The first sprint is done! Yes we finally started doing Scrum at tilllate.com*. Well, it’s not exactly how Schwaber and Sutherland would expect it. But our way fits our team. And the acceptance in both the IT team and the rest of the organization is high. It improves motivation and therewith the performance of the team. And that’s what matters.
Here’s how we do it: Martina, our product manager for the website is the product owner. She collects all feature requests from the clients. In the case of tilllate this might be photographers, sales guys, visitors from the website. These features make up the user stories. She prioritizes these user stories lets the CEO sign them off. This creates the product backlog.
Enters the IT team: During the sprint planning we go through every item on the product backlog. Martina explains each user story. The team does an estimate in story points. Once the estimation is done, every team member can choose which user story he would like to implement. This takes roughly 2 hours for a 3 week sprint.
This information is tracked on our scrum board which has a swim lane for every developer. Every user story is a post-it.
At the end of the sprint planning every developer knows what he has to do in the upcoming sprint.
No, we don’t do daily scrums. Yet. As my developers are not used to daily meetings I did not want to shock them (“Change management”). We started with bi-weekly meetings where we update the scrum board and the burn down chart.
At the end of the sprint we are doing a demo and a review of the sprint. In the demo every developer shows what he has accomplished during the sprint. This anticipates the feeling of “I did not get anything done” that so many of us have. The sprint review is a performance and problem analysis of the sprint. Did we meet our goals in term of story points? Why not? What can we do to meet them in the next sprint?
Today we had the sprint review for the sprint “1″ and had the sprint planning for sprint “2″. Here’s our first experience:
- Hot: The IT team is much more motivated than before we used scrum: They can choose themselves, what they would like to work on. And they have a goal
- Hot: As the IT team is doing the estimates they are committed to meet them. They are more focused.
- Hot: The product owner and the customer is happy as they have a high transparency. They always know what the team is up to. This increases trust in the IT team
- Not: We committed to 58 story points. At the end we only accomplished 23. That’s an awful velocity 39%. Bad. We had to take a number of measures for sprint two. For example: Decrease velocity down to 70% and better estimations.