Keep calm and carry on

“I’ve had a talk with the Product Owner, and he’s decided to let you guys have an extra week to finish the work for this Sprint”, my Project Manager said on Friday afternoon.

The horror! The horror!

My team and I did not manage to complete all the work that we’d committed to in the Sprint.  In the interests of open communication, I informed my project manager that there would be a few carry-over items.  The next thing I knew I was being told that we would get a Bonus Week in our two-week Sprint so that we could complete the functionality.

It’s when the crunch is on and there’s pressure to meet a deadline that we need our Process most. It is there to protect us from doing Dumb Things. We need to write tests, we need the continuous build to pass, we need our two- week Sprints.  That’s what makes us successful.

However, it’s during these same frantic periods when it seems reasonable to break process. It’s justifiable, they say. We can circle back and mop it up later. But the shortcuts make it into production and cost us in support time, triage, and bug fixing, and they make us gun shy when it comes time to release again.

I’m upset with myself for not pushing back - I should have refused to extend the Sprint. I know this Bonus Week will come back to haunt us, and the context will be lost when it comes time to explain what transpired.

Defend your process in times of pressure.