Should You Re-Estimate Unfinished Stories?

As well-intentioned as teams are, it’s really hard to finish absolutely everything by the end of a sprint. A team may have grabbed eight product backlog items (typically user stories), but only finish six or seven of them. The other items are often close to done, but this isn’t horseshoes so close doesn’t count.

But what about the estimates on those unfinished product backlog items? Should they be re-estimated? And should the team get partial credit for the work they did complete? Let’s consider each of these questions, starting with partial credit.
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Burger story

You can use storytelling to explain why slicing work is important. An colleague Rene de Leijer shared me the following story:

You are on holiday in the USA and driving already for hours on route 66 from the Grand Canyon to Las Vegas. Your stomach is roaring and your eyes are looking for a real American hamburger (sorry for the vegans). You see yourself eating one with both hands holding it in front of your mouth. And finally, in a small village, you see a strange burger cottage. Do you want to eat something in that weird place or keep on searching for another place to eat? But maybe that will take an extra hour. So yes you decide to stop and ease your hunger. The sign on the door says “Pull”, so you pull the door and it does not open. “Whahahaha” you hear someone laugh. You really feel weird on this and get a little but irritated, being hungry is not helping on this. You order a huge burger and the man behind the bar says “I will get you something in a minute, sir”. After 1 minute he puts a delicious piece of bread on a napkin and asks if you need some ketchup on your burger. And after my confirmation, he put some ketchup on the bread. After 3 minutes he puts an incredibly tasty burger on the bread, you really smell it and are eager to take a bite. “Sorry the burger is not finished yet” he says and my stomach is roaring all the time, while I am staring at that delicious piece of meat. 1 minute later, he puts some lettuce on top of the burger and only 2 minutes later some extra ketchup. “We are almost there sir” I hear him say. And finally, some onions and the last piece of bread are adding on top of it. “Well sir, now you can eat your burger, we have done everything in our power to give you the best burger you have ever tasted”. I pick up the burger and take a huge bite, and I spit it out, the bread is soggy, the burger cold and my hunger is vanished 🙁. How would you feel if you are this person, I think very disappointedly and he is leaving to find some other food? And do you see a comparison with our way of developing? Do you think the customer would enjoy if we deliver him every 2 minutes a small slice (top-down) of the burger 😉?

Scrum Quiz: Pubquiz

Vragen Scrum Quiz

  1. Welk nieuw element in de Scrumguide 2020 is toegevoegd als verantwoordelijkheid van de Product Owner?
    1. Product Vision
    2. Purpose
    3. Product Goal
    4. Performance metrics
  2. Eén van de verantwoordelijkheden binnen Scrum is anders genoemd in de Scrum Guide 2020, welke?
    1. Het Development team vervalt en hier komen Developers voor in de plaats
    2. De Product Owner vervalt en wordt nu Value Maximizer genoemd
    3. De Scrum Master vervalt en hier komt Facilitation Expert voor terug
    4. De projectleider krijgt als nieuwe rol meer body in de Scrum Guide 2020
  3. In volgorde van tijd, maak een jaarlijn van wanneer de verschillende onderwerpen zijn ontstaan:
    1. Scrum, SAFe, Agile Manifest
    2. Agile Manifest, SAFe, Scrum
    3. Agile Manifest, Scrum, SAFe
    4. Scrum, Agile Manifest, SAFe
  4. Welk artefact hoort bij het Increment?
    1. Sprint Goal
    2. Definition of Done
    3. Sprint Backlog
    4. Review
  5. Wat waren de founding fathers van de Scrum guide Jeff Sutherland en Ken Schwaber van elkaar?
    1. Neven
    2. Vakgenoten
    3. Oud- collega’s
    4. Prijswinnaars
  6. Waar komt de term Scrum vandaan?
    1. American Football
    2. Schaken
    3. Basketball
    4. Rugby
  7. Tijdens de Sprint Planning wordt in de Scrum Guide 2020 nadruk gelegd op:
    1. Het ‘waarom’ van een Sprint
    2. ‘wat’ gaan we doen deze Sprint
    3. ‘hoe’ pakken we werk aan deze Sprint
    4. Alle bovenstaande
  8. Welke commitment behoort bij de Sprint Backlog?
    1. Developers
    2. Daily Scrum
    3. Sprint Goal
    4. User Stories
  9. Wat is het aantal wereldwijd behaalde certificeringen in januari 2021?
    1. 100.000
    2. 250.000
    3. 500.000
    4. 1.000.000
  10. Welke certificering is het meest behaald?
    1. PSM1 (Scrum Master)
    2. PSPO1 (Product Owner)
    3. PSK1 (Kanban)
    4. PAL1 (Leadership)
  11. Wat zijn de 5 Scrum values?
    1. Honesty, Focus, Respect, Fun, Courage
    2. Openness, Courage, Commitment, Fun, Focus
    3. Extraversion, Focus, Commitment, Openness, Integrity
    4. Openness, Focus, Commitment, Respect, Courage
  12. Hoe vaak per maand Googelt men “Scrum” in Nederland?
    1. 140x
    2. 1400x
    3. 14000x
    4. 140000x


  1. Product Goal
  2. Het Development team vervalt en hier komen Developers voor in de plaats
  3. Scrum, Agile Manifest, SAFe,
  4. Definition of Done
  5. Vakgenoten
  6. Rugby
  7. Alle bovenstaande
  8. Sprint Goal
  9. 000
  10. PSM1
  11. Commitment, Focus, Openness, Respect, and Courage
  12. 14000x

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How To Give Negative Feedback?

A favorite frameworks for providing negative feedback is the CEDAR™ model from Anna Wildman. CEDAR is an acronym for the steps involved in providing feedback.

Context: Set the context for the person. Describe the problem, the role their behavior had in creating or exacerbating the problem, and the effects it had.

Examples: Provide one or more examples to illustrate the behavior. Don’t go overboard here. One example may be enough but never give more than three.

Diagnosis: Talk to the person about why they behaved as they did. My favorite approach is simply to ask, “What caused you to act that way?” or perhaps “What caused you to say that?”

Action: Ask the employee what actions they will take next. This could be aimed at correcting an existing problem or preventing it happening again. Get the person to state clearly what their goal is and name specific actions they’ll take to achieve it.

Review: End a discussion by establishing a plan to review the person’s progress. Ask them when you should meet again. Before then, observe the person. Look for an opportunity to praise them sincerely for any progress they’ve made.