like the running average value, any team roster
                                                changes, the technical familiarity with upcoming stories, etc. Using
                                                this value, we figure out a target ideal velocity for the next sprint
                                                (# man-days available * SP/actual man-days worked = SP).

                                                I always ask the teams whether they are comfortable taking the ideal
                                                or prefer to have few points less to act as a buffer for the
                                                unanticpated things. This could include unknown technical problems,
                                                sick days, other demands on time for off-sprint responsibilities, etc.
                                                They have received this with mixed feelings. Sometimes they take it,
                                                sometimes they don't. The key here for me is to get a working value
                                                for the capacity of the team for the next sprint - one that is
                                                realistic and takes a small amount of time to decide on. I don't
                                                focus as much about being 'right-on' because there is always the tools
                                                of push/pull and pulling the cord during the sprint to deal with
                                                things as they evolve. Both of these have worked fairly well in our
                                                situation. Hope it helps add some more concrete ideas how to
                                                implement Scrum.

                                                mike y



                                                --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Joshua Jackson"
                                                <joshua.java@...> wrote:
                                                >
                                                > Dear all,
                                                >
                                                > How does scrum handles team member that is not present during the
                                                > project timeline because of sick leave, annual leave or any other
                                                > leave?
                                                >
                                                > Best regards,
                                                >
                                                > --
                                                > Setting a new landmark.
                                                > Blog: http://joshuajava.wordpress.com/
                                                > Twitter: http://twitter.com/thejavafreak
                                                >
                                              • SPM
                                                Hi Joshua, plan with realistic numbers: Example: If you hava a team which travels 4 Hours on Monday and 4 hours on Friday. Ergo: The week has only 4 days for
                                                Message 23 of 24 , Aug 13 3:54 AM
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                                                  Hi Joshua,

                                                  plan with realistic numbers:
                                                  Example: If you hava a team which travels 4 Hours on Monday and 4 hours on Friday.
                                                  Ergo: The week has only 4 days for working.
                                                  Calculate vacation, teamevents, illnes, travelling, 'cigarette-breaks' etc., calculate your project with buffers.
                                                  I calculate a one-person-year with 204 - 216 effective availabe working days for long term projects.

                                                  Best

                                                  Reiner Schindler

                                                  myoungtai schrieb:

                                                  Joshua,

                                                  At least one person touched on this in an earlier reply.

                                                  1. Adjust your team's capacity for the sprint to account for planned
                                                  time off (vacation, holidays, job-related travel, ...)

                                                  2. Encourage the team to add a buffer to their anticipated velocity
                                                  (in other words ask them to take on a little less work than they can
                                                  theoretically complete).

                                                  We took a page from Henrik Kinberg's book 'Scrum and XP from the
                                                  Trenchees' (a *fantabulous* resource!) in our implementation. We
                                                  track what he calls the 'Focus Factor' from sprint-sprint - the ratio
                                                  of Story Points "Done" to actual man-days worked. We track this for
                                                  each sprint and as a running 3-month average, and present it at the
                                                  sprint planning meeting. The team members each say how many days they
                                                  plan to be out, and we subtract this from the total number of days in
                                                  the sprint to come up with the anticipated total number of man-days
                                                  for the team. The team decides on the next sprint's Focus Factor
                                                  depending on things like the running average value, any team roster
                                                  changes, the technical familiarity with upcoming stories, etc. Using
                                                  this value, we figure out a target ideal velocity for the next sprint
                                                  (# man-days available * SP/actual man-days worked = SP).

                                                  I always ask the teams whether they are comfortable taking the ideal
                                                  or prefer to have few points less to act as a buffer for the
                                                  unanticpated things. This could include unknown technical problems,
                                                  sick days, other demands on time for off-sprint responsibilities, etc.
                                                  They have received this with mixed feelings. Sometimes they take it,
                                                  sometimes they don't. The key here for me is to get a working value
                                                  for the capacity of the team for the next sprint - one that is
                                                  realistic and takes a small amount of time to decide on. I don't
                                                  focus as much about being 'right-on' because there is always the tools
                                                  of push/pull and pulling the cord during the sprint to deal with
                                                  things as they evolve. Both of these have worked fairly well in our
                                                  situation. Hope it helps add some more concrete ideas how to
                                                  implement Scrum.

                                                  mike y

                                                  --- In scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com, "Joshua Jackson"
                                                  <joshua.java@ ...> wrote:
                                                  >
                                                  > Dear all,
                                                  >
                                                  > How does scrum handles team member that is not present during the
                                                  > project timeline because of sick leave, annual leave or any other
                                                  > leave?
                                                  >
                                                  > Best regards,
                                                  >
                                                  > --
                                                  > Setting a new landmark.
                                                  > Blog: http://joshuajava. wordpress. com/
                                                  > Twitter: http://twitter. com/thejavafreak
                                                  >


                                                  --
                                                  signature

                                                  Reiner Schindler

                                                  Am Brachfeld 33

                                                  86169 Augsburg

                                                  mailto: kontakt@...

                                                  web: http://www.software-project-management.de

                                                • James S. Fosdick, PMP, CSP
                                                  ... One way is to do commitment based planning instead of velocity based planning. At the beginning of the sprint the team doesn t look at it s historical
                                                  Message 24 of 24 , Aug 13 10:31 AM
                                                  • 0 Attachment
                                                    --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Joshua Jackson"
                                                    <joshua.java@...> wrote:
                                                    >
                                                    > Dear all,
                                                    >
                                                    > How does scrum handles team member that is not present during the
                                                    > project timeline because of sick leave, annual leave or any other
                                                    > leave?
                                                    >

                                                    One way is to do commitment based planning instead of velocity based
                                                    planning. At the beginning of the sprint the team doesn't look at it's
                                                    historical velocity to derive capacity and commit based on that,
                                                    rather the team looks at the work that's "on deck" in the backlog and
                                                    estimates how much it can get done taking into consideration who's
                                                    going to be available for how much time, what company holidays occur
                                                    during the sprint etc. Some teams prefer to "tee up" backlog items
                                                    before sprint planning by decomposing on deck items into tasks to see
                                                    how much upcoming product backlog will fill up the sprint backlog. You
                                                    can take this even further and have Sprint Planning START with
                                                    decomposing the highest priority product backlog items into tasks and
                                                    go from item to item down the list until at least 1 team member says
                                                    the team is over committed (e.g. "Hey we've got X hours in the sprint
                                                    backlog but 2 two members are taking a week vacation...") than back it
                                                    off 1 or 2 items (if the team agrees)

                                                    When dealing with unexpected absences due to sickness etc. you can
                                                    deal with it the same way you deal with emerging work. Figure out what
                                                    the impact will be and see if it affects the sprint burndown (a
                                                    serious absence will likely noticeably flatten out your sprint
                                                    burndown). If it does renegotiate the scope and/or committment with
                                                    the P.O. If it doesn't no problem.
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