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We have recently adopted (or are trying) to adopt managing our projects in an Agile manner. During our first sprint I asked our Scrum master (who also happens to be our primary resident Agile go-to person) if it was possible to see the progress of our sprint so we could identify if we were on schedule or not (an possible risk). They turned around and said you don't do that at a sprint level?

I'm really new to agile but I thought it would be very beneficial to know if a sprint is on target or not. However perhaps this is too hard to do at this stage? If so, are there any suggestions/methods on how you could identify if a sprint is at risk?

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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about project management; not programming. – Jim G. Nov 26 '13 at 20:59
  • When you say "during" a sprint, you want to know for example if the sprint is half over have you completed have of the story points? – JeffO Nov 26 '13 at 21:09
  • @JeffO Yes, I guess I'm looking to be able to possibly identify early if the sprint is on track to finish all it's stories or if there is a potential risk. I realise that's not 100% accurate but just looking for visibility I guess? – dreza Nov 26 '13 at 22:34
  • @JimG. But I'm asking it from a programming project perspective? Where else could I ask this kind of question? – dreza Nov 26 '13 at 22:35
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The most common means of tracking a sprint is to use a Burn-down Chart. Basically you total up all your estimated tasks that you've committed to for the sprint. As you complete each task, you subtract the estimated points and plot the new point. The goal is to have zero points left at the end of the sprint.

image from wikipedia article

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It's more of a Kanban thing, but I've seen Scrum shops that keep a board with story cards that are moved from "Backlog" to "This Sprint" to "In Progress" to "Done." Sometimes the cards display point values. You could look at the relative number of points in those latter three columns to get a sense of how much is getting done so far.

  • Is there a concept of totals on a Kanban board? What happens if you have 20 stories in a sprint but of varying story levels. The number of stories moved might give false impressions of progress? – dreza Nov 26 '13 at 21:21
  • Right, that's why you look at the point values too. Maybe make the larger stories physically bigger? The idea is to do what works for you in conveying that information. And this board concept doesn't mean you're really doing Kanban--it just means you're borrowing one of the artifacts because it's helpful to you. – catfood Nov 26 '13 at 21:48
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Yes, we track progress and most likely it will be monitored by the project managers.

Tracking can be done either at the story level or possibly at the task level, although I would recommend the story level first. If a story is behind then possibly look at status of the tasks. (Go and talk to the developer)

A typical story flow would be defined, in progress, completed, accepted, and potentially sign off. Depends on your work flow. Flows can be visualized by a Kanban board.

I didn't include the back log as those stories would be planned or defined for future sprints, so although we are keeping track of the back log, its not necessary for sprint tracking.

As at @catfood stated, a Kanban board is very useful here for tracking purposes so anyone can walk into your co-location and instantly see how the sprint is doing. If stories are falling behind and their is risk of hangover, the board will show it.

The Kanban board is not a substitute for daily stand ups which should alert the team to potential issues and blockages that could potentially cause stories to be hung over.

  • How does a story fall behind in the middle of a sprint? – JeffO Nov 26 '13 at 21:03
  • @JeffO If a story is estimated at 2 points but so far I've taken 3 would that mean it's fallen behind? – dreza Nov 26 '13 at 21:21
  • @JeffO - Stories can fall behind for any numbers of reasons. Maybe the story had a flaw it in requirements, developer delivered buggy code, or maybe the developer missed some days from being sick. Hopefully, these will be minimized, but we can't garantee every story defined in the sprint will be delivered at the end of it. – Jon Raynor Nov 26 '13 at 22:17
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The team will be achieve some story points in one sprint. These story points approximately define how many backlog item team can succesfully done in one sprint. I think the best way is aggregate these story points from many sprint results. So, if the team has knew your maximum story points, there is not support take more story points(task) in one sprint.

For checking team in during sprint there are exist many SCRUM tool. We are using versionone, but I think simple taskboard is enough for start team.

There are exist many charts to show how it's formed your or team work. For example the Release Burndown Chart chart show the sprints and story points.

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