Hot answers tagged

33

With that much variation in the estimate, it seems like the work as it's currently defined is not ready for estimation yet. Based on that wide spread in estimates, I would say that the team doesn't have a clear understanding of what is required to complete the work. Unless the work was critical and must be started and get to done as quickly as possible, I ...


25

I don't think there is a simple answer to this question. Instead, I think there are a number of different scenarios: A team is very experienced in Scrum and rotates the Scrum Master role. They have no need for a full-time Scrum Master. A team is very experienced in Scrum, but they still face impediments and they prefer not to be distracted, so they ...


22

The first thing you should do is encourage the team to bring concrete arguments. "Things are more complicated than they seem" or "I dont think those complications are valid" are very vague arguments. "I disagree, because the database-adapter has 3.000 lines of code, so changes in this class are very hard" or "Finding all methods doing X takes a long time, ...


12

EDIT: First off, you have a bigger problem. The team that I've taken over doesn't currently do retrospectives or sprint reviews sadly. You may have tagged the Question as scrum, but you're not doing Scrum. Before you try to fix any of the numerous issues that pop up as you try to implement your Scrumbut, you need to first try Scrum by-the-book. If you ...


11

Robert C. Martin said at one point about the Scrum Master that it: [...] should be a temporary role, to remind people to follow the steps of the process. It's not a separate job, but something one of the team should do for a bit, then pass it on. After a while the team shouldn't need a Scrum master as they will know how to operate their process. Maybe ...


11

shouldn't the adoption of agile values be present on both sides? Yes, it should. But often isn't. The problem is that Agile/Scrum is more of a mindset than a way of working. But people all throughout the organization see it as a methodology for developing software. If you are an executive, a business person, or working in some other department within the ...


9

TL;DR Yes. Stakeholders need to be active collaborators in a successful Scrum or agile process. Roles and Objectives for Stakeholder Collaboration While not spelled out prescriptively in the Scrum Guide, in successful Scrum implementations each role on the Scrum Team is responsible for collaborating with stakeholders in a role-specific way. Product Owner ...


9

Points Story points are a way of measuring effort using relative sizing. They are deliberately not time based for several reasons including: People are naturally better at relative estimating than they are at absolute estimating Time-based estimates have an influence on the way people do the work (e.g. "The estimate was 2 hours, but I have taken 3 hours ...


8

Some suggestions which could help, depending on the nature and size of the story. Arrange a code walkthrough so that the team members can see the issues for themselves If the story is small enough that some subset of the team are able to pick it up then maybe the team can come to an understanding that those people alone will work on this particular story ...


7

By estimating iteratively. Look into the cone of uncertainty. At the start of the project, the amount of uncertainty is high, and the cone wide. Thus, your estimate would be 'between 2 and 6 months'. Partway through, the uncertainty lessens and the cone thins. One month in, the cone becomes '3 to 4 months'. 3 months (12 weeks) in, it becomes '13-14 weeks'....


6

The daily scrum's purpose is to coordinate the team. If the PO or SM had tasks that were required for the team to coordinate then yes, they definitely need to speak up so the team can do so. For example maybe the PO or SM removed an impediment. That is important to know. If not, then their input is not required and they should assume their regular roles, ...


5

Introduction The goal of Planning Poker is to help the team right-size the amount of work pulled into the iteration. This avoids over-committing the team, and ensures sufficient slack within an iterative process. It is not intended to deliver high precision estimates, offer an iron-clad money-back guarantee, or target higher levels of team and individual ...


4

The Scrum Master is the team's coach and facilitator. Just because the team has been using Scrum for a while and understands the core framework doesn't mean that there aren't experiments that can't be done with new techniques (which may even mean using something other than Scrum) or that there's no need for a facilitator or that impediments won't come up ...


4

One possibility would be using a tool like Slack. Create a team news channel. Anyone who hears any relevant news or notes any significant comments/events during the day will add them as a message on the channel. People returning to work after having been away can scroll back through the news.


4

Practically everything you've said is a cause for concern but the project should be salvageable. I suggest you concentrate on two things. Firstly, as Mark also suggested, it seems from your description that you don't have clear ownership of the project. Someone will need to set priorities and be accountable for costs and that isn't your job as PM. If it's a ...


4

I like to use the 1,2,3,5,7,10,20,30,50,70,100 sequence for story points. If the team members pick neighbors, i.e. 20 and 30, just take average of 25 and move on. If spread is higher, like 7-20 it usually means the scope of what is asked is unclear and team members are bidding on different scope, or some see difficulties others do not (either party may be ...


3

In Scrum the most important reason to estimate is so the team can decide what fits into a Sprint. It's upto the team to use their time most effectively during the sprint. If the team has spare bandwidth at the end of the sprint they can always pick up something extra from the backlog. Don't fall into the trap of equating points with hours or days. Leave it ...


3

Introduction: Focus on Right-Sizing Your WIP A lot depends on your framework. As you simply tagged your question agile, it’s almost impossible to give you a universal answer. Nevertheless, controlling work-in-progress (WIP) will likely be key. Kanban In Kanban, you would typically reduce your WIP for other work states (e.g. development) in order to ...


3

I've experienced similar issues with literally every team I've worked with. I've learned that the problem is not the lack of a great tool to solve it. Daily standup meetings are pretty common and useful if executed correctly. The most common problem I've seen in dailies is that everyone is rushing to express himself/herself and make sure that he/she has ...


3

Many Agile coaches use the Scrum Master Checklist as a self-assessment tool: What literature suggests, is to assign a score from 1 to 5 to each of the questions in the checklist and monitor your progress. The list is also available in Google docs: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1fohTlmsjlb90rrMESmEafoPQ8Gah-cRLwfudprbY2iY/edit#gid=0 It is ...


3

Based on my understanding from various scrum trainings and chasing the agile dragon for a few years, here's my take. Hours should not be mapped to points. That seemed really antithetical to me early on, but I've embraced it. More importantly managers need to make sure that people work the right amount of hours per day, some employees you might need to be ...


3

As it's defined in the Scrum Guide, the Daily Scrum is an event for the Development Team. Neither the Product Owner nor the Scrum Master are required attendees, but guidance is given that the team may ask the Scrum Master to facilitate the event and that if the Scrum Master is present, they are responsible for ensuring that any other attendees aren't ...


2

Scrum master needn't be a full time role. I have worked in teams that rotated the scrum master role among different members of the development team. The Scrum Guide says that the SM's responsibilities extend beyond the team to the wider organisation, including "Leading and coaching the organization in its Scrum adoption; Helping employees and stakeholders ...


2

It is possible for you to break jobs down into multiple levels of subtasks if you use the Hierarchical Task analysis method. Hierarchical Task Analysis is a detailed examination of the tasks users must do to achieve particular aims. This document explains how to carry out task analysis: http://www.idemployee.id.tue.nl/g.w.m.rauterberg/lecturenotes/UFTtask-...


2

As the scrum master is a mentor and guide for a team, the team trusts the scrum master to lead them on the right path to "being" agile. I would suggest using this as your guide. Measure the performance of the Scrum Master by the agility of the team and the effectiveness of their Scrum implementation. Evaluate the team's: Ability to respond to change ...


2

There is no Project Manager role in the agile framework, but that does not mean that there cannot or should not be Project Managers within the company. Agile is a development framework - is a set of principles and recommended practices that help get software developed. It has been successfully adapted to other practices as well. At a company, there are a ...


2

The answer to your question will depend on how your organisation defines value. Value isn't just about changes to revenue/profit. There are many forms of value, such as: The cost associated with not making a change The value of removing or lowering a risk A strategic decision Compliance/regulatory ...and many more. The question then becomes: how do you ...


2

Calculating ROI for individual investments that don't provide additional benefit but only or mainly prevent loss isn't always meaningful. This becomes apparent if you look at possible combinations of such investments. If you were required to implement two features A and B to prevent a loss of $1M, is each feature's ROI $500,000 or $1M? Both values can't be ...


2

The two answers and Mark's comment are spot on. It seems you have a good understanding of what you should do and you should follow your instincts here. That being said, the job of the PM is to get control of the chaos. It is the job. It is to bring the competing interests of various stakeholders and build a cogent interest package into which all ...


2

Mike Cohn has some interesting thoughts on this: "I’ve previously written that Scrum Masters should participate in daily scrums and give an update. If they don’t, team members can be left to feel that their work is under greater scrutiny than the work of the Scrum Master. This can lead to an us/them feeling among team members." "So should a product ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible