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An Agile Team's Weekly Schedule

by chris sims on Jun 01, 2009 |

It's 9:35 AM; do you know where your agile team is? If they are using William Pietri's example schedule, they are in the middle of their stand-up meeting, unless it's Monday, in which case they are doing iteration planning & kickoff. William's sample schedule is understandable and practical, and sparked discussion that explored subtitles in scheduling for agile teams.

Here's the example schedule:

When What Who
Monday, 9-10a Iteration planning & kickoff All team members
Tuesday-Friday, 9:30-9:40a Stand-up meeting All team members
Tuesday, 2-4p Product stakeholder meeting Product managers, external stakeholders
Wednesday, 10a-12p Product planning Product managers
Wednesday 4-5:30p Estimation All team members
Friday, 4-4:30p Product demo All team members, external stakeholders
Friday 4:30p-5:30p Process retrospective All team members

Steve Bockman and William went on to discuss the value in holding an estimating session about midway through the current iteration. The estimation that will take place is for future iterations, not the current one. One of the advantages to this approach is that most estimation work is done before the iteration planning meeting, helping to move that one along. Additionally, it gives the product managers time to incorporate the estimates into their planning and prioritization work, before meeting with the team to plan the upcoming iteration.

George Dinwiddie suggested sliding the schedule such that the iteration starts sometime other than Monday morning. William shared that he is currently working with a team that ends the iteration on Wednesday at 10:00 AM, and kicks off the new iteration after lunch.

What does your iteration schedule look like? Are there additional meetings? Fewer? Where do the boundaries between iterations fall? Leave a comment and share.

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Start of day by Michael Krumlauf

By looking at the example schedule I am assuming we are talking about the day starting at 9:00am. Most of my team begins their day by 8:00am or before, so by 5:30pm many are on their way home.

Adjust as necessary by William Pietri

Yep! As I mentioned in the original article, this is just a sample. If you use it without adjusting it to local conditions, you have already failed. :-)

Get a Real Job by Andrew Hamilton

Another example of the pathetic busywork that managers (project and otherwise) occupy themselves with. Agile and its related schemes represent needless complication of the simple and common sense - through the usual misdirection of jargon, acronyms, and appropriation of some of the terms used in spheres of actual productive work ('feature injection' indeed!) Perhaps it represents an effort to fool yourselves and others that you are doing something that a semi-trained intern could not. My advice: Try producing something tangible, for once. You'll see not only how tough real work is, but how satisfying, when it works out right.

Re: Adjust as necessary by Jochen Witte

Look at us, we're starting 9:30 and at 10:00 we start open up our eyes. 10:30h is stand-up meeting. I like my "local conditions" ;)

Re: Get a Real Job by William Pietri

Hi, Andrew. I take it you've had some bad experience that leads you to say that?

There's no denying that bad managers use Agile terms to sound impressive and make trouble for others. I'm pretty sure, though, they were doing that long before the Agile movement arose, and long after something else becomes the hot topic. I try to fight it where I can, but it's a big world.

As to making things, the teams I coach ship software to real people regularly, on average once a week. That seems like real work to us, and it seems like real value to the people who use the software. That's pretty satisfying for all concerned.

too short by Andrej Ruckij

i vote for longer sprints. in most cases there will be too much communication overhead, give people more room for uninterrupted work.

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