Dynamics CRM 2011 –Sprints: Nearing the end

Jaime Smith, 04 April 2012

Dynamics CRM 2011 Sprints Nearing the end*

It is about time I wrote another update and what better timing than at the completion of our sprints for this project….but wait…..the finish line has moved!

Time for some reflection…

Scope Creep

I mentioned last time that I was hoping the project wouldn’t see too much scope creep, what I now know is requirements are continuously been identified and as such it is important to have a product backlog.  However, in reality, the result for us is that we have had to accommodate additional scope been squeezed into the last two sprints. Furthermore at the 9th hour an additional sprint has been agreed upon in order to fit in requirements that were missed or not fully realised within the analysis phase of the project.

We have had the ability to assess each additional requirement taking into account Business criticality and vendor (us) resource availability.  In order to accommodate our clients’ needs we have provided some flexibility in regards to working hours and in some instances have pulled out the stops and undertaken weekend work to get the job done. 

It is not my ideal scenario, however at times, as a business we need to be able to weigh up the costs and benefits of any project and for us; this particular project may open other doors in the future.

Daily Scrum

One of the great benefits of scrum methodology is the daily meeting of team members, providing the space to identify achievements, tasks and roadblocks/limitations.  This element has been vital to this project; our daily scrum was made up of members of our team and the clients’ team.  Given our geographical distance, having this time set aside each day meant that we were able to acknowledge and address concerns as they arose.  It may also have mitigated additional slippage that can occur when people are attempting communication but get delayed for whatever reason.  These meetings kept the project relatively on track and ensured that everyone was continually working towards the same goal.

Overall Reflection

Although this project is not fully completed and I do not want to speak too soon I do believe that this experience has provided some great lessons for me and my team.  While we know that when push comes to shove we can deliver the work and deliver quality, I do not think that we would willingly advise other clients to go for back-to-back sprints.  It is important at the start to ensure that enough time and resource has been allocated to the analysis phase of a project, the greater level of detail you can achieve at this end the less likely you will be challenged with scope creep during development and ultimately that is where the added pressure and cost arises.

*Image from http://www.claybennett.com/images/archivetoons/finish_line.jpg