Thursday, March 8, 2007

Critical Path in Scrum

Mike Cohn wrote a post on the critical path problem in Scrum projects:

  • "Critical path within an iteration is easy to see because the iterations are so short (typically two to four weeks)
  • Does need to be considered by the team but this can be very informal and usually without even using words like “critical path.” It happens naturally during a team’s iteration planning meetings and daily standups when they ask themselves questions about how they’re going to finish the planned work"

I don't think this is the case when it comes to specialized teams.

Supposing one member of the team is in charge of the client, another handles the server, and a third member deals with hardware interfaces. All of them take their tasks from a backlog, but obviously UI tasks should not be assigned to the server dude.

This may cause one team member to wait on another for the integration, which is undesired.

To avoid this, the scrum master may need to still use MS Project to find a critical path during the sprint planning, and may need to insert less backlog tasks to the sprint than previously intended.

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