Zero

The number of the day would be zero, if I had a backbone. Last end of sprint management asked me what the number of totally burned user stories is. And please, do not make any assumptions on the status of unfinished user stories, just the ones that are done.

We have no high ambitions in doing that – we just count what is done from development perspective, what is done in terms of business analysis, testing, design, datawarehousing etc. So not the definition of done that a user story is finished when it’s been tested, more a small waterfall in counting. But anyhow – the answer was: Zero.

Zero user stories burned completely. The management didn’t think that this would be a useful information to communicate. They sent me back – to gather at least the almost finished user stories. Uh, there were a couple of them, but actually it was only 50% of the previously estimated velocity. Well, we had some problems and still have them to be honest, so that’s maybe the reason why. Ok – still not enough. Get the developers one by one in a room and let them explain also the user stories which they have finished by 80%.

Now we were at least close to the velocity communicated to the board before (and which is by the way 4 times too slow to burn all user story points till the end of the project – but no pressure) – so the management went off, told a story or two and came back alive and all testicles still attached (at least I didn’t see any blood).

So, next sprint is over – and guess what: They are not asking me to deliver the points (because my first answer would be zero again, and it can be a bit tedious to go through the same discussion again) but the lead developer. He, me and another scrum guy went of, asked the developers where they think they are done – which gave a user story points estimate of 25% of the estimated velocity. Hm – at least compared to the 80% measurenment we did before. This won’t be the last word spoken I assume. But the dev lead and me were reluctant to report on 80% stuff again  – it felt a bit odd and not the right thing to do.

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