What do you do when they start asking for cost per point?
This issue often arrives wrapped in requests that are pure in their intent and seem to be reasonable requests from the business…
How much are we spending each month and how many points are we delivering for that spend?
Since we are now estimating work in User Story Points, we need to be able to determine how much to charge for the work that clients are asking for. So how much does a point cost us?
We need to evaluate the change requests so we can decide which ones to move forward with and which ones to reject. We’re estimating them in User Story Points, which gives us a relative idea of risk, complexity, and effort, but not cost. We need to be able to translate points to dollars so we can understand if the value we’d receive from the change is worth the cost.
I had a student recently who was qetting requests like this from the business, so I asked Agile Coach Troy Lightfoot to join me for a podcast where we could unpack the issues that often come with the cost per point question, the pros and cons of tracking it, and some things to take into account when you formulate your response to the request.
Links from the Podcast
Since the Covid-19 Quarantining began, we’ve all had to adjust to our work-life taking place 100% online. Whether you are working in a traditional environment or in Agile, this change has impacted your teams’ ability to engage, learn, and collaborate online. In this episode of the podcast, I am joined by Braden Cundiff who works in the International Division of McGraw-Hill Education serving in a Product Ownership role for international education products.
Braden’s work involves creating tools and products that are used in collaborative, educational environments all across the globe. He also has a background that includes teaching, agile coaching, and transformation. This allows him to offer a unique perspective on how to create an effective online environment for your teams.
At the start of the interview, Braden and I also discuss his role as a Product Owner and he offers his take on the one question that comes up in every single Product Owner class I teach … “How do I get better at saying ’No’?”
When I am teaching CSM and CSPO classes I frequently get questions from students who have trouble understanding how work flows from the release level down through product backlog items like User Stories on down to the task level. I do cover this in class but for some, it is not so easy to see.
If you'd like to reach out to Judy with follow up questions, here is her contact info:
This episode features a student question and a special appearance by Adam Weisbart.
I recently had a student in class who was struggling to get her team to participate during retrospectives. This is a fairly common problem for teams that are either trying to get the hang of how to run a retro, or teams that may have stuck with a particular tactic for so long that it has stopped working.
I invited Adam Weisbart to join me for the podcast. If Adam's name sounds familiar, it may be because you've taken a class from him, seen him speak at a conference, watched the video "Sh*t Bad Scrum Masters Say", or because you've used his Agile Adlibs or his retrospective facilitation kit, Recess. (We'll be spending time on those last two during the interview.)
If you've got teams that aren't fully engaging during your Retrospectives, you are not alone. This podcast has some ideas that should help you get that turned around.
What kind of projects don’t fit with Agile?
This is a very common question in the CSM and CSPO classes that I teach. My answer is always that while there are some types of work that are better suited to an Agile approach than others, it really comes down to the organization and the people involved. With the right mindset, an iterative approach that is focused on inspect and adapt can be valuable in pretty much any situation… including building a bar.
Alex Brown is the Founder and Principal at Glaessel Ventures, a Boston based firm that combines strategic consulting, agile training, and co-investment to help innovative companies of all sizes bring new products to market successfully.
In this interview, recorded at the 2019 North American Global Scrum Gathering, Alex shares his story of “Boozy Scrum," or how he used Scrum to build a bar in his basement. It offers a great case study of how Scrum can be used for personal projects that fall well outside the realm of technology. (Check below the podcast for pictures.)
Here is a before and after picture of Alex's bar
If you'd like to reach out to Alex to follow up with questions on his Boozy Scrum project, here is his contact info: