A rant about estimates, #noEstimates, relative estimating, story points, ideal days. You might learn something or more likely will just be mildly entertained. What else did you expect for a return from a 6+ month hiatus? Oh and also a sneak peak into my research project and how YOU can get involved — check back in March.
We [the Agile community] value transparency and prioritization among many other things. We prioritize (or order) the most important things or the riskiest things to work on first. This is not new. What happens when it all is important or is all very risky or there is lack of clarity between the business and the team? Who has the final say in the priority of work items?
I’m going to start off by saying that I know Scrum and metrics don’t necessarily get along. But I will also acknowledge that it’s a necessary evil in most cases. And in a lot of cases it doesn’t have to be evil. Metrics are simply: a method of measuring something. In Scrum, we measure a lot of things. We measure the size of our work items, we measure the effort or time it takes to complete them. We measure our accuracy. All of this is in our quest to become predictable as a team and to improve (and we need to start with a baseline measurement to know if we’ve improved). But when others start taking notice of our metrics, that’s when things get tricky.
I’ve been blogging a lot about commitment and estimating lately both on this blog and my work blog. In a discussion with a Product Owner the other day, we were talking about looking at story sizes after the sprint to determine if they were sized correctly. I think this is a great idea and I’d like to plan it into a retrospective.
I’ve often thought about my teams and the lack of concern they have when not meeting their sprint commitments resulting in carry over work to the next sprint or release. Is it because I have not explained the word “commitment” and what it truly means? Is it because of the lack of urgency when not releasing after every sprint or two and waiting three months between releases? Is it because the benefits of meeting commitments and demonstrating consistent predictability have not been explained or felt? It may be because of all of these reasons.