Many projects face the challenge of operating in an environment that does not have all the ingredients for Agile success. Perhaps your team works in a highly regulated environment or with a customer who is transitioning to Agile principles. How can you help your team be successful and work with Agility when faced with these challenges? This presentation addresses two challenges I've encountered and shares solutions that worked for our teams. Maybe they'll work for you!

  • Managing capacity with the unpredictable nature of user support and maintenance tasks
  • Adapting Sprint planning to "gates" in the development process to maximize flexibility while maintaining velocity
 
 

Outline/Structure of the Experience Report

  1. Capacity Challenge

In this example, I share an experience of working with a smaller team to support a contract that included development and operations & maintenance (O&M) for the system. Periods of high user support tickets or Production issues created difficulties for the team. The team did not have the luxury of dedicating someone to support, and tickets often were completed at the expense of committed backlog items or with lots of overtime.

  • The Solution
    1. Work with Product Owner to understand the issue and its impact on productivity
    2. Include one story/task each sprint for O&M and agree to capacity up front
    3. Agree to stretch stories from the backlog in case team doesn’t use all O&M capacity
    4. Use your tracking solution to report on plan vs actual each Sprint
  • Find Your Solution
    1. Consider a method that works for your team and customer
    2. Explain the upside for the customer and get their buy-in
    3. Try out your solution
    4. Iterate and improve to find what works for your team

  1. Using Agile to Manage Non-Agile Tasks

In many environments, there are still “gates” projects must successfully pass. Examples include security approvals, Section 508 testing, and other hurdles before Production release. While we may schedule these on the calendar and plan them for Sprints, the team can't control of the timing or the impacts of these gates. How can teams manage this uncertainty in their Agile development approach?

  • The Solution
    1. Work with Product Owner and the team to understand how these gates impact the flow of work and delivery of value
    2. Determine when the gates are most likely to require the team’s effort and include a sized story/task to account for it
    3. Agree to stretch stories from the backlog in case gates do not affect the Sprint as planned
    4. Use your tracking solution to report on plan vs actual each Sprint
  • Find Your Solution
    1. Consider a method that works for your team and customer
    2. Explain the upside for the customer and get their buy-in
    3. Try out your solution
    4. Iterate and improve to find what works for your team – Leverage the retrospective to understand if the planning predicted adequately

Learning Outcome

Provide options for adapting Sprint planning and tracking tools to solve common issues when working in with development hurdles that can trip hinder teams from maintaining their velocity

Target Audience

Beginning and Intermediate Agile Practitioners

Prerequisites for Attendees

None

schedule Submitted 1 year ago

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