Archive for March, 2012

March 27, 2012

Having issues with the Sprint timebox and unfinished user stories in Scrum? Check out ‘Kanban applied to Scrum’

by Sampath Prahalad

I have faced some of the below problems with the rigid Sprint timebox (of 2 weeks, 3 weeks or what have you).

  1. A case of ‘The Sprint feels too long’: Product manager is under pressure to address an issue from Production quickly. However, the product development team is in the middle of a 3 week Sprint and will not take in any new user stories. This means that the issue in Production will need atleast 2 weeks to get picked up and 3 more weeks to get Done.
  2. Another case of ‘The Sprint feels too long’: The Sprint has just begun and a small user story is already complete and will add value once it is deployed to production. However, the Sprint end is 2 weeks away and deployment to production will happen with other user stories.
  3. A case of ‘Can’t the Sprint be longer?’: Product manager has come up with a feature to implement Google Analytics. However, the Product development team knows nothing about it.
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March 7, 2012

Tired of long, stressful Retrospectives? Try out the “Triple B Retrospective”

by Sampath Prahalad

As a Scrum Master and moderator, are you getting bored with the way the Retrospectives are being held? Are they becoming forums where few individuals dominate and/or accusations are hurled at each other and not much constructive is coming out of them?

Here is a minor tweaking of the usual Retrospective format to ensure that each team member gets a fair chance to reflect and portray his/her views candidly.

Let us call it the Triple B Retrospective:”Bouquets, Brickbats and Bulbs”

  • Put up a chart paper (A2 or bigger) in the team area 2-5 days before the Sprint end (depending on the duration of the Sprint). Create 3 distinct areas with the below headings
    • Bouquets: Appreciation for a team member, Anything positive within the Sprint
    • Brickbats: Any process that can be improved, toned down or scrapped.
    • Bulbs: Bright ideas here on what can be done differently starting next Sprint.
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