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Re: [scrumdevelopment] How many sprints?

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  • George Dinwiddie
    Greg, ... Have any epics been completed? If so, I would compare the rest of them with those. If not, I would start with what is felt to be best understood and
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 24, 2013
      Greg,

      On 1/24/13 9:20 AM, Greg Robinson wrote:
      >
      >
      > Hello, my Product Owner asked how many sprints will it take for the team
      > to complete several of the epics on our product backlog. We are a brand
      > new team (only 1 sprint under our belt) and not all of the epics have
      > been decomposed into stories and estimated. About 50% of two of our
      > epics have been decomposed into stories and three other epics havent
      > been touched yet. I understand time is fixed and scope is negotiable,
      > but without the team having determined their velocity nor finished
      > decomposing the epics, what is an appropriate response? Any
      > suggestions, tips, or articles are welcomed.

      Have any epics been completed? If so, I would compare the rest of them
      with those. If not, I would start with what is felt to be best
      understood and start with those.

      Compare each epic with ones already estimated. Are they about the same
      size? Bigger? Smaller? Give them relative estimates based on gut feel,
      not based on decomposition into smaller pieces. See
      http://blog.gdinwiddie.com/2013/01/18/a-big-estimate-is-not-a-sum-of-small-estimates/

      Realize that this is just a ballpark. You'll want to reconsider these
      estimates as you go, and you'll want to calibrate them with how long it
      actually takes to complete an epic.

      - George

      --
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
      Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
      Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    • avinap77
      Hi Greg. With just one sprint behind you and a newly formed team (as I undetstood), any attempt to estimate a handful of epics will be rough and initial. Once
      Message 2 of 6 , Jan 24, 2013
        Hi Greg.

        With just one sprint behind you and a newly formed team (as I undetstood), any attempt to estimate a handful of epics will be rough and initial.

        Once your PO and team are borh aware of this and accept it, you can try and give an educated guess as to the scale of work. Does it feel like a 1-2 month project? a 3-6 month project? a more-than-6-month project?

        At the stage you are in I would not try to estimate any more accurately than that. Your team will likely be able to give that level of estimate very quickly (within minutes) and it should be enough for your PO to start release planning.

        As the project progresses you are all (PO+team) likely to make better estimates and better product decisions based on them.

        Remember negotiating scope doesn't end at sprint 0. It's an ongoing activity taking place each sprint. My experience is most projects start with a fixed date and negotiable scipe, and end up with flexibility on borh scope and time. That's a good goal to aim at - keep everyone flexible and open to unexpected outcomes.

        The key is buildibg trust and cooperation between the team and PO. I'd recommend the Scrum master (you?) to gradually steer the discussions from "how long will it take to complete these epics" to "what's the next most valuable epic/story we should work on, and how can we get it done with high quality and as little effort as possible".

        This takes time and patience. And is extremely rewarding and effective once it's achieved.

        HTH!
        Avi

        --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Greg Robinson wrote:
        >
        > Hello, my Product Owner asked how many sprints will it take for the team to
        > complete several of the epics on our product backlog. We are a brand new
        > team (only 1 sprint under our belt) and not all of the epics have been
        > decomposed into stories and estimated. About 50% of two of our epics have
        > been decomposed into stories and three other epics havent been touched yet.
        > I understand time is fixed and scope is negotiable, but without the team
        > having determined their velocity nor finished decomposing the epics, what
        > is an appropriate response? Any suggestions, tips, or articles are
        > welcomed.
        >
        > Thanks in advance.
        >
        > Greg
        >
      • Bob
        Hi Greg, I think following George s and Avi s advice is probably the best way forward for you. I might just offer a brief word about Release Planning between
        Message 3 of 6 , Jan 26, 2013
          Hi Greg,

          I think following George's and Avi's advice is probably the best way forward for you.

          I might just offer a brief word about Release Planning between the development team and the product owner. In general, the epics in the backlog should be roughly estimated in story points, days or weeks, whichever is most appropriate, and from that rough release dates are established. This can be done before the first sprint. Assuming these epics are estimated relative to each other, no re-estimation is needed; re-estimation is usually a form of waste.

          Take a look at Mike Cohn's book, 'Agile Estimating and Planning' and Roman Pichler's book, 'Agile Product Management with Scrum' for more information on release planning.

          Good luck,

          Bob Boyd

          --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Greg Robinson wrote:
          >
          > Hello, my Product Owner asked how many sprints will it take for the team to
          > complete several of the epics on our product backlog. We are a brand new
          > team (only 1 sprint under our belt) and not all of the epics have been
          > decomposed into stories and estimated. About 50% of two of our epics have
          > been decomposed into stories and three other epics havent been touched yet.
          > I understand time is fixed and scope is negotiable, but without the team
          > having determined their velocity nor finished decomposing the epics, what
          > is an appropriate response? Any suggestions, tips, or articles are
          > welcomed.
          >
          > Thanks in advance.
          >
          > Greg
          >
        • Charles Bradley - Professional Scrum Trai
          Bob, ... Do you consider it waste to re-estimate a PBI when there is material new knowledge about that PBI that would materially affect the estimate for that
          Message 4 of 6 , Jan 27, 2013
            Bob,

            > Assuming these epics are estimated relative to each other, no re-estimation is needed; re-estimation is usually a form of waste.

            Do you consider it waste to re-estimate a PBI when there is material new knowledge about that PBI that would materially affect the estimate for that PBI?

             
            -------
            Charles Bradley
            Scrum Coach-in-Chief
            ScrumCrazy.com




            From: Bob <bobbatemansbay@...>
            To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Saturday, January 26, 2013 2:44 AM
            Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: How many sprints?


            Hi Greg,

            I think following George's and Avi's advice is probably the best way forward for you.

            I might just offer a brief word about Release Planning between the development team and the product owner. In general, the epics in the backlog should be roughly estimated in story points, days or weeks, whichever is most appropriate, and from that rough release dates are established. This can be done before the first sprint. Assuming these epics are estimated relative to each other, no re-estimation is needed; re-estimation is usually a form of waste.

            Take a look at Mike Cohn's book, 'Agile Estimating and Planning' and Roman Pichler's book, 'Agile Product Management with Scrum' for more information on release planning.

            Good luck,

            Bob Boyd

            --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Greg Robinson  wrote:
            >
            > Hello, my Product Owner asked how many sprints will it take for the team to
            > complete several of the epics on our product backlog.  We are a brand new
            > team (only 1 sprint under our belt) and not all of the epics have been
            > decomposed into stories and estimated.  About 50% of two of our epics have
            > been decomposed into stories and three other epics havent been touched yet.
            > I understand time is fixed and scope is negotiable, but without the team
            > having determined their velocity nor finished decomposing the epics, what
            > is an appropriate response?  Any suggestions, tips, or articles are
            > welcomed.
            >
            > Thanks in advance.
            >
            > Greg
            >




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          • Bob Boyd
            Hi Charles, You are spot on-you would re-estimate if some new knowledge does come along. However, I was trying to suggest doing some release planning
            Message 5 of 6 , Jan 27, 2013
              Hi Charles,

              You are spot on-you would re-estimate if some new knowledge does come along. However, I was trying to suggest doing some release planning activities with their current set of epics and playing down the re-estimation of epics at such an early stage of the project. I also wanted to discourage re-estimating if re-estimating was simply to be more accurate, a form of waste. Generally, initial epic estimates will be very inaccurate and after only one sprint, as in Greg's case, they will not be substantially better. For Greg to be able to say something like "we can release after 10 sprints plus or minus 6" would be pretty good after only one sprint.

              In addition, if Greg now knows after the first sprint that their epic estimates are mis-estimated by some factor, (assuming the epics were estimated relative to each other), the team could quickly adjust all their epic estimates in the backlog without re-estimating. They could then do release planning to get an estimated number of sprints before release.

              Bob boyd


              --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Charles Bradley - Professional Scrum Trainer and Coach wrote:
              >
              > Bob,
              >
              > > Assuming these epics are estimated relative to each other, no re-estimation is needed; re-estimation is usually a form of waste.
              >
              > Do you consider it waste to re-estimate a PBI when there is material new knowledge about that PBI that would materially affect the estimate for that PBI?
              >
              >
              >  
              > -------
              > Charles Bradley
              > Scrum Coach-in-Chief
              > ScrumCrazy.com
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > >________________________________
              > > From: Bob
              > >To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
              > >Sent: Saturday, January 26, 2013 2:44 AM
              > >Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: How many sprints?
              > >
              > >
              > >Hi Greg,
              > >
              > >I think following George's and Avi's advice is probably the best way forward for you.
              > >
              > >I might just offer a brief word about Release Planning between the development team and the product owner. In general, the epics in the backlog should be roughly estimated in story points, days or weeks, whichever is most appropriate, and from that rough release dates are established. This can be done before the first sprint. Assuming these epics are estimated relative to each other, no re-estimation is needed; re-estimation is usually a form of waste.
              > >
              > >Take a look at Mike Cohn's book, 'Agile Estimating and Planning' and Roman Pichler's book, 'Agile Product Management with Scrum' for more information on release planning.
              > >
              > >Good luck,
              > >
              > >Bob Boyd
              > >
              > >--- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Greg Robinson  wrote:
              > >>
              > >> Hello, my Product Owner asked how many sprints will it take for the team to
              > >> complete several of the epics on our product backlog.  We are a brand new
              > >> team (only 1 sprint under our belt) and not all of the epics have been
              > >> decomposed into stories and estimated.  About 50% of two of our epics have
              > >> been decomposed into stories and three other epics havent been touched yet.
              > >> I understand time is fixed and scope is negotiable, but without the team
              > >> having determined their velocity nor finished decomposing the epics, what
              > >> is an appropriate response?  Any suggestions, tips, or articles are
              > >> welcomed.
              > >>
              > >> Thanks in advance.
              > >>
              > >> Greg
              > >>
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >------------------------------------
              > >
              > >To Post a message, send it to:  scrumdevelopment@...
              > >To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: scrumdevelopment-unsubscribe@...! Groups Links
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              >
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