Scrum of one – The first sprint

If an Agile team of one sprints in the woods and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound?

I have just moved from one work-stream to another. I was working with our team delivering a new check in solution for our Customer Service Representatives, now I am looking at the next 12 months of digital workplace initiatives for our business.

I work in a small organisation so being a team of one is not a new thing. Working within the Agile methodology is not new either. But what is different is that I have come from an Agile Scrum team, and now that I am starting something new, I want the same disciplines and to be ready for the point when my team of one grows.

Fun in the Scrum

The fun stuff of Scrum is choose a name for my team, and naming the first sprint.

  • Team name: Zuul*
  • Sprint name: There is no Bex*

The process of choosing a name is a fun exercise, but in hindsight I can see that it grounding and gives a formality to the process. Irrespective of what is being worked on, the team and the sprint have a name which I think gives an implicit purpose.

*It’s a Ghostbusters thing

Planning

The planning process was valuable and challenging. Looking at everything in my backlog and what I WANTED to do, through the lens of a 2 week sprint. I was forced to assess what I could reasonably achieve and prioritise it.

Sprinting

The cards and the burndown really help to drive my daily prioritisation. In addition to work within the sprint I have other daily tasks that can sometimes take over a day. Having a visualisation of my progress allowed me to focus my attention in the right places. I also avoided the distraction of more tempting tasks.

Retrospective

My delight about the burndown was shortlived when I got sick and lost 3 days in the sprint. In a sprint team of one, this results in a big flat line and lots of work not done. In a team I feel like the impact may not be as dramatic, but perhaps the result is the same.

I was disappointing that I was unable to nail my first sprint, but it was out of my control. I enjoy the discipline of the sprint process, and for planning 12 months of work it is easier for me than creating a project schedule in a gantt chart.


Credit to Dimitriy Zhilstov for the ‘Good job Bex’ meme.

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