Velocity : Key metric to secure an effective Sprint Planning

One of key metrics of a Scrum team is Velocity. Even though it’s not mentioned in the Scrum guide, it is still very useful for the Product Owner while planning the Scope of the next Sprint and defining a concrete Sprint Goal.

As the name implies Velocity (consider the team as a vehicle) is a  metric calculated by averaging the total amount of Story Points completed over the number of Sprints within the same period. In practice, the velocity of the teams gets stabilized after a certain number Sprints are left behind. As the number of Sprints increases, the velocity starts oscillating in a regular rhythm.

 

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How do you feel about your Scrum Board?

Every single day, like any other Scrum team in the world, we spend 15 minutes (max) in front of our Scrum board for the Daily Stand-up event. On behalf of the team, I’m confident to share that we really like and enjoy our Scrum board! Here is why;

  • We designed it ourselves. More precisely,  Projera, the company who is coaching Turkcell during the agile transformation process, proposed a few draft layouts to give us an insight. Following that, we, as a team, gave the team a funny name (Maraba Televole)  then designed the logo and the board as well as the layout indicating the various stages of a typical Sprint (PBL, SBL, In Progress, Done, Live, Performance etc. )

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Does a Scrum team meet more than enough?

One of the most common discussions regarding the Scrum Framework is if there are too many meetings within a Sprint ? Is this allowing enough time for the development team to work towards the Sprint Goal ?  Typically, there are 4 Scrum events defined at the Scrum Guide :

  • Sprint Planning
  • Daily Scrum
  • Sprint Review
  • Sprint Retrospective ( We call this simply as Retro :))

Let’s figure out the total number of hours spent on 4 events along the Sprint. We are running 2 weeks long Sprints and the scheduled events are taking 2 hours, 15 minutes/day, 1 hour and 2 hours respectively. Hence, the number of  hours spent during the event is 7,5 hours within a Sprint. Considering each work day as 8 hours, this refers to almost 10% of the total Sprint time. Depending on the characteristics of the team, this ratio may go up to 15%.

As you would agree spending 10% of the Sprint time for the Scrum events is feasible. In return, the team makes the wise planning driven by the priorities, come together everyday to get fully aligned, share and demonstrate Sprint results with the stakeholders and finally have the opportunity for self-inspection and identify improvement points. If none of these meeting had exist during the Sprint, the team would still need to organize meetings to discuss all the details and probably would spent much more time. In essence, running Scrum events in such a structed way is serving well to the productivity goal of the team among others.

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