Sprints are a great way to manage work and prioritize tasks. But what happens when an unplanned item comes up? How do you deal with it? In this article, we’ll explore how to manage unplanned work in a Sprint and make sure everyone on your team is working toward the same goals. Unplanned work is a part of life as a product manager. You may have realized it in your own projects, or you might be experiencing it now with your current project.
1. You’ve got to take time to figure out what the work is:
When you are new to an Agile team, it can be hard to know what your team is doing. When we started working on our first project, we didn’t know anyone else’s process or methods so we had no idea what they were doing. It was easy for us to get frustrated when things didn’t go according to plan because we had no idea how long this process would take or what exactly the next steps should be.
But even though we weren’t familiar with the way that other teams worked, there were still ways for us as individuals within our own company and within other organizations who hired us (or acquired us) from another company:
- You need to understand the problem before you can solve it – This means reading documentation so that you know where people are coming from when they describe their problems; learning about existing solutions by talking with stakeholders outside of IT; finding out how these solutions fit into larger contexts like business goals or regulatory compliance issues; etc., until finally getting down into specifics such as requirements specifications written by end users themselves!
2. Don’t let your team get burned out:
As a Scrum Master, it’s your job to ensure that your team doesn’t get burned out. You need to make sure that there is enough time in the Sprint for everyone to accomplish their work without feeling overwhelmed or overloaded. Here are some things you can do:
- Don’t let the team get distracted by other work during a Sprint Review meeting. If someone needs help with another task related to this Sprint, they should say so and ask if they can take care of it while they’re attending Scrum Development Backlog Grooming (SDBG) instead of adding more tasks onto their plate at once. This will help keep them focused on what’s most important–the product!
3. Make sure your work is prioritized:
In a sprint, prioritization is important because it ensures that the most important work is done first.There are many different ways to prioritize your backlog: you can use the order in which you want each item completed, or you can look at how much time it takes to complete an item based on its size and complexity. Either way, prioritizing will help ensure that nothing gets left behind as you move forward with your sprint.
4. Be realistic about how much you can get done in the Sprint:
As a Scrum Master, you’ll often be asked to help prioritize work during a Sprint. This can be useful for your team when planning their next milestone and for the Product Owner in making sure that the right things are being done.
When it comes to prioritizing tasks or features that need attention, there’s no better tool than your own intuition. You know what needs to happen first–and if you’re feeling confident that something is coming along quickly enough relative to other items on the list (or even just your skillset), go with it! Just remember: don’t worry about getting everything done; focus on making progress toward the most important goals first.
5. Be clear about what’s important and what isn’t:
When you’re managing unplanned work, it’s important to be clear about what’s important and what isn’t. If a task isn’t essential, then don’t do it! You’ll waste time if you don’t communicate with your team about which tasks are essential, and how long they should take.
When prioritizing work during a Sprint, ask yourself: “What is the most valuable outcome for my team?” If an activity is not related directly with this outcome in any way (or if there is no value at all), then set aside that task until later in the Sprint when necessary information becomes available or when another priority emerges that requires its completion first
6. An unplanned item in a sprint can be managed effectively if you take some extra time to assess the risks and then communicate a plan that everyone understands:
An unplanned item in a sprint can be managed effectively if you take some extra time to assess the risks and then communicate a plan that everyone understands.
If you are new to Scrum, it might seem like an obvious thing to do, but there are many different ways of managing unplanned work. The best way is by using the Product Owner’s Guide for Unplanned Items (the “UGU”) guide from Scrum Alliance, which outlines best practices for handling unplanned work in Sprints or iterations. You should follow these steps during every Sprint review meeting.
- Identify potential risks for each item so that everyone is aware of them before they actually occur.
- Determine how much effort will be required if an issue occurs.
- Communicate clearly with your team members about what they need to do next time they encounter issues related with this item.
The following is a list of strategies for managing unplanned work in a sprint. These are not meant to be exhaustive, but rather a starting point.
1. Identifying the unplanned work
Identifying the unplanned work is important, but it’s also a process. In fact, identifying and prioritizing your unplanned tasks is one of the most important steps in managing sprints effectively. Identifying unplanned work can be done in several ways:
- You might realize that there is some unanticipated work after you’ve started working on your sprint goals for each day of the week. This happens when you’re evaluating how much time was spent on different projects or tasks during the previous week and realizing that some items didn’t get enough attention because they were not assigned to anyone at all (or maybe even assigned but never finished).
- Or maybe someone came up with an idea for another project while working on yours–and now they have extra time available because their original plan was changed by yours! This happens more often than we’d like because most people don’t think about this happening until after their sprint ends; however, once it does happen…
2. Prioritizing the unplanned work
There are several ways to prioritize unplanned work. The first is based on its impact on your product and how much capacity you have for it. For example, if a feature has been requested by users but hasn’t been completed yet, it can be prioritized higher than one that was planned in advance because it will affect customers’ experience more significantly.
The second way would be based on how much time each team member has available as well as their skill sets and any other constraints they may face (e.g., project manager’s day job). This helps ensure that no one member of your team becomes overloaded while they complete tasks related to unplanned projects; instead they’re able to focus solely on their own tasks during sprint planning so others can take over when needed!
The third method involves assessing whether there are enough resources within your organization who could complete this task themselves without needing assistance from others involved with delivering software updates/fixes; if so then this should take precedence over other types until such time when assistance is necessary but not necessarily immediately after being called upon…
3. Delegating unplanned work to someone else in your team
If you have an opportunity to delegate work that wasn’t planned, consider doing so. This will allow the person assigned to complete the task as quickly and efficiently as possible while still maintaining quality standards and deadlines.
As soon as someone submits a request for additional time or resources (or even if it’s just an idea), try not to say “no.” Instead, ask yourself: “How can I help?” If there are other ways you could contribute without taking on extra responsibilities, try suggesting them instead of simply declining outright.
Once a request has been made by one member of your team, it’s important that everyone else know about this issue so they can help address it if necessary–and also so everyone knows what else is going on at any given time!
If you’ve been asked to take on more work than usual, try not to say “no.” Instead, ask yourself: “How can I help?” If there are other ways you could contribute without taking on extra responsibilities, try suggesting them instead of simply declining outright. Once a request has been made by one member of your team, it’s important that everyone else know about this issue so they can help address it if necessary–and also so everyone knows what else is going on at any given time!
4. Working with the product owner about quality issues that emerge during the sprint
As a product owner, you are responsible for driving the vision and roadmap of your product. You’re also responsible for managing the backlog and release plan by creating stories from those requirements. As with any project, there will be bugs that emerge during development and testing that need to be addressed in order to make sure your product meets user needs.
In addition to this role as a stakeholder in defining what is needed from your team (the developers), you should also be able to help them understand these issues so they can fix them quickly before they become problematic later on down road.
5. Unplanned work can be managed by identifying its impacts, prioritizing it, delegating it and working with everyone else.
i) Identify the impact of unplanned work.
ii) Prioritize the unplanned work.
iii) Delegate the unplanned work to someone else in your team or assign it to a member of Product Development or Engineering.
Identify the impact of the unplanned work on your project or product, and determine if there are any short-term or long-term consequences. If you’re a Product Manager, then this is an excellent opportunity for you to use your skills and knowledge to help identify ways that Product Development can better manage their time so that they don’t create more unplanned work.
In the end, you want to make sure that no one feels like they don’t understand what’s going on or why they’re doing things. It’s also important to remember that not all unplanned work can be managed as easily as these tips might suggest – some things just need to happen even if there isn’t time for planning ahead of time. But with a little extra thought about how you approach these situations in the future, it will be easier for everyone involved.
If you want to know Design Thinking in Project Management you can refer to this blog.