Scrum Tools

Small utilities for making Scrumming more Agile 

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Sprint Planning and Task Card Generation Tool

This excel workbook is a tool for planning a sprint, and then printing out physical task cards for the planned sprint tasks.  The planning calculates a maximum capacity for the sprint based on its duration and the velocity of the previous sprint.  In addition to task cards, a burndown chart for the sprint can also be printed out, as well as labels that can be used to organize the tasks on a wall.

Note that the task cards and burndown chart are meant to be put on the project management whiteboard and updated manually during the sprint, so the excel is only needed at the planning stage normally.

The excel includes a sheet with usage instructions, and relevant fields have tooltips. 

The workbook doesn't include any macros, and should probably be importable to Open Office too. 

 

Latest Version


Old versions


Changelog

  • Version 3.4 - 2008-2-15
    • Renamed In Progress to Started, and changed the advice to keep all tasks under progress and waiting for work in the Started column.  Also added mention of a Tasks Left column. 
  • Version 3.2 - 2008-1-16
    • Removed task size tracking, instead each task is just counted as one.  This means that tasks should be subdivided so that they are all roughly the same size.  This simplifies the daily tracking as well as the sprint planning process.
    • Made the different phases / subtasks of a task configurable, so now you can use more appropriate subtasks.
    • Added a number of 'Days Open' checkboxes to each subtask on a Task Card, allowing detection of tasks that get stalled.
    • Labels for user stories and other project management whiteboard captions now speeds up the task of setting up a project management whiteboard with a professional look.
  • Version 2.0
    • First public version.

 

Estimation Poker Cards 

A suite of estimation cards as a colored, two-sided PowerPoint document:

EstimationPokerCards.ppt  (30 kb)

The cards are the traditional fibbonacci sequence used in estimation poker: 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, and "Big!" (a card used to indicate that the task / story is too large to estimate, and should be split into smaller tasks). The cards are 'psycologically' color coded - small tasks are bluish, medium sized tasks greenish, and large tasks redish.

All the eight card types are on one sheet, with a card background on the opposing side (so print two-sided). Print out as many copies of the document as you have people participating in the estimation, and cut the cards from the sheets (preferably all sheets at once).

 

What is Estimation Poker? 

Estimation poker can be used to estimate the (relative) size of features in the Product Backlog, or the Ideal Engineering Hours for implementing Sprint Backlog tasks (in this case, the card 21 is usually discarded from the pack, as that is a too long time for a sprint backlog task).

Estimation is done so that someone presents the feature / task, and the team members each select a card and then together show the cards. If there is a rough consensus of the estimate (one or two card values difference), then the rounded up average is selected as the task duration. If there are larger differences in the estimates, the persons showing the largest and smallest cards each explain their estimate. At this point it is usually discovered that the persons had different ideas of what the feature or task included. After the (short) explanations, the task/feature is estimated again in the same way.

Estimation poker speeds up the estimation process by removing too detailed discussions about the exact duration of the task (by providing a set of fixed estimations), and a way for everybody to communicate their estimates clearly and at the same time.