SM's sensible action when impediment raised from Dev Team

Last post 09:47 am May 26, 2014
by John Tyson
5 replies
11:12 pm January 12, 2014

During the Sprint, if development team finds out it is unable to complete all the work that is committed and described in DoD, then they Immediately raise the issue to the Scrum Master as an impediment.

Please share your thoughts to handle this situation for the SM


11:20 pm January 12, 2014

There is something wrong here, if Dev team is not able to complete the work it is not an impediment, Dev team should negotiate it with PO, scrum master can just facilitate the meeting.


11:56 pm January 12, 2014

If the Development Team finds it cannot complete its work, this might be due to an impediment which the Scrum Master can tackle.

Examples include external dependencies or the sudden absence of a critical resource.

If the problem is a matter of overcommitment, or the work in the Sprint Backlog is subsequently thought by the team to be unactionable within the Sprint, then they will need to liaise with the Product Owner as Sanjay describes.

12:51 pm January 13, 2014

Any impediment raised by the scrum team needs to be addressed by scrum master as this is one of the primary way in which the scrum master can improve team productivity. Usually impediments are raised during the daily scrum as part of issues / blocks reporting. I have seen cases (mostly if the teams are remote) where the issues will not be reported in daily scrum and SM will need to apply other techniques to see if things are blocked.
During the initial stages of project, all kinds of issues will be reported as issue / blocks. For e,g PO having second thoughts on a story requirement, or waiting on some other team member to complete , waiting on external inputs etc. Generally a discussion needs to be had to come to an understanding as to what constituents an impediments or blocks that needs to be addressed by SM

08:42 am January 14, 2014

Hi Mouli,
this is a question from the PSM I assessment. The only right answer is: If the team is not able to fulfill the DoD, the SCRUM master should work with the team to find a DoD they can fulfill (short term), and support them to improve their skills and the DoD step by step (long term).
This problem is completely different to a team not being able to deliver everything that is in the Sprint Backlog. For that problem of course they will re-negotiate the Sprint Backlog with the Product Owner.
Best, Ludwig

09:47 am May 26, 2014

Wouldn't it depend on if there's an outside impediment or not?

So if the Dev Team can't complete its work because they are waiting on something from an outside party (outside of the SCRUM Team), this would be an impediment and the SM should get involved to remove it.

But if the Dev Team "bit off more than they could chew" (perhaps they didn't realize testing a story would be so time-consuming), then they would re-negotiate with the PO.