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Excluding developers who miss sprint planning

Last post 04:48 pm February 15, 2016 by Andrzej Zińczuk
6 replies
07:17 am October 1, 2015

Shall a developer who missed the sprint planning be allowed work on that sprint's increment?

Concrete case is that developers vacation ended a two days after sprint 10 planning. As Scrum Master I advised him to rejoin the developer team only in Sprint 11, as for Sprint 10 he could not:

- hear the Product Owners presentation of the top product backlog items
- contribute to the decision on what can be done in the Sprint
- contribute to the discussion how the chosen work will get done
- agree to the Sprint Goal

Scrum Guide does not explicitly mention this case. So what would you think?

07:06 am October 2, 2015

It is the Development Team as a whole which forecasts the work that can be achieved during the Sprint, not the individual developers. If the Dev Team can confidently make a forecast including the developer who's on vacation (knowing how he works), then they should do so, and the developer should pick up work on his return.

01:32 pm October 2, 2015

The Development Team should self-organize to allow for each others' absence, including vacations. Note that a Scrum Master should beware of giving advice that might be interpreted as a command-and-control decision.

01:48 pm October 2, 2015

+1 to what Ian Mitchell said.

Also, have you considered the implications of 'firing' someone for 1 sprint because they missed sprint planning? Any idea what that will do to morale?

04:15 am October 5, 2015

Team member absence's can be schedule, or not. What if someone get sick one day or has to go to a funeral or has a car crash ?

It could be a good experiment to observe what append when a member is missing the Sprint Planniung Meeting.

05:01 pm October 7, 2015

Thanks a lot for your valuable input. Let me answer Tim's and Olivier's above questions, as I did the "experiment" in a development team of 4 (sprint length 3 weeks):

- The developer was surprised to be excluded from the sprint
- He used the time to fully process his pile of work after 2 weeks vacation (e-mails etc.)
- He did an online-training and did work on some other products
- He attended the daily scrums and backlog grooming meetings
- He improved unit-test coverage of the product
- The Sprint completed successfully (velocity went down, but not 25%)
- Morale was and is still good - we are still friends

Anyway, next time I would include a developer who is not available the first few days in a sprint.

04:48 pm February 15, 2016

every time you decide instead of team, you are risking having self-organization not to emerge

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