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A new way of handling my Sprint Stories

Edited
Fadoua
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
Sep 14, 2021

Good Day everyone,

I know what I will type will sound silly if not ridiculous to some of you, but 🤷🏼‍♀️I did it.

Let me share the issue so that you all can see the problem. Every time I am tasked with work for a Sprint I fail at closing my stories by the end of the 2 weeks. Seriously!

This was not my first time working with Sprints. However, this was my first time  failing to get my work done and having to reach out to my PO to have some of my stories moved to the next Sprint. Sometimes I had to work over the weekend and still it wasn't enough. What was the problem?

                                              questioning emoji.png

The only one change that happened was me being moved to a different team where, I still support Atlassian Tools but in more advanced way by using (Scripts, BitBucket, and pipelines). 

It was during Sprint Retrospective that I shared with the team how disappointed I am from the way my stories have been moving from one sprint to the other. My Manager kept insisting that I wasn't the only one and that it will get better. Well, by sharing my frustration out loud and the Scrummaster asking me if I have an idea on how to improve it. I was able to see my mistake.

                                      Eureka.jpg

When assigned stories, I always start working first on the ones that seem easy to me and leave the hard ones for later. Since I have meetings to attend, assist users when needed, and sometimes help with an urgent request. I run out of time. 

The way to solve my problem was to always start with the tough stories that will take me out of my comfort zone. Once I feel tired after exhausting all the ways to solve the problem, I move an easy story to in-progress that way I don't waste time. Later, I go back to the one I am struggling with.

Believe me guys by adopting this new way, I never ever had to ask my PO to move my stories to the next sprint except if it was really something out of my control.

I am still trying to learn new ways to improve handling my daily work if anyone has suggestions I promise to try them then share my feedback. 

Until then stay safe.

All the best,

Fadoua

                                                    

7 comments

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Jacob Vu
Community Leader
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Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
Sep 14, 2021

Hi @Fadoua

When it comes to sprint planning, I believe there are always going to be adjustments made in terms of how many story points / stories you can complete within a sprint cycle.

Does your team review how many story points each person completed in the last sprint? It sounds like too many story points / stories are being assigned per team member and that it might be necessary to reduce the workload so that work planned for a sprint cycle is completed within that sprint cycle.

Hope this helps.

Jacob

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Fadoua
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
Sep 14, 2021

Yes we do have story points. However, sometime a Story can have 3 Story Points but is not hard at all. It is time consuming. Like I mentioned this is my first time working with some new tools.

Jacob Vu
Community Leader
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Sep 14, 2021

Hi @Fadoua

Just wanted to point out that it helps to make adjustments when it comes to sizing (assigning story points to stories) and when it comes to the amount of story points to complete per sprint.

Jacob

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Fadoua
Community Leader
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Sep 14, 2021

We definitely have room for improvements which will be discussed during the sprint retro tomorrow.

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to be honest, I have never quite understood how one can plan around what can be completed in a sprint by only looking at the complexity i.e. Points ...

I think you also need to take into account other factors that impact the time it takes to complete a story...some may take only a few hours of effort , but can only be completed over a number of days/weeks due to dependencies etc. 

I do like your idea of completing tough stories first, albeit sometime completing one or two easy ones first can help build momentum and a sense of ticking things off!

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Fadoua
Community Leader
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Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
Sep 14, 2021

I am doing the in-parallel strategy and so far it works. Otherwise I will get in trouble. Also allocating more time to the tough stories has been helping as well. I shouldn't forget that there are very nice team members who jump for help whenever I need them.

Like • Warde Wynter likes this
Bill Sheboy
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Sep 15, 2021

Hi @Warde Wynter 

I agree...and...As you noted, teams trying to use the Scrum Framework probably cannot plan by only looking at story points forecasts...and they do not need to do so.

Sprint planning can help as a team comes up with a goal, and comes up with a plan to meet that goal (i.e. the sprint backlog).  The conversation by the team in the planning should reduce the chances of over/under forecasting what value can be delivered in the sprint.  And as things happen that impact success, the team can take those observations into their retrospectives to decide how to experiment to do better in the future.

Kind regards,
Bill

Anita Kalmane
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Sep 14, 2021

Can your team members work on the stories you might not have time to finish? By 'assigning' stories to team members already in the beginning of the sprint, you take away the idea of teamwork. Ideally, all the team members should be able to help each other to move the stories further, so they aren't assigned to only one person who has the knowledge to do them.

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Fadoua
Community Leader
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Sep 15, 2021

I wish but as you know once an issue is assigned to me I have to work on it. As I mentioned these are issues that are taking me out of my zone of comfort. They can be very challenging but give me the opportunity to learn new technologies

Anita Kalmane
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Sep 15, 2021

Who is assigning those issues to you? Can you talk with the team about why do you have this procedure in the place at all?

Fadoua
Community Leader
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Sep 18, 2021

@Anita Kalmane  PO, Scrum Master, and Tech Lead

We are following the Agile Methodology.

Best

Anita Kalmane
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Sep 20, 2021

I'm very sorry to say, but if somebody is assigning you a story to work on, then you aren't working agile at all.

In agile, nobody can assign a story to you, except yourself.

Welcome to the world of productivity. We all fall into bad ways when faced with difficult or time consuming challenges. It's natural. The key is to address that, and you've done just that. Well done.

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Fadoua
Community Leader
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Sep 15, 2021

Thank you @Colum McAndrew ! it is the best way to learn, challenges spice my workdays otherwise I will be submitting my resume somewhere else 😉

Fabian Lim
Community Leader
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Oct 02, 2021

Great post. Thanks for sharing.

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Laura Holton _ACE Rotterdam_
Community Leader
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Oct 06, 2021

Not so much to add but more of note to say thanks for sharing, I really enjoyed reading through this 😃

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Gaurav
Community Leader
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Dec 27, 2021

Nice post, provided different perspectives reading through it.

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