Posted by: kerrywills | May 6, 2016

When is dinner ready?


Even as a child I was a planner. I needed to plan out my day, when I would do homework and when it was time to play outside.So I would ask my mother when dinner was ready so I would know how much play or homework time I would need. The answer was always “dinner is ready when it is ready.” While this was true, it didn’t really help me plan.

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With the trend towards moving to Agile delivery, I am reminded of these conversations with my mother. Many times Agile projects can not tell us when work will be delivered so much as say “it is ready when we finish it.” In the world of business commitments and the need for planning this is a challenge.

There are ways to create plans in Agile based on velocity and priority and so I would encourage teams to use these to manage expectations. So rather than saying “we are done when we are done” say something like “based on our prioritized backlog and pace here is when we are working towards.” This will help our business customers to plan and determine if they can wait until dinner or if they need a snack beforehand to hold them over.

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