Sprint Burndown Team Morale Meeting Commitments Question
My team runs two burndowns during the sprint. A SBI burndown and a Sprint Backlog work remaining burndown. For the Sprint Backlog burndown we estimate tasks for all SBIs in remaining work hours and update the remaining work hours at the Daily Scrum every morning. The team is very enamored of looking at the resulting graphs to see if we are on track both in terms of remaining work vs. remaining capacity and items completed.
Sometimes remaining capacity gets reduced by uncontrollable factors such as a team member is out sick for several days.
Sometimes unexpected events occur which add unanticipated work such as developer machines going belly up and having to be rebuilt before the developer can do work planned for the Sprint.
In either case the team is really getting wrapped around the axel about not meeting the sprint commitment and they want to revise the sprint commitment so that the graphs come out nicely and commitments are “met”. Their reasoning is it’s not their “fault” that they can’t make the commitment and so the “records” should show that they made a reasonable commitment given the “unexpected events outside of their control”.
Thoughts about how to handle this?
Tara Santmire, CSM, PMP
- Hi,I think that what is important is to know your average velocity and estimate taking that into account. In our case we know, by average, that we deliver 70% of what we put in our Sprint Backlog but we keep adding more stories as sometimes the team delivers more than the 70%. The team is not demoralized at the end of the sprint when just 70% is delivered and when we get to 90% is a great sprint. This 30% usually goes on unexpected tasks that are very common in our case.In addition the team has some "freedom time" so they can investigate and learn new things that they want. I think this formula is working for us.Regards,