How to manage timelines in sprint effectively?

  • New stories may be affecting previous story design/code - you have certain velocity and that is for new work but your previous work also gets impacted
  • So very less time is there for new stories as lot of time is spent in other activities : Backlog grooming for next sprint(I agree PO/BA do that but dev people also send their queries), bug fixes of this sprint , bug fixes of previous production deployed releases, refactoring the existing stories which is impacted with new stories - as you are creating new story - the design also change in database/class here/there.

Any suggestions on how to manage sprint timelines effectively?

Question is broken from the original question as asked by Mark Phillips and CodeGnome

  • 1
    BA? What's that in the context of scrum? What do you mean "previous work also gets impacted", it's a little unclear? Oct 30 '15 at 9:24
  • @NathanCooper BA is business analyst and is in a team of PO. What I mean with "Previous Work also getting impacted " is that - Today I have created few screens and I dont have complete view of system and my database design is not complete , later on new screens are added , more tables are added - old tables will be modified - which will impact my existing procedures/classes/methods and hence impact on existing design
    – Roop
    Oct 30 '15 at 9:32
  • 1
    I know what a BA is (in the context of scrum was the key point). Obviously you might break your previous functionality, that's always true and not a special case. Oct 30 '15 at 9:44
  • @NathanCooper , yes this is not special case. i have mentioned all the points which i think i would need to do along with new stories and my question was that - how to manage my sprint time effectively.
    – Roop
    Oct 30 '15 at 9:49
  • 1
    It's hard to tell what you're really asking here. Are you asking whether refactoring (which is a normal part of iterative development) has an impact on feature development speed?
    – Todd A. Jacobs
    Oct 31 '15 at 15:28

Improve your engineering practices

Backlog grooming for next sprint (I agree PO/BA do that but dev people also send their queries)

According to the Scrum Guide, "This is an ongoing process in which the Product Owner and the Development Team collaborate on the details of Product Backlog items... Refinement usually consumes no more than 10% of the capacity of the Development Team."

I am finding that putting in effort to get stories ready saves a lot of time and effort downstream.

bug fixes of this sprint

I am not clear about your question here. I hope you are not saying that buggy code can be written faster.

bug fixes of previous production deployed releases

Try to improve your engineering practices. When we were doing mostly manual testing we were struggling to complete the work within the sprint. But slowly we automated performance testing and introduced continuous integration.

refactoring the existing stories which is impacted with new stories

If you are doing refactoring, you should have a suite of unit tests written for that part of the code. This will help you to do the refactoring with confidence.

In short, there is no magic remedy.


I spend 2 hours every Sprint (2 weeks) for Backlog grooming. This is done with the entire team BA, Dev, Testers and PO. This should take care of most of the story boarding and Product Backlog Item Creation. I do this on Thursday of 2nd Week. Assuming we have 2 weeks from Monday to next Friday.

2 hours are spent on Sprint Planning on first day of sprint. Here you talk about what needs to be taken up in the current Spring and what code needs to be refactored. Refactoring is a continuous process and is taken up during task execution as well.

Ideally you should have very few defects from previous release if you follow clear definition of done and demo the functionality to PO during Sprint Review. We faced problems in the first few sprints , we identified the areas of improvement and allocated 1 Developer and 1 tester to handle previous bugs. They chime to the main sprint when the bug fixing is complete.

Every one participates in 15 minute Stand Up every day.

Please let me know if this was helpful.

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