Monday, October 12, 2009

A Backlog for Improvements

During a training session that I conducted last week, a very interesting question popped-up, how teams accounts in their improvements after Sprint Retrospectives?

What I use for my teams is a very simple technique: I take pictures of all problem insights and improvements that we''ll be tackling in the next Sprint after the retrospective. I then post those pictures in team's SharePoint and I project them in the initial part of the next retrospective meeting in order to have a feel of what has been accomplished and what not.

This works quiet well but we still miss the feeling of progress, more to the point, we're lacking the psychological effect of burning something (like hours, story point, user stories or any other indicator).

What I propose is to create a backlog of potential improvements, we could go as down as estimating effort and time and maybe creating associated tasks, but my initial feeling is that this would over complicate things. Instead the attack plan should be just logging in this backlog the list of potential improvements from the Sprint Retrospective, prioritize them and then work in the top priority areas for improvement. No much data about how improvements have been accomplished should be logged, unless somebody in the team wants to document them as case studies.

I'll be trying to implement this idea and write later with actual evidence in hand.

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