The Sprint's Locked?

When I am teaching / coaching teams on the use of Scrum, many of them ask about how to handle escaped defects, product support items, etc...You know, the "unplanned stuff"?

Many times they get paralyzed by the idea that "no changes should be made to the sprint that endanger the sprint goal".

Here is a lesson from one of the great companies who understand priority and managing the work. FedEx sheds some light on one of its many plans for handling the "unplanned". You actually plan for the unplanned (and yes it might cost some money).

I love their concept of a sweeping spare (an empty resource to pick up the unplanned). I like to call these people on the Scrum Team; the "Disturbed". However; in Scrum, if the unplanned doesn't happen, we can simply pull in some items from the Product Backlog (and make our plane at least have some packages LOL).

How the team decides to handle the unplanned is up to them. This concept should highlight that we should plan for the unplanned and have some contingencies built into how we manage the work.


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