Friday, June 27, 2008


Last sprint was tough, we didn't get finished and we couldn't release. Fortunately this wasn't a big deal, there is no big deadline to meet. However, we only finished one story - that's not good. And it's only about the third time in four years we didn't finish all stories.

We had a long discussion about what went wrong and how to do better. One thing was that although we identified 6 "steel threads" (aka thin slices, tracer bullets) in our big UI story, we didn't finish the third thread until the 7th day of the sprint - at which time most of four more threads were also done. It was incredibly confusing to try to test it, we couldn't tell what should work and what shouldn't, and we missed a couple of gaps in the features. Plus, unit tests were being written after the fact.

Here's our stop/start/continue list that resulted from our retrospective:

  • Transfer whiteboard drawings from conference room to Scrum arena, and check off threads as they are done
  • First thread of first story has to be done by first Tuesday of Sprint
  • Log remaining hours on task card (in Mingle) prior to Scrum
  • Test first
  • Working more than one thread ahead of unfinished thread
We know the steel thread concept works for us - we just have to do it properly. UI stories are harder to do test-first, but we suffer when we don't. Lots of reasons we got off track last sprint, but we think this will get us back on.

1 comment:

Nalli said...

Thank you for the info. It sounds pretty user friendly. I guess I’ll pick one up for fun. thank u

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