Monday, November 28, 2011

Agile A3 Sprint Report

I really enjoy working with A3 Reports. They have the habit of making you to distill out the crucial information, to really drill down.
There are different kinds of A3 reports. The book 'Understanding A3 Thinking: A Critical Component of Toyota's PDCA Management System’ describes three different report types. Problem-, Proposal-, and Status Report. The Problem Solving is the one I use most often.

So what is an A3 report. A3 Reports are size limited and have to fit on an A3 size of paper (for US folks, it is 11.69 × 16.54 inches). The size limitation requires to only present important informations. Furthermore, the use of charts, graphics and other none textual descriptions is highly encouraged. The less words the better. Since the Problem A3 Report describes the current and the target situation they serve as excellent PDCA (plan do check act) tools.

In my profession as Scrum coach, I grew tired of all the different and bureaucratic status reports. Usually the decision makers require lots of text and a traffic light. The text does not get read and all decisions are based on a single color. So, my idea was to create an A3 Report which is hardly text and more differentiated then only one color. Providing a quick and easy way for more information width. 

This is how it looks like:


















Top Left - Sprint Burndown
Current Sprint burndown. Blue remaining work in hours, Green remaining Story Points

Top Right - Release Burndown (Burnup in this case)
Up to date, including last Sprint, release burnup

Bottom Left - Risk list 
Up to date, risk list a la Frederic Brooks. New risks are continuously discovered and either handled by outside help (i.e. by the Scrum Master) or they get put into the Product Backlog and mitigated when the Product Owner puts them into a Sprint. The risk list is dynamic and subject to change from Sprint to Sprint. (*) Mitigated risks are kept on the list.

Bottom Right - Open Bugs
Up to date number of open bugs. If I can have my way on a project, the 10-Finger-Rule applies. The moment you run out of fingers to count bugs, you need to fix bugs first. This guarantees clean, maintainable and sustainable code. If a bug is rather tricky to fix, it can be put into the Product Backlog analog to a risk. Again, the Product Owner then schedules the fix, if she sees it to be appropriate. Also, this avoids the growing number of bug triage meetings towards the end of an project (**). If you work on an legacy project with X bugs, the rule changes to X+10. Done right, X will decrease over time and product quality will go up.



(*) On many projects the institutionalized company process requires a risk list. So, at the early beginning of the project a risk list is compiled, checked off on the check list and then put into a drawer. No transparency and accountability.

(**) On many projects you you have severity levels from P1 to P4. With P1 being worst and P4 minor. Usually, you have a company mandate, that no software can be shipped with open P1 and P2 bugs. Guess what ... in the growing number of meetings after each bug fixing cycle, panic tends to creep up. The human reaction is to ‘mis’-label P2 as P3. Problem fixed, process followed.

11 comments:

pirx said...

There's a minor typo in the description of the various charts: Should be 'Release Burnup', not 'Release Burndown', I guess.

The idea of an agile A3 report is really compelling, will try it out ...

Ralph Jocham said...

Thanks for the hint - now it should be clearer.

Miller Yu said...

There is abuy Diablo 3 gold minimal typo inside description of the several charts: Must be 'Release Burnup', certainly not 'Release Cheap GW2 GoldBurndown', Perhaps.

jeson chane said...

This topic is pretty good and the writer's views are buy wow gold unique and not so hard to World of Warcraft Gold understand.I like it very much, and wow gold way I want to share some interesting and very useful websites to you:www.safewow.com! Iam sure you can find out funny things there.

GuildWars2Items said...

It takes strength to build for the future Diablo 3 Power Leveling, it takes strength to be polite to someone when that person has been rude to you Diablo 3 PowerLeveling, it takes strength to build for the future Diablo iii PowerLeveling.

GuildWars2Items said...

Behind every successful man.there is a woman, and behind every unsuccessful man, there are two IMVU Credits, IMVU Credit I don't want to be someone that you're settling for, I don't want to be someone that anyone settles for IMVU Credits.

dte said...

The world owes you nothing. It was here first. Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect Runescape Gold, Empty what's full. Scratch where it itches. Don't go around saying the world owes you a living RS Gold, It means that you've decided to look beyond Runescape Money the imperfections. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers.

dte said...

The past is gone and static. Nothing we can do will change it.scarlet blade gold, the future is before us and dynamic. Everything we do will affect it rs gold, You laugh at mescarlet blade gold for being different , but I laugh at you for being the same.

dolinna said...

That is really cool. Thanks for finding it. Some really good ideas there, this is going to be a real time sink.I am a china tour lover,You can learn more: China tour operator | China tour packages | China city travel

qiong zhang said...

Anyone prepare bugs through pot plant these questions Sony cases bottle having a best into it. Fleas jump.Natasha, appreciate your hosting, desire you happen to be using a wonderful saturday and sunday!

Learn Chinese language on hanbridgemandarin said...

Since our founding in 2002, Hanbridge Mandarin has provided thousands of learners with high-quality campus-based courses, online classes, and intensive cultural immersion programs. Utilizing?easy, fun and rewarding methods, we work hard to ensure our students can understand, use and ultimately master Mandarin communication skills.

More Chinese learning tags : Learn Chinese | learn Chinese online | learn mandarin