Steps: Sprint to Success


Daily Sprint Actions

Team Members, each sprint day:

  1. At the start of your workday, review your list of sprint tasks and choose which to work on.

    • Figure out how much time you must average on sprint work each day to finish all tasks by the end of the sprint.
    • Look at your tasks story by story, to see which ones other people are dependent on.
  2. Manage your nonsprint time to ensure sprint work stays top priority, except for apparent emergencies.
    Note: Notify the TG and/or Facilitator of emergencies (explained under “Desired Agreements”).
  3. In digital trackers, shortly before the Daily Standup, update the following for each task you have worked on since the last sprint meeting:
    1. Task status.
    2. Story status if changed by the new task status and not updated by the tracker automatically.
    3. Remaining estimated labor hours (“to-dos”).
    4. Blockers and reasons for them.
  4. Attend the Daily Standup (see the related step set below).
  5. If you run out of sprint tasks, or are temporarily blocked from working on them, try these steps in the order shown:
    1. Ask your teammates if they have a task you can help with or take over.
    2. Look for a story to work on in the backlog.
    3. Do project-related training.
    4. Do nonsprint work, but repeat Step 5.1 daily.
    5. When all tasks on a story are completed, see the next step set.

Details: “Control Your Fate” and “Record Your Status.”

Story Acceptance

Team Members, when all tasks are complete on a story, including defect-fixing and retests:

  1. Ask the story requester to review or test the deliverable(s), focusing on the Acceptance Criteria (AC) as the only basis for acceptance or rejection.

    • If the requester is not available or defers to the TG, contact the TG.
    • The requester can choose to wait until the Demo.
  2. If the requester finds issues relevant to the AC:
    1. In your tracker or defect tool, create a defect for each issue associated with the story.
    2. Fix the defects.
    3. Re-test the deliverable.
    4. If there is time before the end of the sprint, repeat Step 1.
  3. For issues not relevant to the AC:
    1. Have the requester accept the story.
    2. Work with them to create a new story in the backlog addressing those issues.

Details: “Accept the Acceptable.”

Daily Standup

At Daily Standup time, guided by the Facilitator or any team member present:

  1. Start the meeting on time.
  2. If updated, show the Burndown Chart and ask members to mention possible reasons for danger signs, such as:
    • Bars above the line (added hours or lack of progress).
    • Bars trending toward the line (slowed progress).
  3. Have each person answer only:
    1. “What sprint tasks did you work on since the last sprint meeting?”
    2. “What sprint tasks do you intend to work on before the next meeting?”
    3. “Do you have any blockers?”
      Note: Members unable to attend should send their answers to all team members.
  4. If people stray from the three questions, interrupt to keep the meeting focused.
  5. If using a manual Burndown Chart:
    1. Have people adjust their to-dos on each open task, and report the net change to the team.
    2. Adjust the to-do hours by the total net change reported by all members.
    3. Update the chart.
  6. After everyone has reported, ask if further discussions are needed and who needs to be involved.
  7. Let everyone else go as soon as they are no longer needed, though they can stay if they wish.

Max. Daily Standup Time: 15 minutes.

Details: “Stand Up for 15.”

Facilitator Daily Sprint Actions

Facilitator, each sprint day, in addition to the boxes above for “Team Members”:

  • Review sprint progress, looking for:
    • Tasks that have dependencies and are delayed.
    • People who are falling behind on their sprint workloads.
    • New blockers.
  • Address any blockers as soon as they are reported and make sure they are reflected in the tracker.
  • Contact team members to address any process issues.
  • Defend the team from outside interference in the process.
    Example: If a manager tries to assign work to a team member, help that member deflect the request to the Team Guide unless it is a true emergency (like a customer outage).

Details: “Facilitator (Support the Sprint).”

Team Guide Daily Sprint Actions

Team Guide, in addition to the steps in the “Team Members” boxes above:

  • Identify new business or technical requirements and create stories.
  • Answer sprint-related questions from team members quickly.
  • Answer project-related questions from outside the team.
  • Hold a Pre-Grooming Meeting for the next sprint with your Customer (per “Pre-Groom for Speed”).
  • If potential emergency work is identified, talk to the requester to determine if it requires the team to divert from sprint work and either:
    • Explain why it does not, stop any work on it, and create a user story in your backlog for the request.
    • Determine if stories need to be removed from the Sprint Plan to account for the time, and negotiate their removal with the requester(s).

Details: “Team Guide (Support the Sprint).”

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