Though teams have embraced Agile, they are still struggling to complete iterations on time. Some work based on velocity rather than cycle time while others oblige emergency requests. In her blog article, Johanna Rothman shares 3 nimble ways to manage additional work in iterations.
Incorporating Additional Iteration Work
Before you add in all the additional tasks, understand why you are using the Agile methodology. Do not adopt agile because others are. Next, identify the reasons behind these extra tasks:
- Has your team not met the acceptance criteria?
- If they did, have they not considered user requirements?
- Is the team encountering technical issues?
These problems arise when the product owner stresses more on features or the team’s perception is vague. These issues can also build up if your team is working ‘across’ instead of ‘through’ the architecture.
Below are the 3 nimble ways to manage additional work in an iteration:
Compress the Iteration: If you cannot include all the tasks in a 2-week iteration, move to a 1-week iteration. The smaller the duration, the shorter and more precise your stories are. Shift further towards shorter iterations until you achieve your tasks. The teammates collaborate better to reduce the cycle time and finish the assigned tasks. You will understand the team’s working style and can effectively schedule tasks in the future. If you have been working without preparing an estimate until now, it is time that you changed it.
Work with the Flow: There is no right way to use Agile. Match your iterations based on how the business flows. The differentiating factor in this approach is that you do not have a specific deadline. Moreover, it restricts the team’s WIP as well as every column’s WIP. The team will realize if all they work on are immediate or urgent tasks.
Say “No”: Maybe it is not how you utilize Agile. You might be incorporating more work because you fear repercussions when you say no to a task. Or, you just do not know how to say no. Create a work board and categorize the tasks assigned to see overlapping hours or time constraints.
Discuss with your product owner and team about ‘product determinism’. How much discovery does the team require now? If it is more than delivery, choose shorter stories and control the WIP. Do not work in iteration if you must change deliverables several times per week. If delivery is more than discovery, make the stories shorter and sensibly calculate your estimate.
To view the original article in full, visit the following link: https://www.jrothman.com/mpd/2019/10/three-ways-to-manage-extra-work-in-an-iteration/