In our news last month we explained that we would manage projects moving in cycles: Releases and Sprints. We also reviewed the Release Planning and how we developed the Release Backlog, which is the list of tasks to perform to achieve the Release.
Going in detail into the Release, we see it is split in Sprints. These are short cycles of tasks we must complete to finish the Release. After each Sprint, we review the Release feasibility as originally defined, considering the appropriateness of changing or keeping the plans as we keep progressing towards the purpose.
Remember, innovation is not predictable; therefore it cannot be planned long term. We must move forward in small steps, constantly questioning where we are going and how we continue progressing.
We begin each Sprint with a Sprint Planning. The objectives of this meeting are to:
- Select the Release Backlog tasks to perform in the coming 2 to 4 weeks.
- Itemize tasks to be manageable by one person. The final task list forms the Sprint Backlog.
- Each member of the Team must choose the task or tasks for which they are best prepared and estimate the time that it will take to perform them.
- If discrepancies arise, the Planning Poker artifact is used to reach agreements and decide.
- We begin our Kanban board with a post-it for each task in the first “To Do” column.
Once the Sprint has started, we use the Daily Meeting as a working tool. This Daily Meeting should be our compass and our guide. To do this, we must follow to the letter a very simple format:
- Frequency: daily.
- When: early in the workday.
- Duration: up to 15 minutes (2′ maximum for each member of the team).
- Attendants: the complete Team and the Product Owner. They all stand in the room, as empty as possible, in front of the Kanban
Each team member should follow these dynamics during the Daily Meeting:
- Report the progress since yesterday.
- State the issues and/or threats found.
- Share the tasks to undertake today.
This short meeting yields huge benefits. It aligns the entire team in the progress of the Sprint. It generates valuable synergies to help circumvent any obstacle that threatens the future of the Sprint. It fully involves and informs first hand the Product Owner… What more could you ask for?