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Strategies for monitoring Sprint Progress

Last post 04:02 am August 14, 2014
by Anonymous
8 replies
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04:29 am August 13, 2014

Hi all,

working through the Scrum Guide as a Scrum Newbie, I have a question concerning monitoring the Sprint Progress.

The Scrum Guide says, "Scrum does not consider the time spent working on Sprint Backlog Items. The work remaining and date are the only variables of interest. "

So, if the Development Team is not to consider the time spent working on Sprint Backlog Items - what practices can they reasonably use in order to project the likelihood of achieving the Sprint Goal?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

11:23 am August 13, 2014

The Dev Team estimates only the remaining work.
The estimated remaining work is not a basic "remaining of yesterday - 1".
Remaining work can grow, but of course it generally should go down.

01:23 am August 14, 2014

I agree on that - but for estimating the remaining work it would surely be helpful to consider the time already spent working on former items?
Or which strategies would you recommend to elicit an estimate for the remaining work?

01:47 am August 14, 2014

Refinement isn't considered but its BP to do it across the sprint.
Burndown is work remaining if you want to track ,also not mandatory in scrum but BP.
Burnup is work completed if you want to track, also not mandatory in scrum but BP.
How you estimate that work in the first place is up to the team, calories you burn, T shirts that get smaller,
points that reduce, hours that get less, what ever method the team choose.
As to who does this, it can be anyone as the team is responsible to do it daily and it should be visible.
Its a guide to where you are and how your doing against the goal in that sprint.

02:09 am August 14, 2014

Posted By michael on 14 Aug 2014 01:47 AM

[...] How you estimate that work in the first place is up to the team, calories you burn, T shirts that get smaller, [...]

:-) Nice argument... And yes, I got your point.

So I guess that "not considering the time spent working on Sprint Backlog Items" means just that Scrum doesn't tell the Development Team how exactly the work remaining is to be estimated. If the Development Team wants to take the spent time into account, it may very well do so. Scrum just recommends to focus on the work remaining rather than time spent.

Thanks for your answers!

02:31 am August 14, 2014

"Scrum does not consider the time spent working on Sprint Backlog Items. The work remaining and date are the only variables of interest. " 

I think the Guide is saying that in Scrum, the time spent working on something counts for nothing. It is not a measure of progress. The incremental delivery of value in the form of completed work is what matters.

Hence, the only variables of interest in a Sprint are the work remaining and the date (i.e. time left). When these variables are correlated to the established trend (sprint burn rate), it should be clear if the work inducted to meet the Sprint Goal is likely to be completed.

02:43 am August 14, 2014

When you drive your car, stuck in the traffic jam, and your kids are behind you.
What is their question ?

03:50 am August 14, 2014

AWNTY?

04:02 am August 14, 2014

The children's question is, of course: "Are we there yet? How long will it take?" :-)
And yes, of course that's the question of progress in the Daily Scrum, too. But how can I figure out the answer? To me, my experience with former traffic jam and the remaining distance both seem valuable variables.

Though, I haven't taken into account that the Scrum Guide mentions the past performance of the Development Team as input to the Sprint Planning Meetings. So we already have some "established trend (sprint burn rate)", we can use for estimating the remaining work on the Sprint - and my mindset is in line with the Scrum Guide again. Thanks!