A lightweight implementation of Agile

The Sprint

With all the known User Stories firmly in the backlog, it's time to get to work. The Sprint in lia is a fixed timebox of 1 week in which the most important tasks are taken from the backlog and worked on. While the priority is decided upon by the ordering of the backlog, the actual amount of work is at the discretion of the team. They only take on as much work as they can commit to during the one week duration. This serves two purposes: having a shorter feedback loop and therefore a higher chance of hitting the deadlines (the target is usually 95+% accuracy) as well as having the team more invested in the work they are doing, allowing them to take responsibility for their own performance.

Before the Sprint starts, the team checks whether they completely understand the User Stories and have no further questions. The goal is to completely finish all User Stories that get worked on during the Sprint - to that end, if the User Story is too big to fit the time window, the team suggests a smart way to split it up over two or more Sprints, while still being able to show their progress to the stakeholders. As a comparison, building a cupboard could be split into building the body one week, and the doors and boards the second. The clients can check that the body indeed confirms to their expectations and if necessary adjust for new discoveries.

The basic visualisation of a sprint uses a task board with the columns TODO, DOING and DONE. The User Stories move across it by way of the pull principle - everybody who is not currently working on an unfinished story assigns themselves work to do, pulling from the TODO column in the order of the priority. The sprint starts and ends with the lia meeting.