Thursday, August 28, 2008

Quick Start to Sprint Backlog template

I started using Mitch Lacey's Sprint Backlog Templates in our scrum projects. Here is a small guide to help someone new to it quickly start using it.

A. Preparing the ground ­ - The initial tasks you need to do to prepare the template for your project:

1. Fill in the team roster. The Alias will be used in the other sheets (Driver column in the Sprint Sheet). The alias should not changed after the other sheets are filled (unless you change sprint data - Column Sprint!$F).

Fill in any extra information about the team. All information besides the alias will be purely informational.

Also in this sheet, you should fill in the Sprint Vision (Team Roster!$C$4) so it is clear for all members of the team.

2. Set the sprint start date in Capacity!$E$3

If your dates are not in US format you need to manually change the week days in column D because formula for I6 expects English week days.

3. Specify your options for the project in the Analysis!E40:E47:

a. SkipWeekends (Analysis!E40) - (0=30 calendar days; 1=30 working days). Set to 1 to have dates skip over weekends (30 working day sprint, >30 calendar day sprint). Do not switch after Sprint has started or data will be stored under wrong days.

b. DailyScrumDateModifier (Analysis!E41) -Number of days added to or subtracted from today's date to ensure the highlighted date column in the sprint worksheet corresponds to the day of the current daily Scrum meeting. In the Spint worksheet, Today's day will be highlighted. This value adjusts the day that is highlighted. Negative number to go back from today's date; positive number to go forward from today's date.

Do not change the Workbook-Wide Constants These are constants for the formulas used elsewhere.

4. Define your functional areas in Project Specific Reports!A9:A24. If you need to change the number of columns you will need to adjust the Data validation of columns B of the Sprint Worksheet by going to Data, and then Data Validation menu.

5. Fill in the Sprint Backlog items

a. Worktype - select between Feature, Tax, Precondition or spike

i. Feature - describes functionality that will be valuable to either a user or purchaser of a system or software.

ii. Tax - A tax is the cost of doing business

iii. Precondition - Preconditions are items that must happen at the completion

iv. Spike - Brief experiment to learn more about an area of application. Timeboxed, which allows the spike to be estimated.

b. Deliverable Area - You can select from the functional areas of your project that you defined in step 4. This will allow you to get a report based on the functional areas.

c. Product Backlog Item or Group -

d. Work Item ID - The Id of the work item.

e. Sprint Work item Description - Description of the work to be done.

f. Driver - Who will be responsible to drive this work item.

g. Status - it is automatic set for "Complete";"In progress" and "pending". You can manually add "Postponed" and "Cancelled", so it shows up in the reports.

h. Pri - Priority of the Work item

i. Initial - The initial estimate for this work item.

B. Daily updates - The daily information to be updated on the template.

On the end of the day or the morning of the next day each person of the team needs to update the time spent with each work item and re-estimate the remaining time to complete the task.

Go to the correspondent Day of the iteration and fill :

1. Spent - Time spent during that day with that work item

2. Left - The remaining time to complete the work item. It can be higher then the previous Left value due to new knowledge you acquired during that day.

C. Analysis - Checking the flow of the sprint

On the Analysis worksheet you can see the burndown chart per items and hours and several other overall indicators that are self explanatory.

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