Another Sprint done, another challenge met

Time of course cannot be stopped. It wanders on, sometimes wearing 7-mile boots, sometimes it just stomps along the countryside. It always sees I have a shortage of it, so time apparently is a commodity as well as a flow.

A Sprint of course is also time, it is a time-box, an awesome remnant of days gone RAD. Useful, yet underestimated. What I notice is that my client has a lot of trouble with it. Especially with the concept of not being able to prescribe what we as team will put in it.
A lot of people ask me for a time-planning, both on the user side and on the client side.
They try to get me to predict how much time we need, and of course I am duly reserved in giving them that prediction. I don’t have a glass ball that tells me what is coming (if I had I would be as rich as Richard Branson and I would not be a meagre Agile Coach)
My problem is that the client I work for has a too traditional view on the concept of predictions, If I tell them I need another sprint, they will keep me to it, they will tell me I “promised” to deliver their product in an extra sprint.

Today I told them I will at least need another two sprints to give the about 85% of the functionality their users want. His first reaction was “but you promised the functionality would be done in December”…do people even look into Agile and Scrum when they ask us to use it?

Anyway, we have been ambitious and took on about the same amount of work this sprint as last sprint. Last sprint was successful in that, yet there were still a lot of things we found out and a lot of delays due to interfaces that should have been there a long time ago.

Now I still have to impress on the team to use the sprint backlog. They seem to have trouble with doing that consistently.

2 Replies to “Another Sprint done, another challenge met”

  1. Congrats on another sprint completed and getting your blog going! I’m curious why the team has trouble using the backlog? Perhaps that is a topic for a future post.

    1. Maybe I’m not making the sprint backlog visible enough. They seem to not think of updating it, or don’t have time. I find they are very dedicated to getting their work done. There is not a specific time for them within the day to update it. I don’t feel I should burden them with another meeting for updating the backlog. But I do want to track where we are (besides the standup meeting)
      To be honest, as long as they get things done, it’s not really a big issue, we’re on top of our progress and with two week sprints the overview is fine. With them working so hard and making progress it is a tracking thing that’s not going to make them work any faster. As long as they don’t see the value in it, I’m not sure how I should change anything to make it so.

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