Questions on DoD and Scrum Masters

Last post 09:10 pm September 12, 2018
by Curtis Slough
8 replies
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07:32 am September 8, 2018

Hi all,

I have two questions:

(1) If a product backlog item does not achieve a "done" status at the end of the sprint, what is the best way for the scrum team to address it?

(2) What happens to the SM role in a mature scrum team where all members fully understand and accept the scrum values, events, roles, and artifacts, can effectively take care of impediments or resolve conflicts on their own, and can consistently stick to the time-boxes?

I'm just not sure if these have been answered in previous posts. If so, kindly direct me to them.

Thank you very much!

02:00 am September 10, 2018

Hi Kyle,

  1. If a PBI is not achieved in the sprint, it should be returned to the PB, estimated again for next sprint and picked up as part of Sprint Backlog.
  2. If a scrum team becomes entirely self-dependent, SM may still need to be around - not for coaching the team, but for other SM activities. Even a mature team needs 25% of a SM's time. Plus, the same SM can additionally take up another team under his/her wing and coach them.

Cheers,

Adwait.

08:18 am September 10, 2018

Hi Adwait,

Thank you for the response!

In that case, can the "done" elements of the PBI be incorporated into the increment within the sprint? Or does the whole PBI have to be "done" before doing so?

Regards,

Kyle

05:00 pm September 10, 2018

If a PBI is not achieved in the sprint, it should be returned to the PB, estimated again for next sprint and picked up as part of Sprint Backlog.

That is incorrect Adwait.   While the unfinished item is placed back into the product backlog and re-estimated, it is solely at the discretion of the Product Owner whether the item can be picked up in the next sprint.   It is by no means automatic, especially if there are more valuable or urgent items to attend to.

@Kyle, what does the Scrum Guide say about the Definition of Done for an item?   Are there considerations for "partially done" work?

07:18 pm September 10, 2018

can the "done" elements of the PBI be incorporated into the increment within the sprint? Or does the whole PBI have to be "done" before doing so?

In which scenario would the resulting increment be fully integrated, tested, usable, and fit for release?

10:58 pm September 10, 2018

HI Timothy,

Yup - i should have mentioned that if there is anything else which is of higher priority, this may not be picked up in the next sprint - thanks for clarifying. :)

Cheers!

Adwait.

11:02 am September 11, 2018

Hi all,

@Timothy, thank you for the inputs! I did not find anything specifically about partially "done" items in the Scrum guide. So I'm thinking that the item would be returned to the product backlog, and the increment may not be considered "done" by the team knowing that it might not have achieved the desired level of usability. Let me know if I understood it correctly.

@Ian, I believe the whole PBI should be "done" in order to create the increment you described. In that case, it might not be usable and fit for release.

Thank you!

Regards,

Kyle

11:05 am September 12, 2018

(1) If a product backlog item does not achieve a "done" status at the end of the sprint, what is the best way for the scrum team to address it?

The product backlog item will return back to PB and will be re-estimated and plan for future sprints (not always on the next sprint).

(2) What happens to the SM role in a mature scrum team where all members fully understand and accept the scrum values, events, roles, and artifacts, can effectively take care of impediments or resolve conflicts on their own, and can consistently stick to the time-boxes?

The SM need to help Product owner, Organization. And SM can be a SM for multiple development teams who work on the same product or related product under single umbrella/domain/department.

09:10 pm September 12, 2018

@ Kyle:

I did not find anything specifically about partially "done" items in the Scrum guide.

Please read the section on Cancelling a Sprint on page 10. The same concept still applies whether you cancel the sprint or you just have an incomplete PBI.:

"All incomplete Product Backlog Items are re-estimated and put back on the Product Backlog."