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Work still not completed even after some sprints

Last post 04:54 am October 3, 2014 by Ian Mitchell
6 replies
12:34 am September 26, 2014

Hi Everyone,

Kindly guide me for the following situation,

My team has been realizing that they have not finished even a single story on last day since past few Sprints. They work on last day to finish few stories. What do you think could be wrong and how would you help as a Scrum Master?

06:07 pm September 26, 2014

I am a newbie myself.

1. did you do a sprint retrospective? what were the findings of the teams for the impediments faced?
2. did you try reducing the velocity of a sprint by choosing fewer estimation points for a sprint?

11:41 am September 29, 2014

Hi Daniel,
what do you mean with "on last day"? What does the team say, why they didn't finish them? Are there impediments? Are the stories too big and should be decomposed? Are they not able to fulfill the definition of done without external help? Is there even a definition of done? I think we need a bit more information to help you.

12:30 pm September 29, 2014

Hi Daniel,

This is indeed quite broad. Agree with Ludwig.

Some more answers that may help --

A) What is your role on the Scrum Team?
B) How long are the sprint cycles?
C) How many sprints have passed?
D) How large is the team?

05:35 am October 1, 2014

Are people over estimating what they believe they can achieve in a sprint? maybe they need to start breaking user stories down further. Also, are there external dependencies that are stopping the team complete their tasks - this has caught me out in the past!

06:24 pm October 1, 2014

I too worked on a team in the past and we did not complete all stories in the sprint.

Within the Scrum Framework it is safe to fail. As this highlights bottle necks with in the process.

I suggested we re visit our Definition of Ready and use the INVEST Model

I Independent The user story should be self-contained, in a way that there is no inherent dependency on another user story.
N Negotiable User stories, up until they are part of an iteration, can always be changed and rewritten.
V Valuable A user story must deliver value to the end user.
E Estimatable You must always be able to estimate the size of a user story.
S Scalable (small sized) User stories should not be so big as to become impossible to plan/task/prioritize with a certain level of certainty.
T Testable The user story or its related description must provide the necessary information to make test development possible

Some Scrum team will bring in stories knowing they will not be completed, which will then make the bottle necks transparent, so that the impediments can be address by the Scrum Master.

If the Scrum Team is newly forming then most new Scrum Teams do fail at first, and then after a couple of sprints they start to deliver and reach an achievable velocity.

When Scrum teams are formed or new people join a Scrum team the following phases:


04:54 am October 3, 2014

> My team has been realizing that they have not
> finished even a single story on last day since past few Sprints.

This sounds like a team without a sprint plan. During Sprint Planning, how do team members agree to measure Sprint progress? For example, do they identify and prioritize sized tasks against which a burndown can be tracked?

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