Illegitimus Non Interruptus
... the tragedy of the commons is a dilemma arising from the situation in which multiple individuals, acting independently and rationally consulting their own self-interest, will ultimately deplete a shared limited resource even when it is clear that it is not in anyone's long-term interest for this to happen. This dilemma was first described in an influential article titled "The Tragedy of the Commons", written by Garrett Hardin and first published in the journal Science in 1968. — Wikipedia
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Scrum teams are often interrupted during a Sprint by changing priorities or problems in the field. Sales and marketing demands, combined with management interference, can cause chronic dysfunction in a team, repeated failure of Sprints, failure to meet release dates, and even company failure.
The Scrum Team is a critical resource for creating new software and maintaining old software. This makes them a central resource for debugging problems, technical communications with customers, marketing demos, and special projects to serve the needs of everyone in the company. See Work Flows Inward.
In almost all cases, it is desirable to have the Scrum Team “eat their own dog food.” If they produce a defect that gets into the field they need to fix it as soon as possible. Setting up special maintenance teams to fix bugs incentivizes the Scrum Team to produce sloppy code with more bugs.
For these, and many other reasons, a Scrum Team is always exposed to interrupts that disrupt production.
Explicitly allot time for interrupts and do not allow the time to be exceeded.
Set up three simple rules that will cause the company to self-organize to avoid disrupting production.
The Product Owner balances the buffer size to balance short term customer satisfaction with future revenue generation. Often, a Product Owner has third party metrics on customer satisfaction that he can adjust up or down with buffer size.
This strategy is independent of the focus on fixing all bugs that arise in the Sprint from backlog items worked on during the Sprint. It is also independent of bugs assigned to a Sprint by the Product Owner as part of Sprint planning to reduce technical debt. Low defect tolerance increases velocity in general, but exceeding the buffer typically generates at least a 50% reduction in velocity. Common sense must be used to balance these forces. See Whack the Mole.
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Even better, the buffer will tend to never be full, allowing the team to finish early and pull forward from the backlog and/or work on removing impediments. This is important because Teams that Finish Early Accelerate Faster.
Counter-intuitively, this does not cause critical problems to be hidden or unresolved, The Product Owner will put any critical items on the Product Backlog. The team will typically double velocity and get twice as much done in future Sprints. This typically allows more than enough time to address critical items and often have spare capacity.
Picture from: Sharon Loxton, June 2006, Geograph.co.uk (under CC BY-SA 2.0 license)