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Re: [!! SPAM] [scrumdevelopment] Re: Exchanging stories within the sprint...

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  • Dan Rawsthorne
    This is such a common problem it is the topic of one of the chapters in my (in process) book. The title is Adjusting Sprint Content , and a PDF is attached
    Message 1 of 17 , Jul 16, 2009
    This is such a common problem it is the topic of one of the chapters in
    my (in process) book. The title is "Adjusting Sprint Content", and a PDF
    is attached

    Dan Rawsthorne, PhD, CST
    Senior Coach, Danube Technologies
    dan@..., 425-269-8628



    duncan.smith99 wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
    > <mailto:scrumdevelopment%40yahoogroups.com>, "whurrelmann"
    > <whurrelmann@...>
    > wrote:
    > >
    > > Hi,
    > > would like to hear your opinion on this matter:
    > > The sprint is 2 days old and we find out that one of the stories is
    > not needed, so we skip it.
    > > The Product Manager (not the PO) comes to the standup and asks us to
    > exchange the story with another one which has equal story points.
    > > What would you do?
    > > Of course, one obvious point is, that the PM is a chicken so he should
    > not speak at all at the standup...
    >
    > If the Product Owner decides to change priorities mid-Sprint (and only
    > the Product Owner can do this), the Scrum mechanism for this is to
    > abnormally terminate the Sprint and have a new Sprint Planning meeting,
    > where the reason for the termination is reviewed.
    >
    > It seems reasonable for the Product Owner to remove a story that was
    > selected for the Sprint. If the Team completes its Sprint work and has
    > capacity for more, they can ask the Product Owner for the next highest
    > priority item that will fit in the remainder of the Sprint.
    >
    > Duncan Smith
    >
    >
  • mike.dwyer1@comcast.net
    A scrum backlog is frozen. That being said you also have to recognize two more immutable rules. The PO has one more vote than anyone else and dead scrummasters
    Message 2 of 17 , Jul 16, 2009
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      A scrum backlog is frozen. That being said you also have to recognize two more immutable rules. The PO has one more vote than anyone else and dead scrummasters add no value.
      What to do. What to do.
      So the first thing is to see what stories have not been started. If the estimated time they represent equals or is greater than the time the new thing needs, the PO can swap them. This covered by the "OK, what don't you want done" clause". The other option is blow up the sprint.

      Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


      From: Ron Jeffries
      Date: Thu, 16 Jul 2009 08:09:07 -0400
      To: <scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com>
      Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Exchanging stories within the sprint...

       

      Hello, Petri. On Thursday, July 16, 2009, at 2:52:05 AM, you
      wrote:

      >>
      >> Yes. The PO has the sole responsibility to select what is to be
      >> done, AFAIK.

      > 100%, but the team must still accept that change. And they have
      > the right to say no, which then means that the product backlog is
      > changed, or that the PO must make other prioritizations so that
      > the story fits in the sprint (like removing other lower priority stories off the sprint).

      Yes. My point is that the PM isn't supposed to go around the PO.
      Agreed that the team accepts the change or not. In fact, canonical
      Scrum said that no changes were allowed at all, if I correctly
      understood it.

      Ron Jeffries
      www.XProgramming. com
      www.xprogramming. com/blog
      A lot of preconceptions can be dismissed when you actually
      try something out. -- Bruce Eckel

    • Petri Heiramo
      ... Exactly, that is very important. ... It could be phrased that way, but Scrum does say that if it impossible for the team to make the commitment, they can
      Message 3 of 17 , Jul 17, 2009
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        > > 100%, but the team must still accept that change. And they have
        > > the right to say no, which then means that the product backlog is
        > > changed, or that the PO must make other prioritizations so that
        > > the story fits in the sprint (like removing other lower priority stories off the sprint).
        >
        > Yes. My point is that the PM isn't supposed to go around the PO.

        Exactly, that is very important.

        > Agreed that the team accepts the change or not. In fact, canonical
        > Scrum said that no changes were allowed at all, if I correctly
        > understood it.

        It could be phrased that way, but Scrum does say that if it impossible for the team to make the commitment, they can initiate discussion to rescope the sprint with the PO.

        Now that is a different case as this one, but a precedent has been made. As long as the team's authority is respected, I don't see why the team couldn't collaborate with the PO. Obviously, this is an area where the Team and SM must tread carefully, and make sure the PO (and possibly the PM, too) understands the procedure correctly.


        Yours, Petri


        ---
        Petri Heiramo
        Process Development Manager, Agile Coach (CST)
        Digia Plc., Finland
      • Jayanthan Bhattathiripad
        I would have replied to this email and said sure . A good thing I read all the replies. I didnt know Scrum could get so complicated. A good thing I am not an
        Message 4 of 17 , Jul 19, 2009
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          I would have replied to this email and said "sure". A good thing I read
          all the replies. I didnt know Scrum could get so complicated. A good
          thing I am not an SM.

          :-)

          My approach would most likely have been to get the PO's approval and see
          if it can be done by the team. Explain the risks of course and move the
          story to the bottom of the list for that sprint.

          whurrelmann wrote:
          >
          >
          > Hi,
          > would like to hear your opinion on this matter:
          > The sprint is 2 days old and we find out that one of the stories is
          > not needed, so we skip it.
          > The Product Manager (not the PO) comes to the standup and asks us to
          > exchange the story with another one which has equal story points.
          > What would you do?
          > Of course, one obvious point is, that the PM is a chicken so he should
          > not speak at all at the standup...
          >
          >
        • Jacob Ozolins
          Beep! What?
          Message 5 of 17 , Jul 20, 2009
          • 0 Attachment
            Beep! What?

            On Thu, Jul 16, 2009 at 11:48 PM, <mike.dwyer1@...> wrote:
             

            A scrum backlog is frozen

            .


          • Sean Hart
            ... Exactly - don t lose sight of the fact that the sprint is the result of negotiations between the team and the business. Also, blindly assuming that you
            Message 6 of 17 , Jul 20, 2009
            • 0 Attachment
              --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Petri Heiramo" <petri.heiramo@...> wrote:
              >
              > > > Don Gray wrote:
              > > >>> The sprint is 2 days old and we find out that one of the stories is
              > > >>> not needed, so we skip it. The Product Manager (not the PO) comes to
              > > >>> the standup and asks us to exchange the story with another one which
              > > >>> has equal story points. What would you do?
              > > >>
              > > >> I'd ask the Product Manager to discuss this with the Product Owner.
              > > >> If there's room in the sprint for another story, the Product Owner
              > > >> should be the person to bring the story to the team.
              > >
              > > > +1
              > >
              > > Yes. The PO has the sole responsibility to select what is to be
              > > done, AFAIK.
              >
              > 100%, but the team must still accept that change. And they have the right to say no, which then means that the product backlog is changed, or that the PO must make other prioritizations so that the story fits in the sprint (like removing other lower priority stories off the sprint).
              >
              >
              > Yours, Petri
              >
              >
              > ---
              > Petri Heiramo
              > Process Development Manager, Agile Coach (CST)
              > Digia Plc., Finland
              >

              Exactly - don't lose sight of the fact that the sprint is the result of negotiations between the team and the business. Also, blindly assuming that you can just swap out one story for another with an equal estimate while the sprint is in progress. Two days into the sprint, some amount of work has been done on that story, even if a single test or line of code has yet to be written. The redacted story has been vetted by the team and PO, and it probably has undergone some decomposition of tasks. In other words, the team has already started down a path where this story is planned to be among the body of work intended for delivery.

              Regardless, I would only recommend suspending or loosening the "immutable sprint contract" principle if your team and PO/business have developed a good working relationship with one another. Also, I think you want to discourage your PO from just finding a story in his/her backlog with the same estimate as the obsolete one. That smacks of giving the team "busy work," instead of helping them to provide additional value. Instead, try getting the PO and the team together, and find a way to alter the conditions of the PO's highest-priority story to a point where the PO is happy with the value delivered, and where the team can comfortably commit to taking it on during the sprint.

              If your team and the PO are still feeling each other out, that may not be the best time to introduce an alteration to the sprint. Instead, encourage them to pay down some of the technical debt that any software development team is likely to incur. Or encourage the team to come up with some improvements for one or more of the stories on the sprint backlog (perhaps there was some desire of the PO that was negotiated out of the sprint's scope during the planning session, and now the team has the bandwidth to get it done). Or, if the team is done significantly early, maybe you can consider cutting the sprint short (I'd save that as a last resort, if you would be stuck with a team that is twiddling its thumbs for several days).
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