27 votes
Accepted

Is it really necessary to have a four hour meeting in Sprint planning?

I'm going to slightly disagree with Bogdan's answer. The Scrum Guide does say that: Sprint Planning is time-boxed to a maximum of eight hours for a one-month Sprint. For shorter Sprints, the event ...
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  • 17.6k
19 votes
Accepted

Planning a sprint after reduced team strength

If you reduce a team from 7 to 4, especially if the reason is something outside the team, the best course of action is probably to treat this as a completely new team. People will need to change into ...
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  • 1,279
19 votes

Does the scrum master also estimate user stories?

If you do development work in the sprint, you should estimate. If you don't, then it's better you skip on providing your own story points estimates. You can help your team with information and advice, ...
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  • 13.6k
18 votes
Accepted

What should we do if there are not enough PBIs to fill a final Sprint in Scrum?

In my team, if the backlog was exhausted, we always had the following to fall back on: The team can invest time and create a prioritized backlog of technical / architectural debt in your systems Work ...
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  • 384
15 votes
Accepted

How do I convince a team to follow the Scrum Guide?

Choose your battles carefully You mention you are new to the team and new to the organization. It will take some time before the team fully trusts you and your judgement. If that has already happened ...
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13 votes

How can you estimate a spike story?

Two things jump out at me. First, the end result of a Spike is not a shippable product. Spikes are used to learn, and do research. The end result is an answer to a question or finding some ...
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13 votes
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How to convert (volume of work, risk, complexity, uncertainty) to story points?

in your practice, do you use the aforementioned disaggregation? Why or why not? I encourage teams to focus on estimating consistency rather than on having a complicated estimating approach. There are ...
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11 votes
Accepted

Should all team members be assigned user stories?

Question: Do you give each team member a user story A see an anti-pattern here. As a Scrum Master, you don't have to assign stories & tasks to team members. It's their job (under your servant ...
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  • 3,217
10 votes

Selecting user stories during sprint planning

I really liked Todd's explanantion on how to deal with such situations: Focus on Sprint Goal, instead of specific Stories. When prioritising these stories, some will fit better to a concept of a ...
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  • 8,381
10 votes

Why is it important to only have PBIs completable in a single Sprint?

I want to supply a bit of a purist answer not because it is necessarily more "correct" than some of the others, but to give a different perspective. In many modern implementations of Scrum, ...
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  • 16.7k
10 votes

How to convert (volume of work, risk, complexity, uncertainty) to story points?

Relative estimates (points) are useful because they tend to give a better approximation than absolute estimates and tend to be easier to work with. Points are just an approximation however, and they ...
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  • 5,697
9 votes
Accepted

Story Points flaw?

The official answer to the problem is: There is no fixed numbers. If it makes more sense to have a big story be 100 points, go for it. If it makes more sense to have stories that are 1/2 point, use ...
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  • 7,640
9 votes

Is it really necessary to have a four hour meeting in Sprint planning?

The Scrum Guide mentions that: Sprint Planning is time-boxed to a maximum of eight hours for a one-month Sprint. For shorter Sprints, the event is usually shorter. If you keep the same train of ...
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  • 13.6k
8 votes

Does the scrum master also estimate user stories?

The Scrum Guide says that the Development Team are responsible for all estimates. Where the SM isn't also a member of the dev team then it should be up to the team to what extent the SM participates. ...
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  • 5,697
7 votes

Reducing Spill Overs

Those "phases" you describe sound very non-agile to me, but there are instances where a single person cannot complete a story and needs help from another team member even in super-agile environments, ...
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  • 7,640
7 votes
Accepted

Selecting user stories during sprint planning

This is a really good question, but there is no definitive answer. Have the conversation with your Product Owner. Explain to them the situation and offer them a choice. The Product Owner may say ...
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7 votes
Accepted

Hot swapping stories

For the official answer, I'd take a read in the Scrum Guide under The Sprint, including Cancelling the Sprint. (https://www.scrumguides.org/scrum-guide.html#events-sprint) Scrum does allow for ...
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  • 16.7k
7 votes

How can you estimate a spike story?

Spikes are typically time-boxed, so it is usually easy to work out the impact they will have on a sprint. For example, you might time-box a spike on a new technology to be one developer for one day. ...
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7 votes

If a team works on different things, how can they run sprint planning effectively?

With a team of four working on several different products you could consider using a Kanban-based approach instead of Scrum. Scrum works best if you have a cross-functional team with a quantity of ...
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  • 5,697
7 votes

How to convert (volume of work, risk, complexity, uncertainty) to story points?

Actually "story points" is exactly for not doing what you are trying to do :) The idea behind it is this; Estimations aren't accurate. Here's an article of mine about this. Trying to ...
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6 votes
Accepted

How to handle when planned work is blocked and a developer has capacity to take on a new user story that may be too big

Welcome to PMSE! Good question. It may be a duplicate but I could not find it so I will answer. I can tell you how I coach teams to handle it. Unfortunately, the story is bigger than the ...
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  • 4,046
6 votes

Architecture task as sprint issues

This is not the purview of the Product Owner (PO). The PO should not care how the product is built - that concern lies with the Development Team. The PO should only care about what is built in what ...
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  • 14.7k
6 votes

Slicing User Stories

The short version is that it is the development team's decision. Let's say you have this story: As a user with a telephone program installed, I want to automatically dial a number when I client ...
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6 votes
Accepted

Scrum - Add Placeholder for Future Story

Your Product Owner should be available during planning to answer any questions that appear concerning the stories. If question could not be resolved, because the Product Owner was not there or could ...
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  • 7,640
6 votes

How to convert (volume of work, risk, complexity, uncertainty) to story points?

I don't think there's a mathematical function to take in effort, risk, complexity, and uncertainty in order to return a single value in story points. I also don't think that approach makes sense. One ...
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  • 17.6k
6 votes

How to integrate DevOps people into a Scrum Team?

There's no such thing as "DevOps people". DevOps is an organizational culture. Like how Agile brought the business and developers into a close, collaborative relationship, DevOps is about a ...
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  • 17.6k
5 votes

How can you estimate a spike story?

Not every story in a sprint needs to result in a (potentially) shippable product. But as a sprint typically contains multiple stories, it should still be possible to have a (potentially) shippable ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Sprints Starting Mid-Week in Scrum

Also, how do week-long Sprints with mid-week starts and stops follow each other without constantly moving which days of the week are used? For instance: Sprint 1: Tuesday to Tuesday, next sprint ...
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5 votes
Accepted

How to manage technical conflict between Product Owner and developers?

Imagine you have planned a sprint, prepared every detail, broken down the epics into stories and already presented your roadmap to management and promised the releases ahead. In the sprint ...
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5 votes

What should we do if there are not enough PBIs to fill a final Sprint in Scrum?

Quite simply, start the Sprint with what you have. However, your Product Owner (and the business) must learn the lesson that the pipeline of work is never finished. Run an ad-hoc retrospective to ...
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  • 4,046

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