Scrum – Sprint 1 Review Retrospective

Sunday, November 6, 2005 – 10:20 PM
So we finished our first sprint and spent a couple of hours reviewing the results, the Sprint Review. We certainly didn’t finish everything we originally planned at the start of the sprint, far from it. But we were able to demo the most important product backlog items, although they weren’t "done". This represents most of the architecture spikes required to be sure there will not be any big surprises as we move forward.
Our estimates were way off! In fact we now figure we’ve got another 2-3 weeks to get them really finished. But estimating is one of those things that gets better the more you do it, plus the highly tentative nature of some of the product backlog items made estimating them waay hard. We should have spent more time on this, possibly postponing some of the actual implementation work until the next sprint, using some of the first sprint for investigation.
How did the first sprint go from the Team’s perspective? Feedback from the Sprint Review… 
Teamwork and communication was really improved by the Daily Scrum. Even if we weren’t doing Scrum daily standup meetings were considered a good thing. We’re going to improve these in the next sprint. As I mentioned before we’ll table additional items for discussion until immediately after the daily scrum and encourage devs to discuss designs and demo new features at the same time, right after the Daily Scrum.
We still have some issues to do with tracking. The spreadsheet we’re using is a bit tedious for team members to use and isn’t giving management enough insight. What we’d really like is something that was super easy to use and gave better tracking particularly at the product backlog item, rather than task, level. The more granular level of product item burndown make it easier for management to visualize the team’s progress.
Maybe it’s time to check out VS Team System?
We also need to improve our task definitions during the Sprint Planning. You have to define tasks before you can track them.
Considering a lot of people I’ve spoken to say that your first Sprint can be pretty disasterous ours wasn’t. The Frameworks team are great people and did a great job of adopting Scrum on top of some pretty challenging (understatement) dev work. Obviously we’ve got some things to work on but that’s the name of the game, right?
And yes Eric… My next blog will be about the inner workings of VSTO.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.