The only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself

(Inauguration speech of Franklin D. Roosevelt, president of USA during WWII)

A short story illustrating how fear cripples estimating and how empathy can come to the rescue.

The end of the year is only two sprints away. We are in a refinement session.
“So, would it still be feasible to deliver the ‘A+flow’ by the end of the year if we do it like this?” The PO asks the team. He is standing in front of a white board full of scribbles holding a marker in his hand. He just gave in on reducing the scope by slicing the functionality even further to a point where he will be having difficulties to explain the stakeholders what the value in this slice is. He even has difficulties explaining it to himself. Continue reading

Definition of done: the Swiss army knife of Scrum

Most of the concepts in Scrum are easy to understand but extremely difficult to master. This is due to the fact that Scrum is designed for perfect, and reality never is. The same principle applies to the Definition of Done.When we start up teams, we help them to set a Definition of Done (DoD).

Teams are taught the DoD is an instrument that will provide them transparency in two ways:

  • understanding what the effort of work is, considering all the tasks that need to be undertaken by the team before work can be marked as “done”.
  • understanding what “done” means when an item is inspected at the end of the sprint.

Continue reading