Back to List

Taking on Too Much Work in a Sprint (Agile Transformation Pain Point #13)

Rachael Wilterdink Rachael Wilterdink  |  
Dec 06, 2018
Some teams are super ambitious, and they just think they can climb a whole mountain in a single Sprint, but the whole goal with agile is to maintain a sustainable pace.

Take on only what you really think you can get done within your Sprint. Don't overestimate your velocity, and don't look at your history and rest on your laurels. Look at what you have available for your capacity, your skills as a team, and be realistic. Just keep it real.
taking on too much work

Carrying over work is demoralizing

What really helps a lot of teams is to focus on meeting their Sprint goals. I can't tell you how demoralizing it is for a team to take on a pile of work, and then to not be able to complete more than 50% and to have to carry that over into the next Sprint…and then carry it over again and again. You don’t want the team to experience this because they're going to feel like failures.

Be realistic

You want to make sure you pick enough things you think you can realistically get done, and then get them done. If you have time left over, there's nothing to stop you from looking ahead and asking the Product Owner if there's something else that's ready that you can pull in to your current Sprint (so long as you can get it done within that Sprint). Keep it real and keep it sustainable. You don't want people working crazy hours to try to get stuff done. That is really something you want to avoid, if possible.

Get the free eBook

This is the thirteenth of 20 blogs on 20 Agile Transformation Pain Points (and how to avoid or manage them). To read them all right now, download our free eBook.
agile transformation pain points ebook


Love our Blogs?

Sign up to get notified of new Skyline posts.


Related Content

Blog Article
Top 4 Reasons to Attend WI BADD 2019
Shannon PagelsShannon Pagels  |  
Mar 21, 2019
WI BADD® (pronounced ”we bad”) is the annual Wisconsin Business Analyst Development Day held every May in Madison, Wisconsin (This year’s event will be held on May 15-16.) We are excited to again be sponsors and speakers at this event. Keep reading to learn more about the...
Blog Article
6 Hybrid Business Analyst Combinations
Rachael WilterdinkRachael Wilterdink  |  
Feb 19, 2019
There's been a lot of talk lately (and a lot of requests from our clients) for flexible hybrid roles. Our clients are looking for flexible people who can take on a variety of work to bring a project to fruition.   Here, I'm going to explore some of the more common combination roles...
Blog Article
Skipping Inspection and Adaptation (Agile Transformation Pain Point #20)
Rachael WilterdinkRachael Wilterdink  |  
Jan 31, 2019
Inspecting and adapting is one of the key parts of agile and Scrum. But over time, teams start to feel bored as if every session is the same.   If it does become boring, make sure you switch it up to keep it fresh. The Fun Retrospectives website has lots of ideas. Don’t skip this...
Blog Article
Distributed Global Challenges (Agile Transformation Pain Point #19)
Rachael WilterdinkRachael Wilterdink  |  
Jan 24, 2019
So far, I've been primarily discussing co-located teams, which is ideally better. However, this is the real world, and it's a global economy – most people don't have the luxury of being co-located.   If you have a team with dispersed team members, set up your working...
Blog Article
Accruing Technical Debt (Agile Transformation Pain Point #18)
Rachael WilterdinkRachael Wilterdink  |  
Jan 17, 2019
Everyone who works in technology probably knows that you already have a big pile of technical debt. The problem is that you are going to have to eventually pay that bill, and some of it is risky.     Dig out a little every Sprint You really need to be careful about technical...