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Scrum Meetings During the Holidays

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  • sisraj1
    I wanted to get the groups opinion on a situation that occurred during the holidays, the last week of December, 2011. I am the Scrum Master (SM) for two teams
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 14, 2012
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      I wanted to get the groups opinion on a situation that occurred during the holidays, the last week of December, 2011.

      I am the Scrum Master (SM) for two teams that are currently using 2 week Sprints. In the normal 2 week iterations the Scrum meetings (Review, Retrospective and Planning) for one of our Sprints was scheduled to be during the week of December 26-30, 2011. This particular week of the year is one of the most popular to take off work. In this case, the Product Owner (PO), the back-up to the PO, the SM (myself), the back-up SM, all but about 4 team members out of 12 on both teams, and the majority of the stakeholders (people that would normally attend the Sprint Review meetings) where out during this week.

      We struggled with what to do about the Scrum meetings during this week.
      1) Should we continue to have the meetings at their 'normal' times in order to keep a constant 2 week iteration going, even though most of the participants of the meetings would not be attending?
      2) Should we reschedule the meetings to be held at the next available opportunity after the holiday week? This would basically extend the sprint a few days or a week by the time most people returned from the holidays.
      3) Should we skip these Scrum meetings altogether and hold the scrum meetings two weeks from the holiday week? In essence, have a 4 week sprint to deal with most people being gone over the holidays. Instead of the sprint running from 12/14/2012 (mm/dd/yyyy) to 12/27/2012 (our Sprints are from Wednesday to Tuesday) the Sprint would run from 12/14/2012 to 1/14/2012.

      We ended up going with option 3. One advantage to that approach was that meeting rooms didn't have to be rescheduled. We basically kept on the same schedule, we just had to cancel the meetings that occurred during the holiday week. Since meeting rooms can be hard to come by, this was a plus for me. One disadvantage to this approach was that it skewed our velocity numbers higher. Even with most people gone 5 days or more during that time, the velocity numbers still increased slightly.

      What are your thoughts on this situation? I apologize if this is a duplicate posting. I could not find this exact question/situation when I searched.

      Bob
    • Abhilash c
      Bob I also have faced the same problem. There is no meaning in conducting the official meetings if the stakeholders cannot attend. I had to extend the sprint
      Message 2 of 3 , Mar 1, 2012
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        Bob
         
        I also have faced the same problem. There is no meaning in conducting the official meetings if the stakeholders cannot attend.
        I had to extend the sprint duration to 3 weeks in one team to accommodate the holidays
         
        Another team I am aware of choose the 3rd option. But they had an internal meeting , a sort of mid sprint review , to give a feeling of 2 week sprint. The actual review happened after 4 weeks when all stakeholders were present.
         
        Regards
        Abhilash


        On 15 February 2012 03:21, sisraj1 <sisraj1@...> wrote:
         

        I wanted to get the groups opinion on a situation that occurred during the holidays, the last week of December, 2011.

        I am the Scrum Master (SM) for two teams that are currently using 2 week Sprints. In the normal 2 week iterations the Scrum meetings (Review, Retrospective and Planning) for one of our Sprints was scheduled to be during the week of December 26-30, 2011. This particular week of the year is one of the most popular to take off work. In this case, the Product Owner (PO), the back-up to the PO, the SM (myself), the back-up SM, all but about 4 team members out of 12 on both teams, and the majority of the stakeholders (people that would normally attend the Sprint Review meetings) where out during this week.

        We struggled with what to do about the Scrum meetings during this week.
        1) Should we continue to have the meetings at their 'normal' times in order to keep a constant 2 week iteration going, even though most of the participants of the meetings would not be attending?
        2) Should we reschedule the meetings to be held at the next available opportunity after the holiday week? This would basically extend the sprint a few days or a week by the time most people returned from the holidays.
        3) Should we skip these Scrum meetings altogether and hold the scrum meetings two weeks from the holiday week? In essence, have a 4 week sprint to deal with most people being gone over the holidays. Instead of the sprint running from 12/14/2012 (mm/dd/yyyy) to 12/27/2012 (our Sprints are from Wednesday to Tuesday) the Sprint would run from 12/14/2012 to 1/14/2012.

        We ended up going with option 3. One advantage to that approach was that meeting rooms didn't have to be rescheduled. We basically kept on the same schedule, we just had to cancel the meetings that occurred during the holiday week. Since meeting rooms can be hard to come by, this was a plus for me. One disadvantage to this approach was that it skewed our velocity numbers higher. Even with most people gone 5 days or more during that time, the velocity numbers still increased slightly.

        What are your thoughts on this situation? I apologize if this is a duplicate posting. I could not find this exact question/situation when I searched.

        Bob


      • m_crumbach
        We also practice option (3). Instead of a team-internal review, the team checks the status with the PO when everyone -- or at least the PO plus a critical mass
        Message 3 of 3 , Mar 3, 2012
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          We also practice option (3). Instead of a team-internal review, the team checks the status with the PO when everyone -- or at least the PO plus a critical mass of team members -- is back from holidays. Stakeholders can catch up with the PO then when they are back.

          What we do is actually planning two takts with a small checkmark on what we expect can be done within the first two weeks. If necessary, we can act then after the holidays. It is part of the planning meeting to agree on checking the status and on re-planning after the holidays if needed.

          There is indeed no sense in conducting a review&planning when almost everyone and especially the PO is on vacation and no substitue is available. Whether the team still goes on with daily scrums should depend on the number of available team members.

          So far, the feedback on this was positive in the retrospective.

          Regards,
          Manfred

          --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Abhilash c <c.abhilash@...> wrote:
          >
          > Bob
          >
          > I also have faced the same problem. There is no meaning in conducting
          > the official meetings if the stakeholders cannot attend.
          > I had to extend the sprint duration to 3 weeks in one team to accommodate
          > the holidays
          >
          > Another team I am aware of choose the 3rd option. But they had an internal
          > meeting , a sort of mid sprint review , to give a feeling of 2 week sprint.
          > The actual review happened after 4 weeks when all stakeholders were
          > present.
          >
          > Regards
          > Abhilash
          >
          >
          > On 15 February 2012 03:21, sisraj1 <sisraj1@...> wrote:
          >
          > > **
          > >
          > >
          > > I wanted to get the groups opinion on a situation that occurred during the
          > > holidays, the last week of December, 2011.
          > >
          > > I am the Scrum Master (SM) for two teams that are currently using 2 week
          > > Sprints. In the normal 2 week iterations the Scrum meetings (Review,
          > > Retrospective and Planning) for one of our Sprints was scheduled to be
          > > during the week of December 26-30, 2011. This particular week of the year
          > > is one of the most popular to take off work. In this case, the Product
          > > Owner (PO), the back-up to the PO, the SM (myself), the back-up SM, all but
          > > about 4 team members out of 12 on both teams, and the majority of the
          > > stakeholders (people that would normally attend the Sprint Review meetings)
          > > where out during this week.
          > >
          > > We struggled with what to do about the Scrum meetings during this week.
          > > 1) Should we continue to have the meetings at their 'normal' times in
          > > order to keep a constant 2 week iteration going, even though most of the
          > > participants of the meetings would not be attending?
          > > 2) Should we reschedule the meetings to be held at the next available
          > > opportunity after the holiday week? This would basically extend the sprint
          > > a few days or a week by the time most people returned from the holidays.
          > > 3) Should we skip these Scrum meetings altogether and hold the scrum
          > > meetings two weeks from the holiday week? In essence, have a 4 week sprint
          > > to deal with most people being gone over the holidays. Instead of the
          > > sprint running from 12/14/2012 (mm/dd/yyyy) to 12/27/2012 (our Sprints are
          > > from Wednesday to Tuesday) the Sprint would run from 12/14/2012 to
          > > 1/14/2012.
          > >
          > > We ended up going with option 3. One advantage to that approach was that
          > > meeting rooms didn't have to be rescheduled. We basically kept on the same
          > > schedule, we just had to cancel the meetings that occurred during the
          > > holiday week. Since meeting rooms can be hard to come by, this was a plus
          > > for me. One disadvantage to this approach was that it skewed our velocity
          > > numbers higher. Even with most people gone 5 days or more during that time,
          > > the velocity numbers still increased slightly.
          > >
          > > What are your thoughts on this situation? I apologize if this is a
          > > duplicate posting. I could not find this exact question/situation when I
          > > searched.
          > >
          > > Bob
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
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