Tornadee

Thinking back, the concept was a little trippy. There was this cartoon about a couple of tornadoes: a mama tornado and a baby tornado. The baby tornado is a little messy, yet definitely not as destructive as the mama tornado, and some cartoon character isn’t so appreciative of the little one’s Midas touch, so he tries to capture and put an end to the baby tornado. Luckily, the mama tornado swoops in at the nick of time and ‘saves the day’. My brother and I would call that baby tornado a “tornadee”. (The actual cartoon differs slightly from my recollection.)

When a team is created, there is a usual progression of development that moves from forming, to storming, to norming, and finally to performing.

Regarding my ScrumOfOne team… of one… I’ve already formed. (I’ve met myself. I’ve shaken my own hand. I did the trust fall exercise. It was embarrassing.) Before I get to performing, where I’m reliably completing ScrumOfOne stories with a sustainable and improving velocity, which is after I get to norming, where I’m completing ScrumOfOne stories with some consistency and smoothness in ‘working mode’ (living mode?), I would have to get through storming. This is where the different aspects and members of #TeamMerrill are still figuring out how to play well with one another, so beyond sounding schizophrenic, it can look a little messy.

Thus, lately, I’ve been a tornadee. (It’s a stretch, I know.)

Standard Scrum practice says to get through three Sprints before determining an average velocity one can work with, particularly for planning scope per release. Until velocity stabilizes (things are smooth), I think it’s fair to say the team is storming (things are rocky); a low-varying velocity is indicative of a well-oiled machine of a team.

As I enter Sprint #3 of restarting ScrumOfOne (Sprint 143), man am I seeing how I am not yet sustainably developing. And this is fine. I’ll get there. Sprint 142 had a velocity of 45 points, which is more than Sprint 141′s 37 points, but I’m still not getting all of my committed Sprint Backlog complete, which means a lot of my story points are coming from emergent stories. This is something I’ve been blogging about for the past two posts, which, besides being a fun brain dump, is most likely a subconscious suggestion to do something about it.

The Kaizen Story for Sprint 143 is thus to monitor which stories get implemented that are emergent and not related to my Sprint Goal. I’m setting up a relevant buffer of 13 points, which is about a third of my Sprint Backlog. This should help me get to norming then performing. I’m kinda doing being a tornadee. It’s 2014 already.