Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Fruit salad estimation

As part of a scrum training, I ran a great activity today, (in France)
(And I just ran it again - 6 monhs later in Thailand)

(I am writing very lean, so I won't forget, expect updates soon...)
(But will try to intertwine my fresh experience...)

To learn estimates, I have prepared cards with names of about 50 fruits, some exotic, some (like tomatoes) non-fitting a fruit-salad (or maybe yes?), some non-fruits (mint, ginger), etc.
- Since We have people from Thailand and India, I've put Thai-specific and Indian-specific fruits.so people can bring different knowledge to the team)

- The participants (15) were split to three teams, and I have split my deck to three as well (randomly).

First task for each team:
- Could you sort the deck you received by value - hence, if this fruit was cut so it can be part of a fruit salad, what would be its value (consider color, taste, texture, exotic-ness, etc),
I dont ask for a value, just for the order
(- You can use a voting mechanism if you want)
 (3 minutes, and 5 in Thailand)

Second task for all the teams:
Merge the three decks into a big one. so I can have a big deck sorted by value.

Hence: now we have an initial backlog!

At the end of this iteration there was about half the deck that was not sorted - since they considered all these are not worth the effort (a tomato, ginger, etc)

Third task for each team:

- Now I split the deck I received to three, keeping the order (if the deck was 123456789....., first team receives 147... second 258.... and third 369...)
- They are asked to estimate the work it takes to cut each fruit in Half-Banana points.
- Hence if cutting a banana is an effort of 2, how much effort is cutting an apple?
(a small retro to see if they leaned something about fruit cutting in this discussion - indeed! a Kiwi is easy to peel with a spoon!)
- Each team gets the estimates of one other team to see if they (more or less) agree.

Fourth task:
- Now that you know the effort, would you like to re-work the order?
We tried several ways to work - the one that worked best is this:
We have put all the card on the table in order, and each team member can switch the order of two cards... BUT IN TOTAL SILENCE
worked like magic!!

Hench we:
- created an ordered backlog
- estimated the most relevant items
- did a backlog grooming.

And tomorrow - to finish off:
I'm buying the fruits they chose and we are having a fruit-salad Scrum project... (shhhh... don't tell anyone - it is a surprise...)

Thanks to Lyssa Adkins for the inspiration!

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