Scrum Agile Project Management

Using Sprint Data to Modify Behavior

In an ideal Agile world, the Scrum team can complete all user stories tasks that it planned for the current sprint. The real world is however different. In this article, Scott Lively explains how to use the sprint data to modify the team behavior.

In his introduction, Scott Lively explains the feeling of having some user stories not completed during a sprint and the importance of analyzing the sprint data to improve. The article will focus on the percentage of story points coming from new content versus points from carryover content, and the percentage of points added after sprint planning.

His analysis of the issues causing the fact of having often carryover user stories at the end of the sprints led Scott Lively to explore the following improvement opportunities:
* Writing smaller and better user stories to improve the sprint estimation process
* Taking more time to understand the scope of user stories
* Cross-training for the Scrum developers so that there are more resources available for all the different activities and technologies involved in software development
* Having a mid-sprint assessment meeting to determine of how likely it is that everything planned for the sprint will be completed. This could lead to change the sprint plan and it also gives the Scrum developers another explicit opportunity to help each other.

His conclusion is that “The bottom line is that we need to continue measuring how we do sprint over sprint. Further, we need to be careful about the behaviors we reinforce. We need to balance adding value for one stakeholder by pulling an issue into a sprint vs. harming another stakeholder by not finishing a story we committed to. In general, we should bias our behavior toward the stakeholder we made the commitment to during sprint planning.”

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