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How to deal with recurring tasks in a sprint? Edited

We are working on a software product which by now requires about 40% of our capacity maintenance work like e.g. manually checking data per day. What would be the recommended way on dealing with those tasks within a Scrum framework?

At the moment I do see 3 solutions:

1. Move them out of the sprint/backlog as Scrum Backlog Items (SBIs) should be one time problems and reduce capacity of the team accordingly. Which would result in intransparency of tasks that need to be done (in order to keep our product alive)

2. Treat them as regular SBIs and keep them in the sprints. One per day, resulting in a cluttered backlog and during sprint change the PBIs need to be done as well but are not reflected in the stats/planing. Try to automate those tasks and reduce the amount in the future.

3. Create one SBI with a checklist and one line/checkbox per day to be checked. This would result in being permanently in progress and belonging story points will reduce the burn down chart only at the very end of the sprint.

What do you think and is there a solution you know from experience that would work? 

2 answers

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Scott_Theus Community Leader Feb 28, 2020

Hi @andreas_pucko ,

I suggest you move them out of the sprint backlog and treat them as tasks outside of the development effort, reducing the team's velocity accordingly. I would then create three boards for the project. First is a Scrum board with just the development stories, second is a Kanban board with your daily recurring tasks, and third is an overall Kanban board with every item in the project for a full view. 

Use Entities, Components, or Labels to separate the development stories from the daily recurring tasks, and add time tracking to the recurring tasks so you know how much time is spent on those items. (You can add time tracking to the development stories as well if you want an overall look at how muck time is spent on the project and how it breaks down into stories vs. tasks. 

Finally, set up a separate workflow for the recurring tasks so the completion of a task (moving it to "DONE") triggers a post function to automatically clone the task with and put it in the backlog for the next day's work.  

This setup gives you an accurate velocity and burn down for your sprint, a means of separating the daily work from the development tasks while still tracking the work effort needed, and a checklist for the daily tasks that is somewhat automated.

Of course, the more automation you can apply to the daily tasks the better, adding automation so those items don't need to be manually completed by a member of your team will free up the team to focus more on development stores, increase their value-add to the, and improve the velocity.

 

Hope this helps, 

 

-Scott

Thank you Scott. That is a great solution and I found the idea of automate the creation of workflows especially interesting. We will implement a solution based on this input.

0 votes

great answer! I also incorporated this solution for recurring tasks into my workflow now. Thanks!

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