Managing Risks and Issues with IBA's Agile Scrum Tips

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IBA is taking steps to make sure your are teams aware of the risks and issues associated with Agile Scrum.

Scrum Teams should try where possible to identify and plan for Risks before the start of an Agile Scrum Sprint. This will help them better plan / pack their Sprint with the correct work.

New Issues are the more frequent event a Scrum Team has to deal with / overcome, as many times, especially for Scrum Teams who are just getting started, a Risk was not foreseen. Instead, an event occurs real-time during a Sprint, which by definition is an Issue.

Good Scrum Teams
Good Scrum teams plan for / take into account known and unknown Risks via:
1.Discussing / identifying Risks before the start of a Sprint and at each Sprint Kick Off (Sprint Planning session).
2.Identifying Sprint Team member availability and capacity during Sprint Planning.
3.Only planning 6-hours per day of work, keeping ~2 hours of day in reserve. (Their “Slush Fund”.)
4.Planning out the target flow of the User Stories at Sprint Planning, (Dev to DIT to SIT) which helps identify flow and Risks for one or more User Stories and the overall Sprint.
5.Conducting daily Stand Ups and answering the 3 key Daily Stand Up questions: 1) What I did yesterday? 2) What I plan to do today? 3) What are my blockers / Issues?
6.As an Agile Sprint is a time boxed, repeatable process, if a User Story encounters an Issue that cannot be overcome during the Sprint, the User Story is pulled from the Sprint and put back into the Backlog to be worked in a future Sprint.

Great Scrum Teams
Over time, good Scrum Teams become great teams by:
1.Following the steps outlined above.
2.Striving for honesty and transparency in tracking, recording and talking about their Risks, Issues, challenges as a Scrum team. (The old adage we cannot fix what we do not acknowledge is very, very true for Agile teams.)
3.Growing and maturing as an accountable, self-managing team, that is more able to identify, plan for and handle Risks (and Issues) for that particular Product and Scrum Team.

Summary
Agile Scrum is a repeatable process / methodology. The true measure of success for an Agile Scrum Team: To succeed in their mission to improve quality while reducing time, cost and risk per Sprint / Release.

By following the Agile Scrum process and growing as a team, a good Team can become a Great Team, which will improve their velocity and delivery of results. It will also improve their overall morale and success, both as a team and as individuals.

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Hunter McCluer
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