Process improvements in the Sprint Backlog. How's that working out for you?

Last post 01:05 am February 13, 2018
by Beenish Zaidi
1 reply
12:17 am February 13, 2018

It's more than 3 months since the last Scrum Guide update, and one of the changes related to the Sprint Backlog:

To ensure continuous improvement, it includes at least one high priority process improvement identified in the previous Retrospective meeting.

What are people's experiences of putting this in to practice?

I know some teams were using this technique previously, but now that the Scrum Guide has made it mandatory, I assume that will have thrown up some challenges.

Are your team doing this? Has it caused problems? I can imagine there has been disruption to retrospectives, work-in-progress, ensuring the continuous improvement takes place, etc.

Has anyone had problems with this new way of working, which highlighted an underlying issue? What have you done to resolve this? What good things has this done for you?

01:05 am February 13, 2018

Hi Simon,

This will be very organisation specific. Sometimes, as a scrum master, we have to ensure that senior leadership understands the meaning of continous improvement and how critical it is for the products.

I was employing this practice, before it became mandatory. i have seen following outcomes from my experiences.

  • When we give teams time to address the problems or include something which they want to improve and make it part of sprint commitment, they see the changes are happening. They feel more positive about it. I have been into organisations, where team members don't like coming to retrospectives because they think, they have talked about the improvements zillion of times and nothing changes. Now making it part of sprint commitment is something, they feel positive about.
  • I have seen from teams perspective very high spirits and they like it to make it part of spring commitment.
  • From an organisation leadership perspectives, there can be problems and it depends upon organisation to organisation. I have seen some places which were a lot date driven, and they objected on this change. That's where a good scrum master will have strong conversations about importance of continous improvements. It is very important when organisations are embracing change, they should support the scrum masters for embracing the implementations of scrum.

Hope this helps.