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Launch Positive Change to Help Drive Sprint Planning

Can't move forward with sprint planning and story sizing? Get things moving by adapting and changing.

27 February 2017

Brent Zustiak
Independent Consultant


As a ScrumMaster and Agile coach, you must be observant and predict possible problems with your Scrum processes. It is also important to encourage your team members to bring forward difficulties when they arise, because nothing helps drive change more than team members who are able to recognize issues themselves.

The Definition of Done is an agreement that specifies when a story is considered complete; that is, the various steps needed to ensure quality or compliance, or whatever might be needed by the environment in which the team works, before the work can be considered "done." A similar method can be applied to starting a story if your team is stuck on getting the ball rolling.

One of the teams I worked with had difficulty getting started on stories. The issue wasn't about setting the appropriate priorities or bringing too many stories into the sprint — it was something simpler than that. The stories weren’t ready for the team to even consider; they lacked key components and information that were necessary for sizing.

So the team defined the criteria that must be satisfied before a story was sprint ready. These criteria were our Definition of Ready.

To gain a better understanding of the prerequisite technology and knowledge for sprint planning, involve the right people, those who can identify the dependencies and the necessary systems to engage during development. Some teams might take this exercise for granted; others might have a different mindset, environment, or complexity that can make these first steps a struggle. Regardless of your team dynamics, executing this strategy helps the team move forward.

Adapting and implementing new methods are critical steps toward helping a team grow and make solid progress in the Scrum process.
 

Opinions represent those of the author and not of Scrum Alliance. The sharing of member-contributed content on this site does not imply endorsement of specific Scrum methods or practices beyond those taught by Scrum Alliance Certified Trainers and Coaches.



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