Capacity Based Sprint Planning

Sprint planning, as the name suggests, is an opportunity for the team to come together and plan their work for the upcoming sprint. The resulting plan includes: a sprint goal, a set of stories from the product backlog that the team commits to completing during the sprint, and a set of concrete, specific, tasks — estimated in hours — the team will complete to deliver each story. The resulting plan is called the sprint backlog and is represented with stories and tasks on the sprint task board.

Pros, Cons, and Fixes

The Pros, Cons, and Fixes method is one of many structured analysis tools that we use on nearly a daily basis. We often introduce this technique to clients as we try to make the decision making on projects explicit, structured, and at least somewhat rigorous –...

Restating the Problem

Our analysis of a problem, our conclusions, and actions are guided by the statement of the problem. Also, the statement of a problem depends on our perspective and self-interest driven by our biases and mindset. Often the first statement of the problem isn’t...

Release Planning

Release Planning The goal of release planning is to identify, estimate, and prioritize the user stories to be considered for the upcoming release as well as to confirm project roles and a project charter for how the team will engage itself during the release. Ideally,...

Dealing with project Anxiety

Anxiety can be define as: “a future-oriented mood state in which one is ready or prepared to attempt to cope with upcoming negative events” or simply as “life on a product development team”. One of the great benefits of an agile approach is the visibility we get...

Roles, Scrum Teams, and Product Discovery

I have run into the same questions on nearly every coaching engagement where there was a team that included Business Analysts (BA) and User Experience (UX) designers: How do we work with BA and UX specialists on an agile team? How do we avoid being ‘waterfall’ when we...

Assigning Story Points to Chores

Should we assign points to a chore?  My short answer is “yes”.  I’ll explain why below. First, what is a chore? Many teams make a distinction between stories and chores in their backlog.  A story – specifically a user story – is something that the users...

Sizing Stories with Planning Poker

Planning Poker Planning Poker is a flavor of the Wide-band delphi estimating technique designed to get the whole team involved in estimating the size of user stories.  The estimates are done using story points – a unit-less metric for estimating things using...