Project Management

Halfway Pregnant

From the Trying to be Agile Blog
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A blog about my experiences with agile project management as I continue on my Shu Ha Ri journey. I will share experiences from clients (anonymously of course) along with my reflections as I inspect and adapt.

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I'm working with a client that's adopting agile. One thing they've done is build their own agile PM tool. It's not bad, but not as good as Rally or VersionOne.

One thing the tool allows is to assign user stories to the "front burner" or "back burner" with the idea that if it's on the back burner, you get to it if you have time...but you still assign it to an iteration.

From an agile perspective, I think this is a bad idea. Iteration planning is about getting the team to commit to the work of the iteration. A story is either in or out. This tool allows you to put a story somewhere in between. It's assigned to the iteration, but it doesn't show up in your story point count or the standard view of the story board. The product owner may think it's in, but the team can easily forget about, leading to disappointment when the iteration is over. 

It's important to have transparency across the project. The product owner and team need to be on the same page without any ambiguity about what may be in or out of scope for the iteration. 

Posted on: September 02, 2015 09:57 AM | Permalink

Comments (2)

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Bob, you are right but if you look at it closely you will find this is not that bad a development, the ideas on backburner are those which is not exactly on the team priority and practically are lying still in the product backlog. In case the team finishes the top priority work, and there is still some time left on the sprint, they can focus on back-burners and if they cannot, these go back to the product backlog for next sprint. I do not think there is anything wrong with it.

Suhail - the only problem (in my experience) is the customer has an expectation they will be delivered in the current iteration, even though they are flagged as on the back burner. If the team can't get them done, the customer is disappointed.

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