Failing to meet timelines is often caused by false expectations

Most weather forecasts don’t match reality. Especially weather forecasts that are provided more than a week in the future.

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Picture by Free-Photos

Yet despite how often weather forecast are wrong, we still pay attention to them. Weatherwomen and weathermen all over the world tell us the weather every day, are often wrong, and still we keep listening. We know being wrong comes with the job.

We grant the weatherman the luxury to update his forecast as more information becomes available. Why do we often not grant our software development teams this same luxury?

What can we learn from weather forecasting?

When forecasting the weather, the accuracy of the weather forecast drops to around 50% when you try to predict the weather more than 7 days in advance. The closer you get to the date you’re trying to forecast, the better the information you will have to make a prediction. As a result, the closer you are to the date of interest, the more accurate your forecast will be. …

Making your Sprint Goals fun is underrated

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Image by Pexels

Decrease page load time on the Product Detail Page by 300 ms

Increase conversion by 1% by reducing friction in the checkout

Migrate our customers to a new CRM system

Did you start yawning already? I did.

These Sprint Goals tick all the boxes of the SMART acronym: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Oriented. Though SMART makes your Sprint Goals factually accurate, nothing prevents them from boring your team to death. Would you wake up excited to come into work when thinking about the Sprint Goals I presented above?

Hell no! If you would read these Sprint Goals before bedtime, you’d probably fall asleep. …

End the pointless velocity hysteria

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Photo by Lala Azizli on Unsplash

Most companies using Scrum spend a lot of time discussing velocity and devising ways to increase it. Velocity becomes a magical, almost mythical number that developers must chase in every Sprint.

In companies where the velocity whip is cracked, comments like these dominate the conversation:

“Why was our velocity this Sprint lower than the last Sprint? Can you please provide a solid explanation?”

“Our velocity has stopped increasing. Maybe it’s time to hire a new Scrum Master? What’s the point in having a Scrum Master if they can’t increase our velocity?”

“We didn’t complete all stories in our Sprint. What can we do to guarantee we’ll complete them all next time?”


Maarten Dalmijn

Product Owner and Agile enthusiast.

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