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Re: [scrumdevelopment] self managing teams...

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  • Elizabeth V Woodward
    Hi D, I agree with Ron in shortening the sprints. I typically see a lot of push-back on the suggestion of 1-week sprints (typically accompanied by laughter),
    Message 1 of 8 , Sep 25, 2008

      Hi D,

      I agree with Ron in shortening the sprints. I typically see a lot of push-back on the suggestion of 1-week sprints (typically accompanied by laughter), though teams that I've worked with on 1-week sprints have been quite successful. 2-week sprints seem to be more palatable and would still give you a faster time to reflect and adapt than the 1-month sprints.

      How have your previous sprint reflections gone? Did the team have ideas about why they weren't able to "get to done"?

      Even though the team is self-managing, it might help to facilitate that discussion with the team about why they're failing to get to "done" and then to serve as facilitator to help the team to work through their solutions. Some discussion points:

      • If the team is having trouble getting through coding, all phases of testing, documentation, etc, it could be that further breaking down your user stories will help.
      • If you're a waterfall team transitioning to agile, it may be that the team needs to temporarily adapt the definition of "done" while you get practices and the business into position to be able to handle agile development. (It makes no sense to have translation as part of the definition of "done" if the translation department is still in the mode of translating the entire bulk of the project at the end... gotta deal with reality while they get into step.)
      • Also, with such a short history, gauging velocity can be difficult, but I would wonder if the team is heeding their velocity (*average* over time) during sprint planning since they're now on their 4th sprint... I've seen teams leave the sprint planning meeting knowing that they've committed to do more than what their velocity indicates they should have committed to accomplish... But they somehow expected this sprint to be "different." It's usually not.
      • Another thought, if the team hasn't implemented continuous integration and test automation to help them to get to done within a sprint, that might be a consideration.
      • One last item for discussion might be whether the team is being interrupted by other "small" requests...This one also seems to be more of a challenge for transitioning teams, since folks may not be accustomed yet to going through the backlog.

      Whatever your reflection shows, have the team commit to 1 or 2 changes that should have the greatest impact, document those changes, and stick with them over your next (hopefully 1 or 2-week) sprint, so that you can quickly adapt as needed.

      -elizabeth

      --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "D" <dmahlitz@...> wrote:

      >
      > So my team (11 people) is in its 4th 4-week sprint and I'm the
      > ScrumMaster. Our current sprint is about 6 days from completion and
      > we're still not that close to accomplishing our commitment. I've
      > talked to the team about the commitment they made to get the stories
      > complete but not really too much has happened inside the team. My
      > question is how far do I take it and is this a self managing issue?
      > I don't want to control the team and tell them what to do, I've let
      > them fail gracefully the past 3 sprints when things aren't going
      well
      > but I'm trying to be more influential on the commitment with this
      > sprint. Should I leave the stand up and close the door after
      myself?
      > give them options on how to proceed? shut the heck up?



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              "D" <dmahlitz@...>
              Sent by: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com

              09/24/2008 01:32 PM

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      [scrumdevelopment] self managing teams...
      So my team (11 people) is in its 4th 4-week sprint and I'm the
      ScrumMaster. Our current sprint is about 6 days from completion and
      we're still not that close to accomplishing our commitment. I've
      talked to the team about the commitment they made to get the stories
      complete but not really too much has happened inside the team. My
      question is how far do I take it and is this a self managing issue?
      I don't want to control the team and tell them what to do, I've let
      them fail gracefully the past 3 sprints when things aren't going well
      but I'm trying to be more influential on the commitment with this
      sprint. Should I leave the stand up and close the door after myself?
      give them options on how to proceed? shut the heck up?


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