Going back to the old sprint procedure

A few months ago, we decided to start using waffle.io for our Test Pilot triages. We also decided to try out a “rolling sprint” concept, where we had a column in the waffle that was always full of items that were ready to work on, and we did less sprint planning at the beginning of our sprints in favor of devs just pulling stuff from the ready column whenever they needed to. Unfortunately, at the time we had more than 100 issues in the ready column, so it was difficult to decide how to prioritize.

We then decided to create a new column, “On Deck”, which would be a more carefully pruned “Ready” column. This is because we didn’t just want to toss over 100 items into the backlog without looking at them.

At the time, most of the Test Pilot devs were working on experiments. I was the only one working on Test Pilot itself. The new procedure worked well enough at the time. However, we now have more Test Pilot devs working on Test Pilot itself again, the Backlog column is down to 23, and the Ready column is down to 52. The lack of a sprint planning meeting at the beginning of a sprint means the devs aren’t really well informed about what should get done in the sprint, and most of the issues in the “On Deck” column just end up lingering around forever.

I’d like to propose that we go back to the old style, where we have a sprint planning meeting at the beginning of the sprint and try to close all the items we moved into the sprint by the end of the sprint. We’ll still use waffle for triage and to get an overview of what’s happening.

Also, I’d like to remove the “On Deck” column. I propose:

  • Moving everything from “Ready” into “Backlog” (creating 75 backlog issues)
  • Moving everything from “On Deck” into “Ready”
  • In the sprint planning meeting, moving things from “Backlog” into “Ready” instead of from “Ready” into “On Deck”
  • Committing to trying to get the “Ready” column down to 0 by the end of the sprint

If you have any comments or suggestions, please share them!