The Sprint Contract, Part I

As a Product Owner, I need the development team to deliver the functionality agreed upon during sprint planning.

My scrum team had developed the tendency to quickly defer user stories they did not complete into the next sprint.  The tool allowed them to game the burndown so that it always looked like performed well, but I was not satisfied with the amount of software presented at each sprint review.  It just didn’t add up.

I tried asking nicely, being impatient and demanding, begging and pleading among other motivational techniques from my project management past.  Still, no real change in results.  Then, I tried my good friend Google, and I ended up at this blog post from an Agile coach named Peter Stevens: http://bit.ly/85b6R.  At last!   The sprint contract concept.  It’s all about setting expectations up front in planning by focusing on what will be presented at the sprint review.  In my environment, sprint reviews include stakeholders from all over the world that are using our software, so it’s critical the “show” is a good one. 

In future posts I’ll review how I adapted Mr. Stevens’ approach and what results I saw and why I think I saw what I saw.

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bhackerson

I am a software lab manager in the Corporate Research Lab at 3M in St. Paul.

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