To-Do Hours enable us to address the question of “What is the estimated work remaining for the Sprint?” Being able to answer this question on a daily basis empowers The IT Organization to forecast any potential adjustments to its initial Project Delivery estimates/commitments. Since this information is at a micro-level (i.e. Sprint Focus), it will primarily serve as a conversation initiator on Planning for the entire scope of the Project.Without accurate To-Do Hours, Scrum Masters cannot generate Sprint Burn Down reports that reflect the true state of the Sprint
Tracking Effort provides the foundation for calculating Earned Value (EV), so Agile EV calculations like the following can be derived: Schedule Variance, Cost Variance, Story Points Added and Complete, Story Points Added and Incomplete, etc. If we opt to introduce Effort as a Standard, it will make sense to involve Finance in our early discussions on the application of this data. For example, 2 Contract Developers working on a Two Week Sprint, record a total of 156 hours worth of Effort; however, they only bill PCH for 90 hours, so does The Organization want to use Effort, the Billing Amount, or both to calculate the ROI of the project? From, an Team Member’s perspective, we should also investigate if there is any benefit to integrate Version One with Replicon, so that Team Member’s do not have to enter the time worked on Tasks in two separate systems.
Achieving proficiency in managing WIP will exhibit enormous value for Application Support Teams because a combination of Scrum and Kanban is commonly used in these environments where Story Points and quite often Task Hour Estimates are not required.
Without applying a size/complexity swag to each Story, we cannot effectively nor efficiently address the question of “What is the estimated number of Sprints required to deliver the Product Backlog Stories?”
After 2 to 3 Sprints, a Team will be able to establish its Average Velocity. At this point, the Estimated Release/Project Roadmap should be recalculated using the Team’s Actual Velocity. For example, at the start of a Project the Team estimates that it can complete 20 Story Points per Sprint (2 week Sprints). With a Product Backlog Size of 400 Story Points, the Team Estimates that the Project will be completed at 20 Sprints (i.e. 400/20). However, after 2 Sprints, the Team is averaging a Velocity of 15 Story Points, so the revised number of Sprints to complete the project would then be 26 Sprints (i.e. (400-20)/15)
If Resources are shared across multiple Projects and Operational Support Activities, Version One is able to aggregate this data and communicate where any resource is over-allocated. Scrum Masters will then need assistance from PCH Online Leadership in determining which initiatives take priority. If Team Member Capacities are captured for a 60-day period, The Organization will be able to proactively forecast any Resource Constraints, which allows for early in-sourcing/out-sourcing of resources before the bottlenecks impact the delivery of the Project.
The majority of Project Health Metric Calculations factor in the Project Start Date. Whomever provides Project Authorization in The Organization should supply the Project Start Date.
Without a consistent Sprint Length a more effort goes into forecasting Project Delivery Dates. Velocity is the amount of Story Points that a Team can deliver for a Set Sprint Length. If this Sprint Length changes, Velocity needs to be re-calculated (i.e. the Team needs to work for another 2 to 3 Sprints to establish their new Velocity every time there is a change in Sprint Length).
A Team’s proficiency in self-organizing is directly related to the Organization’s ability to assist the Team in removing impediments. Impediment Cycle Time, enables PCH Online Leadership to assess how well Team’s are being supported. For example, if a certain type of Issue consistently has a “high cycle time”, then it may be beneficial to establish a Task Force to investigate elimination the occurrence of the issue and/or reducing its Cycle Time on all projects.
1 Capture To-Do Hours for Sprint Tasks that are in-progress WHAT HOW On a daily basis, Team Members will Update the Remaining To-Do Hoursfor their In-Progress Sprint Tasks On average it should take between 2 and 5 minutes to log Remaining To-Do Hours for each In-Progress Tasks (note: most Team Members have no more than 2 to 3 In-Progress Tasks) EFFORT USAGE
Produce Sprint Burn Down Charts
Assess Sprint Demand vs. Available Team Capacity
Calculate Sprint Cycle Time for Stories & Defects
Scrum Masters disrupting the pace and purpose of the Daily Scrum by seeking to receive To-Do Hours during the meeting
Team Members not accustomed to updating Sprint Tasks and To-Do Hours
2 Capture Effort for Sprint Tasks that are in-progress WHAT HOW On a daily basis, Team Members will Enter Hours Workedfor their In-Progress Sprint Tasks On average it should take between 1 and 3 minutes to log Hours Worked for each In-Progress Tasks (note: most Team Members have no more than 2 to 3 In-Progress Tasks) EFFORT USAGE
Calculate the Actual Effort and Cost to Produce a Story/Resolve a Defect
Scrum Masters disrupting the pace and purpose of the Daily Scrum by seeking to receive Effort updates during the meeting
Team Members not accustomed to updating Sprint Tasks and Effort
Perception of having to enter time twice (i.e. Replicon and Version One)
3 Monitor and Continuously Update Sprint Work In Progress (WIP) WHAT HOW On a daily basis, The Team will Update The Work State of Sprint Tasks, Tests, and Stories This activity shall take place during the Daily Scrum, so it should average a maximum duration of 15 to 30 minutes (i.e. the duration of the Daily Scrum dictates the Effort) EFFORT USAGE
Provide Visibility into the True State of the Sprint Work via Story Boards, Task Boards, and Test Boards
Identify if The Team has Too Much Work In Progress Based on Team Size
Identify Opportunities for the Team to Accept Additional Sprint Work
Deciding whether to employ on-line and/or offline Information Radars
Ensuring that Offshore Team Members update their WIP
Product Owners and Team Members not familiar with using WIP Limits
No resolution offered to Teams for task/story over-allocations
4 Define Story Points for all Stories in the Product Backlog WHAT HOW At the beginning of the Project, and as additional Stories are added to the Product Backlog (Backlog), The Team supplies Size/Complexity Estimates for Stories (i.e. Story Points) This activity shall take place during Release Planning (i.e. Part 1 of Sprint Planning). At a minimum, Release Planning should take place at Project Start; thereafter, it occurs prior to the start of each Sprint. These meetings can range from 2 hours to 2 days, depending on the size of the Product Backlog. EFFORT USAGE
Identifying if the Sprint Commitment Exceeds The Team’s Velocity
Teams and Product Owners not understanding the intent of Story Points
Teams and Product Owners attempting to associate Effort with Story Points
5 Establish Velocity prior to Sprint Planning WHAT HOW At the beginning of the Project, the Team takes an educated guess at its Velocity. Afterwards, the Average VelocityofRecently Completed Sprints is used to calculate the Velocity of the Current Sprint. For new and existing projects, the discussion on Velocity typically ranges from 5 minutes to 30 minutes. On the lower end of the Effort scale, Teams exhibit a solid understanding of their Velocity, on the higher end Teams usually have experienced a change to their membership or Product Backlog Items. EFFORT USAGE
Tracking Velocity Trends for Planning Purposes
Teams and Product Owners not understanding the intent of Velocity
Teams and Product Owners attempting to associate Velocity with Ideal Hours
Management comparing Team’s Productivity via Velocity
6 Capture Individual Team Member Capacities prior to Sprint Planning and update throughout Sprint Execution WHAT HOW During Sprint Planning (preferably near the beginning of the Sprint Planning Meeting), each Team Member shares his/her Sprint Capacity (i.e. # of Hours Available for the Sprint) and applies any adjustments to their respective Capacities throughout the Sprint It may take a Team Member anywhere from 1 minute to 10 minutes to determine their Capacity for the Sprint, depending on the number of concurrent Projects and Operational Support activities they are allocated to EFFORT USAGE
Assess The Team’s Potential to Accept More Work into the Sprint
Scrum Masters not accustomed to monitoring Capacity vs. Demand throughout the Sprint
Team Members habitually accepting more work than they can complete during a single Sprint
7 Define a Project Start Date for every initiative WHAT HOW At the beginning of the Project, the Scrum Master and Product Owner are provided with the Project Start Date that the Organization will use for planning and reporting purposes Determining a Project Start Date might take only a few minutes or a full-hour, depending on the adjustments to shared resources and other projects that that PCH Online Leadership must take into account EFFORT USAGE
Identifying who owns the responsibility of defining and communicating Project Start Dates
Technology projects being kicked-off without the knowledge of IT
8 Utilize a consistent Sprint Length for the Project WHAT HOW At the beginning of the Project, the Scrum Master will negotiate a Set Sprint Length between the Product Owner and the Team Establishment of a Set Sprint Length is a common output of the Team Working Agreement, and this activity generally takes place at the beginning of the Project and it is repeated at the start of subsequent Sprint Planning Meetings EFFORT USAGE
Teams and Product Owners accustomed to modifying the Sprint Length throughout the delivery of the Project
Product Owners not comprehending how the combination of Sprint Length and Velocity are used to generate Project Duration and Scope Forecasts
9 Monitor Impediment Cycle Time for Issues impacting the progress of The Team and/or Project Schedule WHAT HOW The Scrum Master captures Issues as they are identified by the Team and Product Owner, Cycle Time is calculated by summing the number of hours/days from Issue Identification to Issue Resolution Calculating Cycle Time is done automatically, so the Effort required to log Issues is minimal (i.e. if the Scrum Master is provided with sufficient details on the specifics of the Issue and any impacted work) EFFORT USAGE