Sprint 1 – Scrum for the one man team

As mentioned in my post Scrum for the one man team, I talked about how I am using Scrum for my final project that I am developing by myself. It has been a week now and my first sprint (not counting sprint 0) has come to an end.

Sprint 1

My first sprint consisted of 14 story points and 16 tasks estimated to 40 hours. It took 43 hours which is slightly longer than estimated but it was because i had some extra time and wanted to refactor a few classes. I overestimated the stories on purpose and it turned out to be a good call since the overhead activities like meetings has a great impact on a one man team. In the first retrospective i found a few things that i want to change for the next sprint.

Burndown Charts

So a regular burndown chart is meant to be a graphical representation of the work that needs to done. The graph consist of vertical axis of amount of work(usually User Story points), and a horizontal axis with the days in the iteration. This is an example of how my first week would look like using story-points and days.

Burndown In Story Points

Burndown Chart In Story Points

Now this is a fine chart huh?! But the purpose of such a chart should be to add valuable information to my projectmanagement process. Since my first story was completed the 6th of November I was able to set a new dot indicating that the sprint was going as planned. But the first 3 days I would have no idea from this chart. Since I’m working each day and monitoring my time with the Pomodoro technique(post comming soon), I have the information needed to use Hours of work as my vertical axis – like this:

Burndown chart In Hours

Burndown Chart In Hours Of Work

Now look at that! This actually shows me how things are developing.

Length of the sprint

Usually it’s recommend to have a two week( ten days) sprint, since this give the developer a decent amount of time to solve a User story so it won’t go across multiply sprint, but at the same time it’s still quite short so the stakeholders have many possibilities to change scope and prioritize user stories. But since my stakeholders are more for inspirational purposes than dictating priorities, I decided to half my sprint length to just one week. Before taking this decision i discovered this study from cogniziant.com. This post was a great inspiration to my decision. Since I want to interact as much as possibly with my stakeholders and find problems ASP, this was the right thing for me. It is not that hard to break a five day sprint down in very small and easy solvable tasks. This has been a huge benefit to me, since the motivating factor of finishing a task is quite high – for me at least!

So how long should your sprint be? I can recommend to look at cogniziant.com‘ table(not a sponsor btw!) and then try different lengths and make a decision based on the results in stead of a feelings – this is what Scrum is all about.

This is all for now – I’ll return soon for an update on Sprint 3!

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