What To Do About All That Support

Last post 07:47 am March 13, 2018
by Ian Mitchell
1 reply
09:05 pm March 12, 2018

Here is the scenario.  I am a product owner of a team that that consists of 4 developers, 2 QA resources, and 1 user acceptance tester.  We have become extremely proficient at working together and the team simply runs as a well oiled machine.  We have done so well, that the company has run a few pilots of automated tasks on our team because of our organization.


The problem we are having is applications that are required to support our development that reside outside of our release train are not truly working with scrum.  They are insisting that they create user stories within our features for testing support and production support.  My team has embraced removing points out of our sprint capacity to deal with support issues so that our velocity/capacity is a true representation of development work.

I do not believe that they should be adding stories under a feature not owned by them and when they consistently miss deliverables it is destroying our metrics. 

Are there any best practices or suggestions that you all can point me towards so that I can demonstrate how much more efficiently their team will work?  Thanks in advance, and if you need any followup info, please let me know.

07:47 am March 13, 2018

If each increment must be supported in some way following release, shouldn’t the qualities required for that support be included in the Definition of Done?

If “support” includes defect fixes or the repayment of technical debt, then that work ought to be conducted by the Development Team. Reserving Sprint capacity to do so, however, would be sub-optimal. The amount to reserve cannot usually be anticipated accurately, and the act of doing so causes transparency over undone work to be lost. It would be better to add support issues to the Product Backlog so the amount of work remaining can be properly accounted for, assuming they aren’t critical incidents, or not trivial enough to be absorbed and resolved in the current Sprint.