2 Replies - 173 Views - Last Post: 19 January 2018 - 10:29 AM

#1 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Scrum: "Forecast" vs "Commitment"

Posted 19 January 2018 - 09:13 AM

A few months ago during a sprint retrospective, I pointed out that we were using some incorrect language to describe sprints in which we did not deliver the full package of tickets that we'd planned. We were calling those "failed sprints", which suggested to management (quite naturally) that we had failed in some sense. This was incorrect, I suggested, because the purpose of scrum is to try to increase velocity, which means that we're meant to try to do things that we don't know we can do. Trying to minimize "failure" would lead to planning safe, conservative sprints, which we don't want. What we want is to find a sweet spot where we're always delivering most of what we planned, most of the time we're actually delivering all of what we planned, and some of the time we're falling a little short of what we'd planned.
Therefore, I suggested, we should talk about sprints as "experiments", where the hypothesis is always "we can complete this bundle of work in the next sprint", and at the end of the sprint we report on what we learned from the experiment.

This morning someone from my team shared this article from scrum.org, which highlights a change in language (apparently, not a recent change) from "committing to" to a plan of work to "forecasting" a plan of work.

Me, I feel validated by this. My team has started using this sort of language, and management is responding as we'd hoped they would. What do y'all think? Does your team take the "failed sprint" approach, or do you take the "experimental" model? What happens when the burndown chart doesn't quite reach the ground floor?

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Replies To: Scrum: "Forecast" vs "Commitment"

#2 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Scrum: "Forecast" vs "Commitment"

Posted 19 January 2018 - 09:30 AM

Nope.. no 'failed sprint'. As long as the charts look reasonably well and not insanely skewed folks don't have an issue, and if the higher-high ups comes a calling there is always a reasonable explanation they are looking for.

Yes.. the 'forecasting' concept is what we go by.
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#3 Skydiver  Icon User is offline

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Re: Scrum: "Forecast" vs "Commitment"

Posted 19 January 2018 - 10:29 AM

Wait till you go to SAFe... then it becomes a commitment again...
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