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I have a project manager who's managing a sizable project (8 developers, duration over 6 months) with rapidly and constantly changing requirements. The PM has started dumping hundreds of tickets into the 2-week sprint a couple of sprints back, and given that it's impossible to finish that much work, he just adds new tickets on top of the existing ones, and moves everything to the next sprint.

I demanded that clean up the sprint board, and move anything not being worked on to the backlog, but he started arguing that although that sounds nice, he and his team don't have time to move things in and out, as the requirements change daily. He said that they know how to prioritize the tickets in the system without moving them in and out of the sprint.

How can I convince him to change his ways? I told him that with the current setup, it's almost impossible to track velocity and for devs to track what they've worked on, and he claims that they know exactly what they're working on and if we wanted to find out the velocity we can generate a report based on the finished tickets at the end of the sprint.

Any ideas for/against are welcome.

Thanks.

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    Project managers that do not understand Scrum, whom also do not want to listen. Sounds time to talk either to upper-management and make a change or jump ship. Maybe you can get management to bring in an Agile coach to train the PM's. This sounds horrific, goodluck. :) – Niels van Reijmersdal Nov 4 '17 at 10:28
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"The PM has started dumping hundreds of tickets into the 2-week sprint a couple of sprints back"

In Scrum, no one other than the Development Team is authorized to accept work into a Sprint. Assuming your company is committed to using Scrum, tell him to stop putting work into the Sprint Backlog. Instead, the Product Owner puts work into the Product Backlog, which is then (during the Sprint Planning Meeting) moved into the Sprint by the Development Team.

However.

"he and his team don't have time to move things in and out, as the requirements change daily."

If that's actually true, then you should seriously consider switching from Scrum to Kanban.

  • Additionally, if the PO is moving tickets in and out of the current sprint, then that is another red flag in Scrum and an indicator that Kanban might be a better method. – Bart van Ingen Schenau Nov 5 '17 at 11:43

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