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Handling Scope creep in the Sprint

#2 | Monday, November 30, 2020, 13:07:28 | Comments: 0

Handling Scope creep in the Sprint

Scope creep is a remnant of the waterfall model of thinking, wherein software development is driven by a process, sticking to the SRS documentation,  as per scope defined in the contract and moving according to a stated plan. So scope creep cannot be handled in Sprints. Yes, we are agile and we welcome change even at the last moment. We just need to understand if this new requirement is worth changing the previous plan and formulating a new plan. Or is it better to stick to the current plan and make the next plan incorporating the new insights?

Lots of things to consider

  • Is there a time-critical to it? If GDPR is approaching and your product handles customer data it needs to be done before the law kicks in.
  • Is there a severity criticality to it? If your payments integration is charging double the amount, we first need to get that sorted out.  Before more and more customers start clamoring for refunds.
  • Is there a time dimension involved? We had promised a feature to customer last month and somehow it's still in the backlog. Especially in a B2B scenario, it would be important to adhere to dates because the customer would have lined up other business activities like marketing based on the previously agreed-upon dates.
  • How important is the new requirement for our use case? Maybe we are Facebook and we need to stop all else that we are doing and just do social networking.  If it is a product defining/redefining/business pivot decision from which the new requirement is driven, it makes sense to course-correct immediately.
  • What are the business benefits of doing it immediately? What will I need to postpone doing if I do this immediately? What is the business impact of that postponement? Do the business benefits of doing the change immediately vs what we lose by postponement work out in our favor?
  • Is the feature in the new requirement a must-have for our product that we missed? Are we working on some nice-to-haves that we can look into later? Is the new requirement a mind-boggling feature that we should prioritize over nice-to-haves?
  • Is it even possible to be picked in this Sprint? Does the new requirement need a lengthy setup that it will take beyond this Sprint?

I am also wary of adding members to the development team to get more work done. We literally treat our developers like cattle "Hurr, Hutt". As if they have no thoughts, no freedom. We just "hurr, Hutt" them as it pleases. It just doesn't work. A new joiner will take time to assimilate into the team. He/She will need time to understand the product architecture. By the time all that happens, the Sprint will be over. No logic at all. We treat software development as if it's similar adding one more person to man the call center to handle a spike of incoming calls. But software development is fundamentally different . Agile coach interview questions

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