Scrum Team

Standing apart

Photo by Max Böttinger on Unsplash

I was on vacation in Italy in a hotel with a pool right in front of the sea.

I walked 2 km to the left and 2 km to the right.

Every hotel had a similar offering:

  • Pool
  • Loungers (next to the pool)
  • Bar
  • Sea access
  • Loungers (next to the sea)

Every day in the morning the hotel crew did the same activities:

  • Get breakfast ready
  • Clean the pool
  • Get the bar ready
  • Clean and level the beach
  • Clean the pool and sea loungers

Almost every hotel had a 3 star, 4 star or 4S stars!

Let us extend the idea of hotels and their crew to a company (sea side) with agile teams (hotels) and team members (hotel crew) and agile maturity (stars).

How would each team stand apart?

If you had 4 km of all companies in the radius all being 3 to 4 stars, how would you stand apart?

Eat breakfast, jump in the pool, have a drink, lounge a bit, jump in the sea and REPEAT.

Consume a software service, use a feature, cancel a booked feature, watch progress of a feature and REPEAT

What brings us back to the hotel?

What brings us back to a software service?

Is it something that they do that makes them stand apart?

Interestingly the hotel where I was staying one day arranged for DJ and a Grill.

It was a simple idea but it made them stand apart!

What is your team doing to stand apart?

Scrum Team

Capacity planning

Photo by STIL on Unsplash

How often do you plan capacity?

Is your team completely internal?

Does the team have people working part time?

Do people work across geographies?

Here is an example planning a 1 month calendar sprint for August 2021

NameTypeAvailabilityPublic holidaysVacation daysAvailable daysHours to be planned
RamInternal100%1 (15.08.2021)318104
MiaInternal100% 1 (15.08.2021) 021121
HaiInternal100% 1 (15.08.2021) 120116
AnaExternal50%1 (30.08.2021)29.557
SamExternal25%1 (30.08.2021) 05.2532

Available days = (Working days in August 2021 – Vacation – Public holidays) * Availability

Working days in August 2021 = 22

Hours to be planned = Available days * Hours per day * 75%

Note: German team works 7.7 hours a days and Indian team works 8 hours a day

What is the 75% for?

  • We assume that a team member is productive for 75% of their time which is around 6 out of 8 hours.
    • The remaining time of 2 hours is for administrative work, coffee breaks and so on

Useful links:

Public holidays

How do you plan your capacity?

Scrum Team

Designer in Agile team

Does a Designer belong in an Agile team?

Photo by Headway on Unsplash

Can we afford a full-time Designer in our Agile team?

Can a part-time Designer answer and react to our changing design needs?

How does the Designer integrate into A/B testing?

Here is an example of how we do it in our team. Maybe it helps you with ideas to integrate a designer in your team too.

  • Team contains 3 Developers, 1 DevOps who work full-time and 1 Tester at 50% and 1 Designer at 25%
  • Initial stages
    • The Designer got used the Corporate Design and technical Design library (ANT Design)
    • The Designer came up with design ideas for the Platform and Apps
      • During this phase the Developers were building Apps with simple ANT Design components

Development cycle

  • Product Owner and Designer brainstorm ideas with wireframing tool of choice (PowerPoint, Balsamiq)
  • Designer makes his mockups on the tool of his choice
  • Designer gets approval from Product Owner (Sketch)
  • Designer shares his design assets with POs and Developers (Sketch)
  • Designer publishes mockups on knowledge sharing platform (Confluence)
  • Developer adds documentation for interaction points in mockups (Confluence)
  • Tester uses documentation for testing of mockups in Testing environment

Design updates

Scrum Team member or Stakeholder provides Design update idea and the development cycle restarts from the beginning

Interesting links and tools:

Open source illustrations:

Balsamiq wireframing:

Sketch Collaborate:

Confluence Knowledge management: