Lunch was heavy… followed by a quick chat with a couple of Scrum Masters about User Stories and Acceptance Criteria. We gathered around a white board observing sketches. One of them narrated a story of wanting to have nice trees, nice sunshine, nice time. The other narrated a series of activities. This set the tone for our continued discussions on why we need to have conversations until we are ready to write a story! .. “Don’t start writing, because we call it a user story. Wait till you are quite certain that you have found the absolute reasons to want that damn thing!” Get your Who, What and Why. And you are clear about How you want it. Remember based on how you want it.. is how people will be thinking about “How to get it to you?” and “How to to ensure its quality?”
Thus after a heavy Friday lunch followed by casual conversations on user stories readied me for another session with a group of Scrum Masters’ to quickly chat about “Iteration Planning”. While reviewing my expectations from the session, I realized that a slide / handout based format may not be suitable – since my primary objective was to “connect them” to their “Inner Agilists”.
I introduced myself to the group and mentioned that I was there to provide more clarity on planning and quoted incidents from my personal life. When everyone was done with their introductions we had the following data: Planning and executing an event is exhaustive, sometimes it is much better to plan and execute individually to have better control, sometimes you feel as if you are tilted backwards almost to the point of falling before things actually happen, planning with other makes everything inefficient, in personal life we are probably planning 24/7, sometimes things are actually forgotten when we collaborate, there are time when you allow life to take over – it works perfectly fine and there is more fun.
As we discussed we realized that we bring these thoughts with us into our teams and tend to draw parallel to our personal lives. Once we made the connection, understanding the essence and value of an iteration planning was easy. No one dozed off, but left for home in high spirits.