"I don't want anything except the team to be able to meet their
Then perhaps you should ask them - "do you feel you will be able to
meet your commitment?"
2009/2/24, Simon Kirk <scrum@...>:
> Hi Ron.
> On 24 Feb 2009, at 21:58, Ron Jeffries wrote:
>> Hello, Simon. On Tuesday, February 24, 2009, at 1:03:02 PM, you
>>> The thing that's really worrying me though is that for three days of
>>> the Sprint now, progress has been almost non-existant. No stories
>>> completed and barely any hours burned down (the team chose to go back
>>> to using hour-based tasks written up on their story-point sized
>>> stories: so let's not get into any don't-use-tasks sidetracks here :)
>> Yes, and my pants are on fire and don't give me any crap about not
>> washing them in gasoline.
> Roasted nuts anybody? :)
> The team are open to experiment so I wasn't about to tell them "no,
> don't use hours". We still track stories finished as a burn up on the
> same chart as the traditional Scrum hourly burn down, and we keep the
> stories small (normally about the size of a day to a day and a half,
> judged against the team's historical story point velocity).
> So I didn't see how this might a root cause of what I've written
> about. Judging by below, you disagree, so I apologise for my
> assumption that it wouldn't be.
>>> Now, if I was a developer on this team, I would now be jumping up and
>>> down in alarm at how we didn't seem to be progressing at all.
>>> by way of example, today when the team's actual Scrum Master was off
>>> sick, the team carried happily along. They didn't update their burn-
>>> down, though they did do a Stand Up. They did update their task
>>> though the update amounted to showing they'd burned down a couple of
>>> hours (this in a team of 4 people, excluding the SM).
>> Are hours what you want? If so, why? If not, why are you measuring
> I don't want anything except the team to be able to meet their
> commitment. These are the hours remaining on tasks (a-la "out of the
> box" Scrum) as estimated by the team, so are an indicator of progress
> in the same way that story progression across the task board is.
> So I don't think I'm personally measuring them at all. I think the
> team are using them to track progress towards completing their Sprint
> I'm using my experience to judge the tools they're using (the Sprint
> burndown and the task board) about their progress.
> As it happens here there appears to be no progress (judging by my
> experience), but the team don't seem concerned: therefore I am. I may
> be wrong to be concerned, so I'm trying to figure out (with your help)
> whether I should be concerned and if so what way to approach helping
> the team.
>>> When I noticed at the end of the day that the burn-down hadn't been
>>> updated (my bad, I should have noticed sooner), the most senior guy
>>> the team, who does understand the mechanics of Scrum, said "actually,
>>> I didn't even think of it".
>>> So, I'm wondering how to approach this from a coaching perspective. I
>>> have already made a mental note to talk to the team tomorrow and ask
>>> them how I could help them, and how they think they ought to progress
>>> now, from a Scrum point of view.
>>> I also I think if the SM hadn't been ill today she would have flagged
>>> it, but to be honest the lack of progress after just two days was
>>> fairly apparent, while the lack of the team seeming to be bothered
>>> about that lack of progress was, too.
>>> If anybody has any activities or team games I could use to try and
>>> make the team appreciate the value of feedback and honesty: not just
>>> to the PO but to each other, that would be great. Any practical
>>> suggestions for this particular situation would also be well
>> How long is your Sprint?
> 2 weeks.
>> Tell use about the standup meetings:
>> What did you get DONE yesterday?
>> What will you get DONE today?
>> What's in your way?
>> What is actually happening in those meetings?
> Well, I think you've gone to the meat of things there: not much
> appears to be getting DONE, and the impediments aren't getting
> reported. The way the Stand-ups are not all that dysfunctional: plenty
> of open dialogue, with longer things being put aside until after the
> stand-up, regular times and all the team gets involved.
> So the question I know you'd probably ask then is "why aren't things
> getting done or impediments getting reported". I think that's more or
> less the question I have for the team, but I'm wondering whether I
> should ask such a direct question?
> Going back to your point at the top, I still don't see how (assuming
> our stories are reasonably sized, that assumption may be false for
> this Sprint) hourly task breakdowns are the root cause, despite that I
> personally prefer not to use them.
>> Let's face it. If what you want done is stories, tracking tasks
>> isn't measuring what you care about.
> Yes, again personally I agree, but see my experimentation point above.
>> How much work is in a story? Why isn't it smaller?
> I think I answered this above, too, but for the record, about a day to
> a day and a half, on average. Or at least, they're estimated that way,
> but they seem to be not getting Done this Sprint.
>> If it were my team I'd be considering:
>> 1. Abort the Sprint;
>> 2. Plan a one-week Sprint with one story,
>> possibly one of the already existing ones
>> that aren't really done;
>> 3. Get it done.
> Yes, me too. Before I took such drastic action though I wanted to try
> to get some answers without coming across as kicking too much butt.
> Personally I'd take such an approach without asking a few questions
> first as a potentially unfair assumption of basic crap performance, if
> I was in the team members' places.
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