Broken Agile: Stories from the Trenches by Tim Brizard (auth.)

By Tim Brizard (auth.)

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As it turns out, the meeting was just as the invite said; it was to take the User Stories from the Product Backlog and try to plan out all the Sprints for the project. I’ve seen teams do dependency mapping exercises, which makes sense so that you understand the order in which the stories need to be worked. But trying to plan multiple Sprints on a whiteboard did not seem to make much sense. What are the chances that the priority of the User Stories won’t change or that some of the stories won’t get descoped?

It doesn’t tell the whole story. ” He was not very happy with that comment. ” There was no convincing some managers and the team comparisons continued. But by the end of the project most developers could care less about being compared to other teams and knew it meant nothing. Thoughts At the end of the day there was a huge misunderstanding, I believe, on the part of management when it came to thinking that comparing teams would create some kind of healthy competition. It had so many unforeseen consequences.

We would go weeks, or in one case over a month, without pulling things from the Product Backlog. Because of this, we had velocity per se. We randomly worked on things in the Sprint. Then a new project would get approved and all of sudden we were given a lot of work with a tight deadline. So we would go from not having any work to now working long hours. There was no cadence on this team. We had no historical velocity we could trust. Even if the team wanted to commit to points based on historical velocity we couldn’t because there simply were not enough stories in the Product Backlog.

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