After breaking the record of story points ever delivered, the Scrum Team was on fire. But the excitement didn’t last long; it went down during the Sprint Planning as the Product Owner asked, “How many story points can we deliver for this Sprint? We have to beat our previous one?” Developers felt locked in a trap. No matter how much they delivered, it would never be enough.
In my opinion, Scrum exists for one single reason, to help teams deliver more value for the end-user and business. Still, it’s shocking how people evaluate value differently. For many stakeholders, maximizing features defines success. Surprisingly, many Product Owners are obsessed with story points; they often push the team for more.
I’ve seen many Scrum Teams failing because the expectations are misaligned. How can a team maximize the value if everyone perceives it differently? Scrum will never work correctly until the involved people have a common understanding of value.
I’ve come across some common misconceptions of value. Let me share them with you. Hopefully, after reading this text, you will know where to focus on.
Recently, I’ve shared a video on my YouTube channel with similar content to this article; you may want to have a look at it :)
Story Points Obsession
When I got my first job as a Product Owner, delivering more story points Sprint after Sprint was my way of measuring success. I thought the more story points we completed, the more value we provided.
Every day I looked at the burndown chart, I put pressure on developers whenever it didn’t look like we would manage everything. We continuously increased the story points delivered, but did we produce value? That’s a good question; nobody cared about the real value.