Purpose of this board

This board is used to help decide if a team should be using sprints or one-day timeboxing (Flow, Lean).

More on Timeboxing, flow and cadence can be found here.

This board is available to participants in most of Success Engineering’s Learning Journeys.

Reasons to use sprints.

  1. Are people more familiar with Scrum than Kanban Using something people are already familiar with is often a good idea.
  2. Would using sprints be an easier transition for the team. Look to see if timeboxing is closer to what the team is doing now?
  3. Can the team look ahead a week or so on what needs to be built. If you can plan ahead that can often provide a focus for the team. 
  4. Do releases typically take more than one iteration. If releases usually take more than one iteration, then having a short-term focus can be helpful.
  5. Will sprints make it easier to focus. If it does, use it.
  6. Do we need to integrate with other teams at a set time and we’re not doing CI/CD? While you can coordinate with flow, timeboxing provides set dates for integration. This is not as important when doing CI/CD.
  7. Are customers available for feedback only at set times? If you can only get feedback from customers at the end of the timebox, timeboxing can provide clearer goals on when to be done.

Timeboxing anti-pattern.

Some Scrum proponents claim timeboxing is easier to start with. This is not inherently true and is often only because those saying it don’t know flow well and therefore can’t introduce it smoothly.

Reasons to use flow

  1. Are you building a new product and using MVPs? If you’re using MVPs it’s important to not plan ahead beyond the MVP. Doing so will mean you waste time on the work you analyzed but are now not going to do. 
  2. Are you doing more than 20% maintenance work? Heavy maintenance work makes it hard to see what the team is going to have to work on in the near term.
  3. Is planning new work difficult? You may not be able to look ahead very far.
  4. Are you continuously being interrupted by other teams? If you’re a team that gets interrupted a lot, for example shared services, planning may be a waste of time. Of course, you can allocate a certain percentage of your time to the plan and limit your plans for that.
  5. Is your team willing to be more disciplined to get the benefit of a flow approach? Flow takes a little more discipline. You team must be willing to work that way.
  6. Are stakeholders/customers available for feedback on a continual basis? If stakeholders and customers are available on a continual basis then it behooves your team to take advantage of that.

Flow anti-pattern

Flow can be problematic if the team can use timeboxing to coordinate more easily. 

From a mechanistic point of view flow typically gives better results. The reason is that with a f

A picture of the Amplio Timeboxing or Flow Board

You can see a video of how to use this board here.

You can learn about other Amplio collaboration boards provided by Success Mentors here

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