Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Scrum Sprint 1, Week 2 – A rolling stone gathers no moss (aka the Scare Factor of having a timeboxed integration)

As we begin our second week of our first Sprint, things are going pretty darn good. Below is our Sprint Burndown Chart and it’s almost too good, almost too on target. (But we have a few weeks left so I’m sure we can fix that… lol… ;)


Today is the first day the trend hit the end date of the iteration/Sprint. In the initial days it was a little scary in that the trend was way over, weeks into the future. Now I knew, based on my reading, that this was expected and usual, that until you get some momentum and things started getting done the trend would fluctuate. That new teams didn’t get their estimating right, their Product Backlog Item (PBI) & Sprint Backlog Item (SPI) selection right, etc. But knowing it and seeing it are two different things.

Also I made sure that the Product Owner (PO), the stakeholders and anyone with any interest had the URL to the charts/reports. Now that’s scary, but the transparency that is the foundation of Agile & Scrum is something I’m committed too, so scary or not, it was done…

Adding to the pucker factor, yesterday I scheduled the Sprint Review Meeting for July 21st, the Retrospective for the 22nd and the next Sprint Planning Meeting (SPM) for the 28/29th (due to work schedules and reality, I need to break the SPM across two days, the 3-4 hours of part 1 on one day and then the 3-4 hours of part 2 the morning of the day after.).

So we’re now pretty committed to this schedule. And if not, it will be pretty visible. Scary Factor++

Am I worried? Yeah, a little. But in reality I think, based on the work, Daily Scrum, Burndown, etc, we’re actually going to finish early. The team is beginning to meld together, beginning to work through the flow of SBI’s and to see this it all as a team solution. A team deliverable. A team success, or failure. I hope and expect this will continue to grow and flourish in the coming weeks…

Plus I’m cheating a little. I’m only supposed to be 25%’ish committed to this project, but it’s just so much FUN to work together with the team, to see the product improve almost daily, to see it progress, to be part of the work and feel the team dynamic building. I really want to work on this, I’m excited about it, so it’s easy to make excuses and commit a little more time to this project than I should. Bad Greg… LOL


Another point I’d like to make is that the Team has been very good about updating their SBI’s. They are adjusting the Remaining Hours as need, moving them them through their different states, etc. With my ScrumMaster hat on, I encourage this, watch the burndown, comments in the Daily to make sure we have an accurate estimate of the work remaining. To also make this visible and transparent, the days I’m in the office, I print out the Sprint Burndown Chart and Sprint Cumulative Flow and post them to a very visible cork board in our work area. As we go in and out, it’s the Burndown is right there…

Luckily updating SBI’s has not been an issue and while you think it might be too much “admin” work, it’s really not. I mean come on, in one day how many SBI’s are you really going to work on, given that a “good” timebox for a SBI is 4-16 hours? Even at 1-2 hour SBI’s, you’re going to work on 4,5? Updating 4,5 SBI’s with a rough estimate of the work remaining shouldn’t be all that hard and should take… oh…maybe… 5 minutes?

What I’ve found works for me is that as I execute on an SBI, I make a note in me notepad for the next Daily, and then update the SBI’s remaining work. Wash, rinse, repeat. It’s easy to just make it part of the flow…


Enough for now, time to write some code… :)


Thoughts for future posts:

Scrum – Letting go… (of your need to Direct and to be Directed)
Scrum for Team System – Notes from in the Trenches
Scrum and Testing – Why our cross functional team (Dev & QA) rocks (with Visual Studio Tester Edition nuggets thrown in)
Scrum, the team and reality – Handling sick days, vacations, holidays, etc.
Scrum, remote Team Member/ScrumMaster thoughts


Related Past Post XRef:
Are you “really” using Scrum?
Sprint Day 1 – Here we GO!
Scrum Day [Decision + 1 Week] – Passion versus Religion
Scrum Day [Subscript out of range] – Time for a minor reset, I’m pushing back the Sprint Planning Meeting by a week…
Scrum Day 0 – The Search for ScrumMaster
Scrum Day -1 - Infrastructure Day
Scrum Day -2 - The Decision is Made

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