Scrum Team

Burndown and Valueup

Four teams in one department.

All four Sprints started and ended at the same time.

Four different burndowns.

Team B got up late in the Sprint and filled the Sprint backlog after the Sprint started.

Team A, C and D have the typical slow start for the Sprint getting their teeth into the stories.

Team A waited till the end to do a cliff jump and close most of the stories.

Team B did not manage to finish many of the stories that were planned for the Sprint.

Team C had a constant burndown throughout the Sprint.

Team D was slow till the middle of the Sprint and then picked up speed towards the end of the Sprint.

We tend to analyse Burndowns in teams. Are we analysing the Valueups?

Scrum Team

Switch context game

How many times have you seen a team spread their focus on multiple stories?

How many times have your tried explaining the benefits of FOCUS (Scrum value) and Work in Progress (Kanban metric)?

But sometimes more than explanations, a simple game can explain the need for focus and importance of limiting work in progress.

Here is the online version. For the live version just replace Excel with a Whiteboard or piece of paper.

  1. Create an Excel sheet with the above template
  2. Ask the team member to fill the first part row first (Note that is difficult for the team member to switch context from Alphabets to Numbers and to Roman numerals) from A to J, 1 to 10 and I to X and use a stopwatch to measure the time taken in seconds
  3. Ask the same team member to fill the second part column first (Note that the team member finds it easy to fill with no context switches)

We tried the exercise with three members and all of them had an efficiency gain of around 50%.

If you are still not convinced after the game, then watch the videos below

Useful video links:

  • Focus
  • Work in progess