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I recently submitted my project estimations for peer review and I have been advised that we need to estimate the business users' availabilities that will be required to complete each Sprint. I was also advised that we need to agree with the same stakeholders on their availability before commencing the Sprint.

Is this mandatory? How can I estimate a client’s availability?

  • It's clearer now, but I'd say too broad - if you have two separate questions, you should ask them as two separate Questions. – Sarov May 31 at 13:35
  • @Sarov - Noted, point taken – Karthikeyan Devaraj Jun 1 at 11:56
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Is this mandatory?

In Scrum terms, no, this is not mandatory. There is nothing in the Scrum guide that requires stakeholders to state their availability.

However, there is definitely value in explaining to the stakeholders what their role will be and getting a commitment from them to support the Scrum team.

How can I estimate a client’s availability?

I would suggest the first thing to do is to sit with the stakeholders and explain how Scrum works. Take them through the role of the Product Owner, the sprint review, etc.

Make sure they understand that the effectiveness of the Scrum team will depend to some extent on the contribution that they are willing to provide. The more they can help, the better the product development will likely be.

One approach that I have found helps is for the Scrum Master to pre-book the sprint review meetings many months in the future. This helps the stakeholders to ensure they are available. Also, discuss with them if particular days of the week or times of the day are better for them.

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You can add their availability in the Project Plan under Assumptions/Dependencies:

Project Assumptions/Dependencies/Constraints

  • The project schedule is dependent on the availability of {teams} teams.
  • Business User Availability - This project requires an estimated 2hrs/week from the business users involved in the current/next development sprint.

Then, in the Project Schedule, you can put placeholders for regularly occurring meetings with the business users.

Project Schedule

  • [WBS-10] 2019-01-01 - 2HR - SPRINT1\Business User Review
  • [WBS-20] 2019-02-01 - 2HR - SPRINT2\Business User Review
  • [WBS-30] 2019-03-01 - 2HR - SPRINT3\Business User Review

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