Today we finished planning for our next sprint. Man, I can’t stress enough what an awesome experience it is. Being part of a team is good. Being part of a team that rocks is nothing short of exhilarating. Yesterday we split the day between a sprint review and a sprint retrospective. The former is for the chickens (product owners, etc) to display the awesome work we completed in the sprint. For us this was equally beneficial to the team. We work on many different projects during the sprint and not everyone on the team has full visibility to what everyone else is doing – even though we run a single daily scrum meeting. So it was time very well spent. The second half of the day was spent on the retrospective. This gave the team a chance to reflect on the sprint and highlight what went well and what didn’t. We then worked on those areas that need improvement. The big one for us this sprint was handling change. We deal with a good amount of small change during the sprint. The change isn’t enough to stop and replan, but it is not zero impact either. As a team we discussed the change and sketched out a process for handling it. It is light weight and simple. How good is that?

 

During the planning meeting we walked the product backlog and discussed what everyone wants to accomplish. As usual, our eyes were bigger than our stomach (something my dad always used to say to me at dinner time when I couldn’t finish all the food I put on my plate). But as a team we worked through the requirements and based on project priority and requirement priority we were able to come up with a pretty good sprint backlog. I think it might be aggressive; we booked everyone at 60% which has been our historical average so at least people are booked accordingly. The key though is the estimates, granted they’re just estimates, and in some cases we chose to time box some activities. I’m very happy and impressed with how the team worked together to come up with the backlog.

 

This is the beginning of our third sprint, but for most of the team it’s only their second. From my assessment Scrum works! We’re taking baby steps to our implementation of Scrum; some purist would smack me around for that. But the team is responding and things are going well. I’m really excited to get through this sprint. I’m predicting the team is going to rock and we’ll have an awesome sprint review.