Thursday, September 15, 2011

InfoQ: Limiting Work in Progress and Scrum

InfoQ: Limiting Work in Progress and Scrum: Limiting Work In Progress works in the same way that Scrum does. You see Scrum doesn't really solve any problems for you and neither does limiting Work In Progress, it just exposes the problem for what it really is which makes it easier to solve. If it's a business area problem, then it's easy to show and prove to the business making the solution easier. If it's a tendency of the team to juggle the entire sprint backlog, then bring in a WIP limit and measuring over a couple sprints might be enough to prove to them the virtues of this new idea.
If your Scrum team can't solve a problem on it's own, then they come to you (the Scrum Master). It's your job to hunt down whoever can unblock the team as quickly as possible and solve that problem. What will your developers do while you're on your manhunt? Partnering up on a single programming task would work great, maybe having a WIP limit of 8 for a team of 7 or a WIP limit of two for each single developer. Use your sprints to experiment here if it seems like something you want to implement.
Just remember to wear comfortable shoes since you'll be walking a bit more than normal for at least a little while.

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