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Delivering Sprints on Time: Developing Efficient Communication

 
 

Once we understand the kind of challenges that affect a project team on a day to day basis, we also understand that these challenges are responsible for delaying the productivity of the team and can eventually result in a missed goal or deadline. We can deal with a lot of this uncertainty using buffer in our estimates. However, even if this is done the team will not necessarily have maximised their time and could end up in the same position even after buffer is added. On many occasions, lack of timely and clear communication can be the hidden reason for project failure. I have often witnessed situations where, for example:

 

 

 

1.Day 1. the QA members of the team raise a defect with a third party via email
2.Day 2. the third party does not reply and is not chased
3.Day 3. the scrum master is informed this is an impediment
4.Day 3. the scrum master chases for a reply and is told it will be looked into
5.Day 4. the problem is solved (with one day before the end of the sprint)

 

 

 

I see this pattern more often in technical projects where many people are used to email conversation as the main method of communication. This could have been solved far more quickly if the following had happened:

 

 

 
6.Day 1. the QA members of the team raise a defect with a third party via email, copying the scrum master
7.Day 1. the third-party does not reply and is chased by phone after half a day.
8.Day 1. the third party agrees to look into the issue the following day
9.Day 2. the problem is solved (even without the scrum master’s input) with 3 days of the sprint remaining

 

 

 

The key difference is the effort from a team member and use of a different form of communication. This saved the scrum master getting involved and got an early resolution to the problem. Therefore I would advise that all modes of communication are used within and between teams. These usually include:

 

 

 

1.face to face (the best form if possible)
2.telephone
3.instant messaging
4.email

 

 

 

I recommend that the more urgent the problem, the more likely a team should use one of the modes of communication at the top of the list. This may seem like common sense, but you would be surprised at the amount of teams who wait for their scrum master or communicate important messages via email.

 

 

 

Miscommunication is also a key reason for missing project deadlines. For example, the team may have misread some acceptance criteria for the product, causing bugs to be raised. This can take them down the wrong path and create unnecessary delays. A simple conversation with the product owner before and after beginning each story will likely resolve these type of issues.

 

 

 

for an in depth detailed explanation see: How to Meet a Project Deadline with Scrum In 7 simple steps For the Business, Agile Project Manager, Scrum Master, Product Owner, and Development Team

for a COMPLETE OVERVIEW OF SCRUM see this cost effective MEGA EBOOK: Scrum, (Mega Pack), For the Agile Scrum Master, Product Owner, Stakeholder and Development Team

 

 
 

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