Being a scrum master, I often worry if velocity looms too large for me. From project forecasting to sprint planning to team retrospectives, velocity metrics are up in my grill more than bratwurst at a Green Bay Packers tailgate. Even from a “book learnin’” standpoint, velocity is front and center: “The Scrum Master is accountable for the Velocity … of the Team.” That big V Velocity is really intimidating! But does velocity warrant such verbal (and mental) emphasis?
If you’ve suddenly found yourself working remotely due to COVID-19 precautions, how do you handle all the normal day-to-day things like meetings, tracking tasks, and basic communication? Team norms don’t need to be complicated just because everyone’s remote. Being a fully distributed company ourselves, we have learned a lot over the years that helps us keep our teams running smoothly.
Working from home can be an amazingly fulfilling career experience. Likewise, a trip to your local Chinese food buffet can be a culinary delight. But both can also be abjectly horrible. Here are my recommendations for successful remote work without the debilitating pains of post-dumpling bloat.
Just like how hours work globally because we all take our cues from the World Clock, teams need to base their decisions using the same benchmarks to unlock the true value of story points and team velocity. This can be accomplished by using reference stories.