Thoughts on the Sprint…

After completing the first sprint since the training I feel I need to have sort of retrospective for myself on how I handled it.

What I did well

Always difficult to toot your own horn, but here goes:

  • I believe I explained the process reasonably well to anyone that asked.
  • The (improvised) Scrum Board I created was pretty good and effective I think, I’ll post a picture for comment, I specifically asked total strangers to come in and ask them if, by glancing at the board, they got a decent idea of what was happening, most people answered “Yes”, some people didn’t care, and others asked me to stop harassing them… go figure 😉
  • I evangelized Scrum so well that I’ve had a few requests from people to meet one on one with them and explain in detail what it’s about.
  • I protected the team well, they were relaxed throughout the sprint and were, for the most part, uninterrupted (managers sneak in when you’re not around, note to self: investigate Tesla Coil option…)
  • I assisted the Product Owner effectively in generating a prioritized Product Backlog.

Where I can improve

Ok, here goes with the places to improve (that I can think of)

  • I interfered too much, often guiding the thoughts of the team. This one was difficult to avoid because of my (prior) senior technical role, and I don’t think it had a bad impact, although it did not give the team the opportunity to become a fully autonomous unit.
  • I ended up prompting people during the daily scrums, not good, the team needs to run these.
  • I updated the Scrum Board and managed the burn-down chart, again, not good, I believe the team must run this.
  • I allowed the daily scrums to degenerate into a problem solving session.
  • I did not manage the time-boxing of meetings well.
  • People missed meetings, or were late, without any form of “reprimand”. Not sure how to fix this though?
  • Did not hold a review at the end of the sprint, bad! Must have this in future, perhaps pre-schedule the meetings at the beginning of the sprint.
  • The retrospective needs improvement, again I prompted alot of the talking, perhaps the team wasn’t comfortable with opening up?
  • I need to understand the finer details of Scrum better, especially around estimation.
  • The team did not define DONE, I should have encouraged this.
  • I allowed the sprint backlog to be changed during the sprint! Very bad.
  • I did not include all the necessary people into the “team”. Important people were excluded initially (like testers) without realizing it. This contributed to the sprint “failing”(coming in 2 days late, features could not be removed) due to test tasks not being included initially.