Does your team carry stories over from sprint to sprint?

I mean, they don't even really know how much work they can do in a sprint because their velocity is so erratic, unpredictable?

In this week's Project Ignite session, we talked about our team's failure to be predictable.

When a team can't predict how much work they can take on or when it will finish, they strip away the business's ability to plan and to make trade off decisions about what work we choose to do and what work we choose not to do.

We end up in a reactive state half of the time we're overworked and still missing deadlines and the other half of the time we're under committed and working on less important things all because we can't tell how long it will take and we know we'll get interrupted because we can't plan with any certainty at that point.

So while we experience drastic changes in pace and struggle to finish what we start our competitors, they're plowing ahead, they're handling emergencies and still giving their customers what they need and institute agility.

Our coaches work every day with teams who struggle to stick to a spring plan.

We know how exhausting it is to swing back and forth between stay late.

Everything is on fire and I have nothing of value to work on.

You need a sustainable pace and the insane part is it's not about what work you do, it's about the way you're doing it once you have the ability to say no, that doesn't fit or yes, we have capacity.

You'll be able to find a sustainable pace and figure out what fits, but how do we become predictable.

Well, most of us have studied the tools that teams use roadmaps, building trust with stakeholders and amongst the team burn downs and burn ups.

They tell us when we're on track and when we're in trouble, but these tools have pitfalls and failure points to watch out for.

We dove into each tool and looked at how to foster by in the anti patterns to watch out for benefits to anticipate and predecessors that you need before you can begin.

For example, you have a road map, but it's a collection of work that doesn't align to a vision and it won't move the needle on your success metrics.

This is an anti pattern.

It's a signal you aren't getting the benefit of a roadmap.

Roadmaps that aren't strategically pointing towards our vision are easily abandoned and altered.

You find yourself changing directions so often that you never finish what you start and even though you were very busy all the time, you're no closer to your vision after years, even just months all because things were not aligned to your vision.

Now that we have prepared ourselves with the tools to create predictability and ways to foster buy in for these tools, anti patterns to watch out for, benefits to look for and predecessors, we're ready to create our first great predictability experiment.

Experiments are short bursts commitments to change something with a hypothesis on how it will benefit us.

Each person who attended Project:Ignite this week will design and implement and experiment around predictability.

In four weeks, we'll meet again and share how our predictability experiments are going and what we're learning and what benefits we're seeing.

And this part of our deep dive into predictability is the most important part.

It's when we practice what we've learned in August, we'll dive into the next most common frustration teams face in agility: not providing the right value to their customers

Join us at Project:Ignite and discover how your team can connect with their customer and really make a difference.

About the Author

Passionate about people—Michelle’s greatest joy is to revive, rebuild, and develop individuals and teams rallied around core values and proven methods.

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