The nature of agile working can inherently appear repetitive. This is due to agile teams working in iterations. Iterations provide a consistent and predictable cyclical process of planning, development and review. This ensures that a full Plan–Do–Check–Adjust (PDCA) cycle is executed as quickly as possible.
Each iteration begins with a planning session, an event that takes four hours, or less. This figure is derived from the average length of an iteration (one fortnight). During this planning session, the team seeks to establish the following:
• Reviews, refines, and estimates stories, which are typically presented by the Product Owner (PO)
• Defines the acceptance criteria
• Splits larger stories into smaller ones where necessary
• Determines what they can deliver in the upcoming iteration, based on their known velocity (story points per iteration), into iteration goals
• Commits to a short set of iteration goals.
When planning the nature of an iteration; some teams may choose to delegate work, dividing user stories into tasks, and allocating these tasks an approximate duration, thus allowing them to further their understanding of what lies ahead.
Following the planning process, teams have a Daily Stand-Up (DSU) to establish the rate of progression, where they stand, provide insight, and help when necessary. During this period of the day, every member of the agile team reports upon what occurred the previous day to reach the pre-established goals, and how they are going move forward, and, lastly, anything that may be standing in their way, that they are struggling to overcome.
Once the iteration has concluded, an iteration review takes place. It is then that a review of the tangible results of the iteration takes place, and the team can work out how to further improve upon their results in the next iteration.
It is this process that may appear repetitive, and even redundant at times; but, if you feel like you are going around in circles, you are just ascending a spiral staircase.
For further reading into scrums and the nature of the process, The Agile Works has previously published: Groundhog Day.
Based in London, U.K., and founded in 2016 by Arvind Mishra The Agile Works (www.TheAgileWorks.com), is an up-and-coming recruitment and Agile consulting company. Arvind is a Certified SAFe SPC and regularly delivers both private and public SAFe certification workshops.
He is a design thinking expert, Sr. enterprise, portfolio Agile Coach with over a decade of experience working as an Agile coach in diverse industries such as banking, pharma, retail, auto, oil, gas, consulting and government.
The Agile Works; a small team of three strive to help shape the leadership's mind-set and values in readiness for their business transformation journey challenges. With Arvind at the helm, we strive to provide you with the agility tools to make your company that can thrive, and not just survive.
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